Filed under: history, science, time | Tags: change, climate, future, history, man, mankind, pollution, survive
Life will survive, but at what cost.
The diversity and tenacity of life on our planet are really remarkable. There is some form of life everywhere. There is not a place anywhere where some kind of life cannot make it. The history of our world since life first started shows the tenacity of the life forces at work. When one form of life dies out another eventually comes to replace it.
Now comes man, the ultimate surviver. Man not only has found a way to live on every piece of dirt, rock and ice on our planet, he is digging deep into the earth, and flying out beyond the atmosphere. In the process he has changed every place he goes. I’m not sure it is for the better.
The growing population of humankind has spread his home and his garbage into every environment on earth. I’m afraid we may now be going a bit too far. Past history of the earth says that whenever a species becomes too populous, something comes along to reduce it’s numbers. What will be the downfall of man?
China is now struggling with the effects of too many people. They may be a warning for us all. So many skies are brown where China’s people live, and they are struggling to make things better, but even they recognize that it will take years to turn things around. The effects of the fast paced development in the Chinese cities have caused so many problems for land, water and air. This has lead to health problems for plants, animals and people near them.
The more developed countries also went through their periods of rapid growth and pollution problems. Although they have cleaned up their worst pollution problems, their fight is not over. Although the rivers may no longer burn, there are terrible problems yet to be conquered.
And yet the earth and it’s life will survive. Humans have such a short life that they do not realize how much will and can change. We may yet kill ourselves off with our wars, our greed or our pollution, but the earth and life will still be here. Volcanos, earthquakes, flood and fires will eventually cleanse the land. Millions of years from now the earth will have recycled itself. Will there be people around to see it? What creature will be on top in that far off time? Only the future knows.
Life will survive, mankind will eventually pay the cost.
Filed under: Fall, family, Farm, food, harvest, history, Minnesota, planting, rain, science, seasons, spring, summer, tillage, time, weather, winter | Tags: children, Food, harvest, Minnesota, Planting, Thanksgiving
As we gather to feast on this Thanksgiving day we all need to give thanks for what agriculture has given us. Me? I’m thankful to have a job I love.
When I think back on over 50 years of life, there is so much that farming has given me. I grew up with a freedom that allowed me to be outdoors doing what I wanted. Usually that meant driving tractors and spending long hours in the field. Long hours that allowed me to think through problems and make plans.
Farming meant I was able to earn an income and put myself through college. It got me started in a business that is ever changing, always challenging, sometimes hectic and stressful, and yet peaceful and easygoing.
Farming gave me the freedom to take time off to see my children grow and to have them with me so I could teach them of life. They learned lessons on the farm that are harder to learn elsewhere. They learned of the circle of life and how food gets to our table. They learned that if it rains today, tomorrows sunshine will allow you to get the job done. They learned that hard work is rewarded with good things.
Here in Minnesota, spring, summer, fall and winter all have their charms and challenges. Every month and season is an education, a challenge and a chance to look forward to future, a beginning and an end.
I have been blessed to have lived in a time of ever changing technology. A time when the advances in agricultural science have allowed us to feed more people with less land, fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, labor, water and erosion than at any time in history. I remember my dad planting corn with the aid of a wire guide, now computers help guide our planting. Dad plowed his fields with a three bottom plow and an open tractor. Today the plow is a thing of the past and we sit in a cab with A/C, heat, radio and computers.
There is so much that has changed in this life that I love, but it is still the best job on earth. For that I am thankful.
Filed under: cats, cold, family, Farm, frost, Ice, Minnesota, seasons, snow, weather, wind, winter | Tags: cold, farm, ice, Minnesota, snow, Thanksgiving, water, weather, wind
This mornings temperature was 9 degrees. Baby it’s could out there. My morning bus trip got me thinking about how the cold affects water ponds of different sizes and types.
As an example my small (200 gallon) fish pond was frozen over, with ice thick enough to hold a cat on sunday, with only 30 degree temps. The cat was looking for a drink and found the ice in the way. I got out my pond heater and we now have an open water pond again.
Many of the ponds and small lakes were showing ice on their edges on Sunday. Until we had the cold this morning it did not take too large a body of water to resist the freeze. Last night the temperatures went down and a cold north wind blew all of the smaller bodies of water to ice covered by morning.
