Saturday, August 13, 2011

On my way home late yesterday afternoon I noticed this huge threshing machine taking off the grain - looks like winter wheat - with the dust and chaff caught in the sunlight behind. It struck me as a typical late summer image - one that many of us have known since childhood, though this machine is a newer one and cuts a wide swath than several I've seen lately.

Grain used to be taken off the land by hand, scythes swinging in rhythm. If the farm family was lucky and lived in a friendly neighbourly community. The men would all work together to gather each other's grain. At evening, the women would have tables laid out under the trees heaped high with food, everyone contributing. It was a movable feast until harvest was over. It was hard work in the sun, and devastating if it rained and spoiled a crop before it was put into the grain bins in barns. But people seemed able to gauge the weather in those days.

This fellow in the photo was obviously working hard to gather in his grain before it rains today. The straw may also get baled before it gets damp. Lines of round hay bales wrapped in white plastic in the background of the photograph tell me there is a herd of cows that will be well fed this winter. And bedded well if the fluffy quantity of straw falling in careful rows is any suggestion.

We are so blessed in much of North America. Though we've had drought in many areas across the continent we will still (at least most of us if not all) will be able to feed ourselves this winter. Hopefully our cups will "runneth over" and we will be able to help those whose harvests are not so bountiful.

May you have a beautiful late summer day with all it's joys and bounty.

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