Taking The Corn Down

The technology used to harvest crops has advanced significantly, especially since 1834, when Hiram Moore invented the combine in the United States. Compared to the machinery used today, it’s hard to imagine that at one time, early versions of the combine were pulled by horse or mule teams.

Even though technology has evolved, one aspect of harvesting has remained the same, families still work together to bring in the crop, and share a special bond in the process. I can remember as a child, riding in the combine with my dad, and smiling from ear to ear. We would listen to the radio, sing along, and of course keep track of the animals we saw. As a farming family, we have kept this tradition alive ever since I was born. To me, the season of fall wouldn’t be the same, without climbing up that ladder, and riding along in the combine.

On the last day of harvest, the sky was bright blue and the weather was perfect, so I decided to take my camera along for the ride. My dad and I sang along to country songs on the radio, and pointed out several rabbits, who were being daring, and hopping in front of the combine. There was also a woodpecker that occasionally flew in front of us, and perched on the stalks a few feet ahead. When there were only a few rounds left, our eyes captured two does. I was able to photograph one of the deer, as she ran into the woods, which is included in the slideshow below.

Not only do I enjoy watching the animals run through the field, but also gazing at the ears as they maneuver into the corn head. City people may not understand this, but it is sort of like staring into a campfire, and being placed in a trance. You are able to meditate and be deep in thought, but yet completely relaxed.

The drought this year affected farmers all over the country. However, the last field of the year was a great one! We watched the monitors as they revealed the promising results, and beamed with smiles. Some farmers may look at my photos, and not see anything special about them, simply because it’s what they see all day. But my eyes focus on the shape of the kernels, the height of each stalk compared to the others, the design of the tassels, and the action that is captured. So as you watch the slideshow below, try to focus on these aspects, and concentrate on the design. Once your eyes have adjusted to looking at photos in a whole new view, you will see your surroundings in a completely different perspective.

Harvesting and farming, in general, is so enjoyable and a major part of my life, that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. I look forward to continuing the family tradition, as well as photographing several harvesting seasons in the future.

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