September 2007 Archives

Corn is Scary

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Went for a bike ride with my 7-year old daughter, Alma, to the Minimum Maintence Road-- Travel at Your Own Risk- about 1.5 miles from our house on the prairie. We were riding up this dirt trail when she yelled to "STOP" and got off her bike and said "mom-- we're going into that corn." We're surrounded by corn on all sides-- it is high enough over our heads that we can't see over it to where it ends.

**Aside** This is something I would never have thought to do. This, frankly, is the adventure in having kids-- they come up with great ideas I would not have on my own.

So- what the heck- we start walking through the corn-- against the rows. We are parting the rows of corn and stomping through. It is a beautiful blisteringly bright afternoon on the now crispy drying prairie (I use the word prairie liberally because it is really mostly corn and soybeans). I realize that I am JUMPY and AFRAID. Can I impress upon you that there are NO PEOPLE HERE? The entire county has 5,000 people and most of them are in the small towns and Ortonville. But I think-- if I were homeless or a criminal no one would find me in this corn. You can see about 3 feet in front and behind you and about 10 feet down each row. The world is very small in the middle of a corn field. When our dog-- Happy-- comes bursting through the corn I literally JUMP. This happens a few times. [disclaimer-- I had had a diet coke and a few espressos recently]

I realize that there are all these scary movie images of corn fields. Remember Signs?-- good movie recommend it. There is something inherently spooky about being enclosed in corn where you could be (and probably are) only a few feet from terrible danger and fright yet only suspect it!

We keep moving through the field of corn-- I figure if we keep cutting perpendicular to the corn rows we have to come out the other side-- right? Well we do come bursting out of the corn and right onto the edge of a praire wetland complex. Boom-- right there wild roses and rose hips, prairie grasses, rushes around the water. Dang-- again I'm just so grateful to be here. So grateful to have a kid who makes the sidetrip the main purpose of the journey.

Mike, my husband, says "hold that feeling through November."

Yesterday morning

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photo credit Jim Ginsdorf

September 11, 2007

Yesterday morning I was completely and utterly awestruck by this place. I put my kids on the bus at 7:25 am and went for a morning run to a prairie pond sanctuary. Who knew that egrets flocked-- I'd only ever seen them as solitary birds standing alone. As I stood in that naturally holy place, pelicans flew in overhead from six different directions in the sky and merged into a flock above my head. They are such massive and primitive looking creatures. They don't make any noises -- but the sounds of their wings flying low in the sky over my head was the whoosh of a whispering jet.

They fly in a wave formation-- it appears to go from front to back. The first one flaps its wings, the next one and on down the line to the last. While the first one glides and then they all glide down the line. Over and over. A rythem-- like a wave demonstration in physics class.

I could have fallen to my knees in awe in the pink morning light.

Greetings from Big Stone County

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Well... We find ourselves living on the prairie. Alma in school and the boys in pre-school at Clinton-Beardsley-Graceville Elementary. Hope to learn to use this blog and start describing my adventures. I am having new experiences and insights every single day and I feel compelled to share them.

Wish me luck in learning to use this tool. The pictures are amazing and that is part of what I hope to share.

Kathy