Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wet Prairies

When we left Saskatchewan to retire on the "wet coast" as it's sometimes called we were convinced that the prairies were about to go into an extended period of drought. We experienced many dust storms and saw grain crops that barely produced enough grain to make harvesting worth while. This year's been totally opposite. Constant rain and even some flooding is happening on the prairies in Canada. Farmers are hoping that they can get the crops off this fall. They could have bumper crops or as sometimes happens, frost could come early and wipe out the promising yield. Only time will tell. Who wants to be a farmer these days when the climate is so unpredictable?
I found this photo that I took a while back showing water right next to a ripening wheat field. I thought of the farmers this year when I came across it and decided to post it here. Whenever I take photos on the prairies I'm always been fascinated with water next to grain . It's likely due to the anxiety we used to experience on the farm when the grain was testing too humid during harvest. We had to stop and wait for nature to dry the grain. Otherwise we risked it overheating in the grain bins and catching fire, or at the very least, spoiling the whole bin full of precious grain.
The old buildings in this photo are also a reminder of different times when more farms existed and each farm was reasonably self-reliant. Mixed farms were common when I was a child. Now farmers tend to be grain farmers or cattle farmers. Specializing can be riskier when the one thing they're farming doesn't do well that year.