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This week I traveled from mid-Ohio to mid-Indiana, and there is quite a bit of rural landscape to be enjoyed along such a route. I keep track of how the farm crops are doing since I live in the midst of corn and soybean country here.
As might be expected, even with the rain we had, the corn was “pineappled”. The plants leaves spike up like pineapple tops when the ground is dry and they are stressed from drought. All the corn here in Ohio is shorter than usual and needs the rain. No matter where you live you might consider praying for the Midwest farmers crops, because corn and its prices impacts much of our food supply, etc. Soybeans look pretty good to my amateur’s eye, and the wheat crop just was harvested last week. We are clouding up today and I sure hope it comes through on that promise!
My husband took care of watering my containers while I was gone, and before I left last week I noticed the Japanese beetles out in force again this year. I guess they are just going to have to be reckoned with. They are the nastiest bugs and just decimate the leaves of so many trees and shrubs. And roses? Forgetabout-it. Bad.
Last year their favorite buffet consisted of the Cherry trees; this year they started out with the Amelanchiers, and moved on to the Hazels again.
I had seen quite a few butterflies earlier in the season, but today farmers were crop dusting the fields so I expect that means the butterflies and most other things are done for now. I told my son to try to stay inside, but it is a pretty day and boys have a way of sneaking outside at every opportunity. Sometimes I could swear they hide from me if I am actively working in the yard.
Our Old Dog had to be put down ( R.I.P.) and we’ve seen more deer closer to the property. He was a good dog who kept his watch faithfully. Woe unto any ground hogs that dared show their faces here… but now, I suppose they will soon find it more welcoming. I dislike ground hogs intensely. I’ll need to go looking for a new puppy, I guess… but it is hard to please me – I like a certain personality and disposition in my dog. And this last one was an exceptionally good dog, with a few small bad habits (yeah, he liked to chase chickens), but an excellent pet all around. He was protective of children and property without being mean, he was quite large with a ferocious growl, but once properly introduced was completely accepting and companionable. I half-broke him of chasing the vehicles that entered the drive. You had to keep calling his name- and he kept acting like he would bolt after the wheels, but usually was fine. He was good with the cats, and kept to the property… although I do remember now that he always like to carve out a dirt bed for himself in my gardens by the porch. He didn’t like the heat much, and kept cool at the expense of my daylilies and Siberian irises; but I miss him, poor old thing.
The wheat fields around us are now golden with the wheat straw that is lined up in long rows, and the dairy farmers seem to have changed the breed of their herd from Holsteins more to the Jersey… which are much prettier animals. Still, there are very few dairy operations in this part of Ohio anymore, so you have much less bucolic pasture scenes and – unfortunately- way too much encroaching development. Come to think of it, there used to be much more animal husbandry- like flocks of sheep- than I see now.
One last thing- my son asked me which I liked better: Ohio or Indiana? I told him except for the state lines I think they are identical. Much the same history and geographically very similar with a Great Lake at the top and a River at the bottom 🙂 And lots of cornfields!!! We talked a bit about Indian history- always a favorite topic of mine, the Shawnee and Delaware, Blue Jacket and his brother the Prophet, the Miami and how the tribes were moved increasingly West. Fascinating stuff.
Tags: rural, vignettes