This past week, I visited my family in Nebraska. I really wanted to spend some time with my Grandmother who is almost 100 and the rest of the family was secondary. Still, I was able to spend time with all my family that are out there that I wanted and only missed a few of them.
Something to note on the trip out there was that the Missouri river had flooded. Part of this is because the water table is so high. Some is because the dam that supplies power on the Northeast side of South Dakota and Nebraska let too much water through this spring. My intention is not to point fingers at someone, but that there are a lot of reasons for the flooding. I really didn’t take many pictures of the flooding because I was there rather late in the cycle and most of the water had gone back down. Even so, there were some images that I did capture. Part of the lack of images is that it was very hot and not good weather to be out shooting. The second part was putting up with the number of bugs was difficult. With all the water pools around, mosquitoes were the worst I have ever seen them. You could only put up with them for so long and then retreat to the indoors. Most of these pictures below were from my phone’s camera.
Another interesting note is the number of windmills on the trip in Illinois and Iowa. The last trip back only had one windmill. This trip had many of them. It was like the whole countryside was covered in three places, not to mention the number of individual ones being used at various locations. Even two of the homes on the Winnebago Indian reservation had windmills providing some power for their homes as we were driving through on one of the main highways. The first two images below are from my phone camera.
There was a once in a lifetime occurrence on one of my cousin’s farm. He is now raising trees instead of the usual crops that the family has always produced (corn, soybeans, and livestock). While he was showing me one of his new machines to spray weeds, a fawn walked right up to us. Had it not been for the click of the camera that I was using that spooked the fawn, we probably would have been able to pet the fawn.
Finally, I have to remark how everything is changing out there. The place used to be full of small family farmers and their residences. Lots of cows, alfalfa, corn, and soybeans. Some even had pigs and other critters like chickens. There were even a few horses and dairies. Now, it seems like there are only soybeans and corn. The rest are gone. It is hard to see the places that have been demolished and plowed under to make more room for fields to plant. I am told that only large corporation farmers are making money, and the smaller farmers are failing one by one. The few small farms that are left are because one of the two farm, and the other has a job doing something else like nursing or teaching school. The bean fields are horrible looking with weeds in them – my grandfather has to be disapproving of how they look. But, they do things differently than in the past. Before, we used to “walk beans” and use a hoe or machete to kill weeds individually. Now, they wait till the weeds get to a point and use Roundup to kill the weeds. You are probably wondering about killing the beans – they are resistant to the effects of Roundup and continue living.
All information and images are ©2012 Don Krajewski on this post.