Spring Comes to the Farm

I'm staying at the family farm until April so I can be of assistance—hopefully not a nuisance—to my sister-in-law who recently had another major surgery.

(The nuisance part is constantly asking, "Can I get you anything? Are you okay? How's your pain level?" If it were only me who asked, it would be okay, but everyone who visits and calls asks!) 

As I washed dishes this morning, I looked out the kitchen window at the ancient elms that once marched along a fence line. These giant, vine-covered trees are probably far older than I.

They are a testament to endurance, withstanding dry seasons and rainy ones, scorching summer heat and bitter winter ice storms. Still they live, leafing out again when spring comes.

I guess they're a good example of hanging in there during the good seasons and the bad—something we mere humans should emulate.

Rainy Season Over

From October to the first of March, this region of Louisiana had more than the usual amount of rainfall.

Farmers anxiously scanned the skies and listened to weather forecasts because planting of just about everything should already have already been done.

The soil has been too wet to drop seed into the wet earth. The seed would just rot.

This week, all the farmers broke ground. Yesterday, the 500 acres across the road from my brother's home had one of the big John Deere tractors plowing and planting from morning until late last night.

These monster tractors have lights that could illuminate a runway so modern farmers often work until 10 or 11 at night if they're behind on getting the crops into the ground.

Small section of the planted field.
Aviation Agriculture

A few days ago, the ag planes started flying promptly at 7:30 every morning. They sprayed fields near here all day long.

If one wants to sleep past 7:30, there better be noise-cancelling headphones on hand.

The ag planes were flying even after dark which surprised me because I thought they were all VFR rated only. (visual flight)

When grasslands grow back, farmers stop buying hay
I could be wrong. Maybe they have instrument-rating for night flying.

Bulls and Heifers

For those who don't know much about livestock, a heifer is a female.

They come into "season" in the spring and send out oceans of female pheromones that wafts their way into the noses of bulls (males).

These cow pheromones send the bulls into a mating frenzy.

Old magnolia setting blooms

On the farm there are a couple of bulls. One that is already penned with 4 or 5 heifers has taken a fancy to a heifer in a different pasture.

That bull bellows through most of the day, sending a call to the heifer with whom he's infatuated. About every couple of hours, he starts the mournful bellowing and doesn't stop until about 8 in the evening. He starts again about 8 the next morning.

I guess in cattle language, he's saying, "I love you. I want you. I need you. Come to me."

Obviously, the heifer in question couldn't care less because she's contentedly munching on hay rather than stampeding to the cattle pen where he's already surrounded by admiring females. (I'll try to get some pictures of the lovesick bull when the barnyard dries out a little.)

Takeaway Truth

What does all this mean? Spring has come to the farm.

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