Good Morning, Farmland!

25 Jun


There’s nothing like waking up to the sound of an airplane flying right over your house. For a moment – that moment between awake and asleep – you might think you’re in a war zone (minus, thankfully, the shooting guns). You might think that a maniacal driver is out on your dirt road, going about 100, and then, when it’s almost too late, you realize what it is and suddenly you’re wide awake, running for the camera, because it’s crop dusting season, and you love it.
I blogged about this once before (here, in a longer post than this one, titled A Ten Year Olds Epiphany)  – but it was only a couple of months into my blogging adventure and not many people had a chance to read it! So, I quote in part from my previous post…but with all-new photos for your enjoyment!
Out on the deck we laugh and wave and delight in the noise, the proximity, the sheer overwhelming power. Inevitably, at some point, I run for the camera, though I’ve never been able to get a shot of it directly over my head. The good thing is, I usually have several tries, as the planes come back and forth, back and forth in their job of spraying the corn, the soybeans, the bugs that threaten the crops.DSC_0346
Not all of my friends understand the joy I find in the crop dusters, though a few of them understand a little. My husband, bless his heart, gets it, and he runs to the deck with us, shading his eyes against the sun as he admires the dangerous flying. Nevermind the possible philosophical issues with chemicals vs. organic farming, to me these planes are my youth, growing up as the daughter of a pilot – my wonderful childhood of tidepools and forts and parents who loved me – all rolled up in that airplane sound, flying over my house, over my years of memories.DSC_0347
The pilot has no idea, I’m sure, why this crazy family comes running to wave. Maybe he doesn’t even see us, focused as he is on the field before him. And then, so quickly, he’s gone, only to return, time and again, rising like the sun on the horizon, like a ship on a sea of grain.DSC_0348


23 Responses to “Good Morning, Farmland!”

  1. Minnesota Prairie Roots June 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    Holy cow, the crop duster looks awfully close to your roof. I think they’re exciting to watch, too, although I’ve never seen one as close as you have. Dangerous work, indeed. The prose which accompanies your photos is fabulous. So great, too, that you have a husband who “gets it.”

    • Gretchen O'Donnell June 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

      Thank you – I really like airplanes so I suppose it inspires! Yes, it’s crazy-dangerous. I watched it dive below the trees and thought, “I ought to be watching from the edge of the field,” but then I thought, “No…perhaps not…for two reasons: one: I don’t think I want to be THAT close – and two: I don’t need to be breathing in the chemicals!

  2. treadlemusic June 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Very unsettling if it is swooping over the highway as you drive by!!!!! They are ‘cool’ though!!!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell June 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

      OH, I love when they pass in front of my car!!! 🙂 They are so skilled – it’s amazing.

      • treadlemusic June 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

        Ah! Rural thrills!!! Better than an amusement park!! AND the price is right!!!!! LOL!

  3. Jenny June 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    I would be out there watching too! I’ve seen helicopters crop dusting also. Seems you could be a bit more precise with one of those! I love that the whole family gets into it!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell June 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

      You would like the noise of it, for sure! 🙂 We may be seeing a lot more of it this year, as the fields are too wet for regular spraying – the vehicles are getting stuck in the mud!

  4. whatimeant2say June 25, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    I love watching them too! Great pics!

  5. Hotly Spiced June 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    You should come to Sydney. Plenty of planes flying overhead here xx

  6. Gwen June 26, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    Great photos and funny coincidence. We had a crop duster (or some kind of duster) buzzing around our neighborhood this week, too.

  7. June 26, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    We love watching those crop dusters, too! I am amazed at how close they come to the ground. They were spraying in the field in view of my window, where I sit and type. This year they planted some type of wheat grass. They rotate the field each year for cotton, soy beans (?), and grass. In our area, “everyone” has some type of allergy to the defoliates. We always have to run for cover when they spray, but I still like to watch from inside.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell June 26, 2013 at 10:13 am #

      Yeah, I probably should have been inside – and when I could smell the chemicals then I did go in! I never am able to see them actually over the field because we have a lot of trees – but it’s amazing to see him go down so low over the trees and then pop back up. So skilled. I’d like to be able to sit indoors and watch, too!

  8. gardenfreshtomatoes June 27, 2013 at 6:00 am #

    great photos! We live a mile from a tiny airstrip, so planes overhead are not unusual…My grandson yells, “It’s a PLANE! RUN!” every time he hears them 🙂

    • Gretchen O'Donnell June 27, 2013 at 8:29 am #

      Sweet! My dad was like that as a small boy – and he became a pilot!

  9. soshemarriedafarmer June 27, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    I love watching crop dusters, too! I think we will see a ton of them this year as it is too wet in so many spots for farmers to drive through. Planes don’t get stuck!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell June 27, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

      That’s what I was figuring, too. I expect to see you blog about this, too!

      • soshemarriedafarmer June 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

        I guess I could blog about this, but I don’t know a whole lot about it. My father-in-law does ALL the spraying. We think he finds it therapeutic! The only type of spraying that he doesn’t do, I guess, is for soybean aphids. Those are way later in the season and only if the weather is conducive to huge aphid populations. The beans are then too tall to drive through and thus the need for crop dusters. Okay, this comment is so stinkin’ long I guess I could blog about it!

  10. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen June 29, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    I love that this is a fond childhood memory.. along with your tide pools and forts, yours was a childhood of adventure! It seems he flew close to give you a good show too! xx

    • Gretchen O'Donnell June 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      Whether he did it for us or not I can’t say, but it was very fun – he was directly overhead – so fun!

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