The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to ever one in Western Illinois and all readers of The Quill.
Last week shore had some rainy days. I've heard reports from various parts of our territory of the rainfall totals range'n all the way betwixt one and one-half (1 1/2") inches to three inches (3"). Any way ya cuts it spells muddy fields fer a spell.
Some of them fellers who pattern tiled their fields with sub-surface drainage at forty foot (40') spacing, might find it a bit better go'n. They were back in their fields last Thursday already, the next day after it rains.
Muddy fields make it difficult ta get the big trucks in and out. Some of that mud sticks ta the tires and gets carried onto the road, unfortunately.
A feller wants ta be careful travel'n those rural roads with mud clods on "em as they could be dangerous fer travel'n very fast.
I've seen some farmers clean up after themselves with a rear blade or loader tractor ta remove the clods.
Big clods come from mud lodged betwixt dual tires and flung off whilst travel'n at higher speeds on the road.
Fer you folks in town or live'n in the country on a plot of land with a garden, ya might go ta them roads and gather up the big clods of mud fer your garden.
They represent the best part of that farmers top soil and should grow good carrots and potatoes, amongst other delicious garden produce.
If'n ya talks kindly ta the farmer whose field the mud came out of, he might give ya a copy of his most recent soil test. That-a-ways it'll help in your garden decisions.
I suppose land made of mostly sand won't necessarily have them kind of problems.
So, whilst explore'n fer good black fertile soil ta gather up, go ta the flat black and of the eastern part of our counties. They'll probably be the wettest and muddiest fer a spell.
With land sell'n fer $7,000 ta $10,000 an acre fer the good stuff, ya will be certainly enrich'n your garden in more ways than just fertility.
I hear lots of farmers complain'n of the crops come'n out slower this year. Some fields of beans, a while back had green stems which made "em difficult and slower ta harvest.
As soon as the sun goes down, them fields become very difficult ta harvest and early morn'n harvest doesn't start very early.
Big yields of corn stretches machine capacity lines at the elevator and don't get trucks and wagons back as quickly as most would like.
I hears recently on RFD radio that them weather predict'n folk is a begin'n ta change their tune on our weather predictions come'n up.
Fer one thing, some is begin'n ta feel the winter could now be a tough one rather than mild as they once thought.
Others are a say'n the fall could be rather wet and muddy.
It seems the crystal ball they was a use'n earlier maybe was a bit foggy, but now it seems clearer.
I suppose by spring their crystal ball will be very clear as ta what the past winter was like.
A lot of them weather predict'n folk rant and rave about how bad last winter was. They've even invented a 25¢ word fer it what they calls "Polar Vortex", to exaggerate the event.
Them young whipper snappers must not have had any livestock back 40 or so years ago or they would know what real winters can be like around these parts.
Apparently, they missed out on some of them winters with below zero temperatures or other winters with deep snows and extended blizzard like conditions.
They haven't seen the feed lot covered solid with ice where the cattle couldn't get up hill ta the feed bunks and sand had ta be hauled in ta give em traction ta even get a drink.
They missed out on roads be'n blocked with drifted snow fer days and days at a time and finally dozers had ta be brought in ta clear them open.
Water lines froze up, even the deep buried ones, until spring, make'n it necessary ta find alternative water sources fer livestock and family homes alike, ta meet their needs.
Snow drifted into hog sheds and bed'n requirements increased dramatically.
The short winter days were spent almost entirely tend'n ta unique requirements of those old fashioned winter days, sometimes referred to as the "Good Ole Days".
Those were the days before mira fount drinkers and the tank heater was called "cowboy" until "ideal" came long.
How many folk remember those kerosene tank heaters that the wind would blow out and if'n re-lit too soon, would blow up in your face. It was a good way ta get your eye brows clipped without go'n ta the barber.
The result'n soot on your face, I suppose, cut down on the suns glare, if'n it was one of them rare days it dared ta show its shine from behind the cloud cover.
Well, them days is behind us fer now. And if'n they come again, modern technology provides better means fer handle'n em.
Thank goodness, as ta "Polar Vortex' I don't recall the term be'n used back in by-gone-days of old. Folk were tough and not just with 25¢ words.
That's it fer this weeks column. Be safe and enjoy life - it goes by pretty fast when ya thinks about it!
Hope'n ta see ya in church this week. Where ever ya is, what ever ya be a do'n, "BE A GOOD ONE"!
Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya later