The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings ta ever one in western Illinois and all readers of "The Quill".
Two week ends in a row without any rain, WOW! In fact one full week of dry weather, albeit mighty cool after dark for this time of year.
Some folk sez it takes warmer nights ta pop those corn seedlings outa the ground quickly. Others say until the asparagus comes outa the ground the soil is too cool for speedy corn germination.
Then there are others, way up north in Minnesota and South Dakota, that simply sez "we gotta get the snow melted off our fields before we can even get in ta work the soil." Each area has it's challenges.
Anyways, around these parts farmers are make'n good progress with plant'n. Some are even done plant'n corn and are well along with beans.
This week the weatherman is call'n for rainy weather begin'n this past Tuesday.
For those farmers that can finish plant'n in five ta ten days that should give "em plenty of time for what they wants ta accomplish. If'n they is not done, well then that is simply part of their plan ta spread things out.
Not many report of mushrooms be'n found that I've heard of, as it has been too cool and dry.
However, last Saturday one lucky neighbor reported have'n found thirty. He wouldn't tell where, however!
Office-workin' folk look at the weather differently than farmers who are dependent on certain weather for their livelihood.
Have ya ever heard the weatherman say, "Gosh that's really good news! I'm sure getting tired of this rain!"
What are they gett'n tired of? Having ta carry an umbrella ta the car or perhaps thinking' of have'n ta wash the car again after it quits rain'n. Or perhaps haven'n ta miss out on a golf game a day or two or hold'n off mow'n the lawn on the day or in a routine they had planned?
He's probably not any more tired of it than the livestock man sloggin' through the pens, hock-deep in mud. Or the range livestock man try'n ta mud feed his animals.
Somewhere a farmer's stand'n at the edge of his field with a smile on his face watch'n it rain for his crops were nigh near their end because it was too hot and dry.
A 2.5 inch rain, a week of hot and dry, minus 10 degree wind-chill, all have special meanings ta a feller whose live'n depends on the weather.
A weekend of good ski'n weather can create baby calves on the kitchen floor, frozen waterline, frost bit'n fingers and a bath tub of warm water nurse'n a newborn calf back to life.
April showers can bring May flowers but they also can keep tractors out of the field, and make sick, scourery calves, and late plantin', result'n in possible lower yields.
Farmers watch and talk the weather. They spend a lifetime try'n ta match cutt'n hay, plant'n seed, spray'n crops, harvest'n crops, and match'n it all up in unison with the weather. Sometimes the match is good and sometimes not so good, all ta the banker's frenzy!
Farmers smell the weather change'n, talk about it with their neighbors and give thanks when the squall line that just went through, with green snapped crops, just missed their fields.
They can only watch as fields awash with erosive heavy rains or patiently observe as drought shrivels their crops, and pastures. Needed hay for winter feed becomes all too short for livestock needs with winter kill alfalfa or an early killer frost. Early fall freeze can create extra dry'n expense or shorten crop quality.
It's not all negative however. There are wins. The weather warms, snow melts, things turn green, needed rains soak the ground just in the nick of time and the sun reliably comes out.
Farmers watch and experience all of this, year by year, season by season. They aren't just look'n at it on a weather map or through a window. They are part of it, rely on it, and thankful for it.
Now we will just have ta wait and see what the rest of the weather this spring brings. The last two times we had a spring similar ta this spring thus far, was 1983 and 1988. Those crop years, as I recall, were below average in yields, but brought on good crop prices.
If'n you were in an area that received timely rains result'n in good yields, the better crop prices were very beneficial. The say'n goes, "One feller's loss is another feller's gain."
Now that reminds me of the follow'n scripture and Rover the bone bury'n dog.
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in his? - 1 John 3:17
One attribute that Rover shares with many other dogs is his God-given instinct that has ta do with self-preservation. It makes perfect sense from a dog's point of view ta bury surplus food as a hedge against further needs. Not only is food preserved but hiding it also keeps some other critter from finding it.
People don't bury their food. So why does Rover's burial strategy seem so familiar? Haven't we heard it said, "If I don't look out fer myself, no one will?" Yes, that is what folk sometimes say. And that is what Rover's actions sez. People bury all kinds of things; things they might share but choose rather ta hoard fer themselves. We can see them slyly digging holes fer surplus wealth, talents, time, companionship, and knowledge. "Let "em learn the hard way as I had ta, the shoveler mutters. "Why should I take time ta help "em after I've worked so hard? I need some time off."
The Bible teaches us ta love our neighbor and ta share with the needy. This is a test that reveals whether or not the love of God dwells in our hearts. We are ta bear one another's burdens. Our surplus supplies someone's need today, and someone else's abundance supplies our lack another day.
It seems farmers and good neighbors have learned the lesson taught in 1 John 3:17 well. Time and again repeatedly one feller falls on hard times with a physical accident, health issue, death, fire, wind damage, and folk are there ta help out both materially and emotionally.
Soon comes fall harvest or spring field work and neighbors are there, spontaneously help'n out with labor and machinery. Most frequently it turns into a "frolic" with ladies provide'n food and service companies provide'n fuel. Yes, they dare ta care and share!
That's one of the many reasons we are so blessed to live in all the communities of Western Illinois! Let's continue ta help keep it that way. We have much ta be thankful for!
That's all for this week's column. Thank you ta Gary Miller for share'n this column's scripture. I reckon the boys will dwell on 1 John 3:17 fer quite a spell in betwixt try'n ta figure out the weather.
Have a good rest of the week. Hope'n ta see ya in church this week along with yer family and others ya love.
Remember, wherever ya are, whatever ya be a do'n "BE A GOOD ONE!"
Keep on Smile'n
Count yer many Blessings
Catch ya later,