and suddenly it’s fall.
the dust from the combines cutting their way through the corn fields is so thick on the rural roads, it’s like fog. it smells of dried grass, starch, and autumn. the valleys are heavy with the corn dust, with the lights of the giant tractors blinking in the dark like UFOs. the time is ripe for harvesting, and farmers make the most of the time, hauling corn from the fields into the early hours of the mornings.
because the first hard frost came late (last night), the leaves are browner than normal, even though the conditions throughout the summer were perfect for a spectacular fall foliage showing (lots of rain). spots of yellow, orange, and red poke through the drabness here and there, and they help shout out the season.
the roadside stands boasting pumpkins for $3 are picked over, the only pumpkins left being the oddly shaped and not-quite orange. gardens are cleared out of usable vegetables, with the only exceptions being hardy veggies like broccoli, brussels sprouts, leeks, onions, carrots, and the like. the defeated tomatoes that were so boastful during july and august are now nothing but darkened, wasted stalks with any leftover fruits littering the ground: squashed, deflated, wrinkled, and decaying.
the summer’s been well for hay, and the corn stalks have been rolled into bales. the entire growing season has been great: seeds went in early, the rain was relatively steady, and september was warm into october. the minnesota harvest is set to be a record-breaking one.
ready for winter.