The river has been interesting lately. There have been some areas of ice on the edge that formed in the last few days. Today small icebergs had broken loose and were floating down the river. In places. where a river bend or bridge could capture those ice chunks, the whole river had been covered with ice. A few more days like this and we’ll have ice on all of our water bodies.
This is shaping up to be an early freeze up. The ground is getting a good depth of frozen earth now. I don’t have my snow fence in yet, but it looks like I had better get those posts pounded in soon or not at all.
A cold Thanksgiving is forecast. We still have some ice covered roads and the weather tomorrow will not help. We could get more ice and snow wednesday. Be careful as you travel for thanksgiving.
Filed under: church, family, food, history, Holidays, Politicians, school | Tags: children, church, community, Food, history, music, news, newspaper, radio, school
I think of myself as a positive person. I really have never liked watching TV news shows, they are just too full of gloom and doom. Let’s face it, to keep an audience in a large market you have to have the creed that, “If it bleeds, it leads.”
That has even become the creed of day time talk TV and our politicians. The more they can make you believe that the world is a terrible place, the more market share they get. Let’s face it, you need market share to get elected, keep advertisers and pay the bills.
Small town radio and newspapers are different. Yes, there are stories of fires and crimes, but the main thrust of their programming is geared not to what is going bad in the world, but what is happening next door.
Oh yes, we will have the report from the highway patrol and the sherifs office, but we also get school news, city council minutes and county board meetings. The chamber of commerce will be on promoting their next event, it could be of a new store opening, or of the next picnic on the square.
Reports from the area schools are common in small town news. You can hear about the school play, the latest sporting event, or who is the new teacher of the year, it’s all good stuff. Stories of who the exchange students in school are and what country they came from are regular events. The newest graduating class will take up pages in a small town newspaper. Oh sure, the school is having trouble making the budget fit the income, but that is not the main thrust of school news. It’s about achievement and excellence.
The area churches will be broadcast on Sunday for those who could not make it. News of a new pastor or of a youth group event can be a big deal in a slow week. The listing of when the church services are and events that are being held at church are eagerly scanned for the next fundraising dinner or scouting event.
Veterans Day, Memorial Day, community plays and concerts, parades, pageants and musical events are all a large part of the small town news program. These are events that uplift and entertain us, they make us feel good about ourselves and our land.
So excuse me for not liking what I hear from the big market news agencies. I grew up on small town news, and I’m going to stick with it. All that doom and gloom is just not my style.
Filed under: Christmas, history, Holidays, Minnesota, safety | Tags: Christmas, community, history, Minnesota, safety
Our county is blessed with a courthouse sitting in the middle of town on it’s own block. This 1905 building has been a source of pride for our city as we promote the area. The lawn of the courthouse has been the location for many community events. This year however, the safety grinch has struck.
Every year, as far back as I can remember the county employees have decorated our courthouse with lights for Christmas. It makes quite an impressive sight as long strings of lights festoon the sandstone building. Now the county has said that, due to safety concerns, they will no longer hang lights on the courthouse.
I’m all for safety. We need to be safe in so much that we do, but if a few people had not braved the less than safe oceans and prairies of the world we would not have the great country we live in. With out people taking a little risk so much that is beautiful and worthwhile in our world would not exist. Now a bit of joy and light will be missing from our courthouse square, because of the safety grinch, and it will be missed.
Filed under: cars, cold, Minnesota, safety, snow, winter | Tags: car, cars, cold, Minnesota, safety, snow, weather, winter
“Over the ground lies a mantle of white….”
We have 3 to 4 inches of wet heavy snow so far, with 2 to 3 more inches forecast. This is what some refer to as “heart attack snow” since moving this stuff will work out the muscles and the heart. There are going to be a lot of sore bodies today.
Areas with grass on them have the most snow since the ground is not yet frozen and sidewalks and driveways melted for a bit before they got cold enough to hold snow. Forecast temperatures above freezing for the next few days will melt a lot of this stuff. The night time lows will be working to keep the snow around. It is uncertain how much of this snow will be around in a week.
If you are driving today please drive with caution. Just because you have a 4X4 does not mean you can drive as fast as you wish. There will be a lot of idiots out there relearning winter driving skills. Don’t let them dictate how you travel. Be safe out there today.
Filed under: cars, safety, School bus, time | Tags: car, cars, machines, repairs, safety, school bus
When was the last time you checked your vehicle before you started it up? Did you do a walk around before you left on your trip, no matter how short the trip? Not checking your vehicle before your next trip could cost you your life.
As a school bus driver I am required to do a bus check before each trip. We check fluid levels, wheels and tires, lights and reflectors, windows, wipers, belts, drive shaft and safety equipment. The other day my inspection found a broken wheel bolt. When the wheel was pulled off several bolts were found to be broken. A near disaster involving school children was averted because I did an inspection.
It’s a good idea to at least do a walk around your vehicle before you move it. Stopping to check tires and lights are a minimum that you should check out. This quick trip around will help to make sure you get to your destination.
If you have an older vehicle you need to be checking fluid levels also. As vehicles get more hours on them the fluid’s start finding ways to disappear. You could be stranded on the side of a road with no help in sight if your engine quits.
Does your mechanic do a check of the entire vehicle when you get your oil changed? If you are only paying for an oil change you are putting your safety at risk. There are so many things it is easy for him to check when the vehicle is up on the hoist. It is important that your brakes are also checked at this time.
You can save yourself time and possibly injury by making a quick walk around the car before you leave. Check with your mechanic to find out what you should be inspecting on your vehicle before every trip.
Filed under: charity, family, Farm, food, history, make a difference, Politics, school, science | Tags: children, famous, farm, Food, history, killing, people, sports, things, value
I have trouble with the values that some folks put on things.
Why is a rock that I want out of my field worth so much to someone in the city as an ornament?
Why is a piece of paper worth so much just because of who’s name and picture is on it?
Why do we pay sports stars and entertainers more than teachers?
Why do some people stay up all night under artificial light and then go to bed and miss the beautiful sunrise?
Why do some put so much value on things, and so little value on people?
Why is the opinion of a famous person of more value than that of a scientist or of a farmer?
So much of our world is upside down. I just don’t understand it. Those with hard jobs that feed and heal the world are valued less than entertainers. Art can be worth millions and food worth pennies. Our children are given TV sets as baby sitters because we don’t have time to read them a book or show them how we do every day tasks. People kill each other over an idea or a few ounces of poison. We are so busy giving each other things that we don’t stop to give them our time and our love. How did our world get so messed up.
Filed under: Animal care, Farm, farm animals, food, food safety, organic, Wildlife | Tags: Food, fruit, garden, history, natural, organic, veggies, wildlife
A commercial I heard yesterday said something like “Isn’t it wonderful how nature makes so many things that are good for you.” Sorry folks, the world is not that nice. The fruits and veggies that are essential to our bodies look nothing like what we find in the store out in the real, natural world. Production of protein for our bodies takes hard work and lots of messy jobs. With out the hard work of farmers for thousands of years what you see today would be totally different. Even organically grown foods have changed dramatically from what was once a wild, natural food.
The wonderful apples we find in stores are the pick of the litter. Anything with a blemish has been picked out of the barrel and sent to use in apple juice or apple sauce. Apples in the wild are small bug eaten fruit. It is the same with any fruit or veggie you can name. With out help, nature is not as fruitful as some would have you believe.
I’m always amazed at people who “tame” wild animals for pets. Then when their lion, bear, chimp, rat or snake does something to harm them, they are shocked. Folks, it’s not only a dog eat dog world out there, it’s tooth and claw and the weak get eaten out there. If you are not the fastest or the strongest or the best protected, you are breakfast.
Even the strong can fall prey to disease or injury and become somethings meal. Bacteria and viruses are always seeking ways to survive and reproduce. They can bring down any creature if they hit it at the wrong time. Mankind has lived with malaria, dysentery, colds, flu, worms, bedbugs and lice for most of his existence. It is only in our sanitized, modern world that we can find respite from the weakest of maladies. Viruses such as the flu and HIV are a natural part of our world.
Modern man has separated himself from the natural world to the point that he does not even know how it really works. We believe in a Disney dream world where Bambi is always safe from all but man and only humans are cruel. Sorry to burst your bubble folks, but the world is not naturally a nice place. The lion and the lamb do not yet lie down together, and if you step on a snake, or most animals, you will get bitten. Life is a struggle, naturally.