somewhere in the valley it must have reached 100 degrees fahrenheit, as it is 9.00 p.m. and still 87 degrees, according to google.
i waited until late to take my walk up past the cemetery, and i am glad i did, because as i walked back to town the sun was just starting down over wallula gap, the entrance to the columbia gorge, some 45 miles or so from here as the crow flies, to the northwest. to the west as well, but to the south of the sun, the half moon was further above the horizon, the illuminated half facing the setting sun. it is dusk now, about 9.03 p.m, and the moon will be setting within 30 to 40 minutes, i should guess.
coming down off the hill and over the bridge at 9th street, the swallows were working the bugs in the trees along along the river, and the quail were out in force below the cut in the road were the raspberry and black berry bushes do their best to survive the best efforts of the guy who has the spray contract for umatilla county. (oregon.)
my lilies have given it up for the year, but the two wild rose bushes are in full blown, as it another small flowering tree just behind the window to the porch where i type this.
and, the wheat harvest has started, finally. most years it would be nearly over, but this year we had a protracted wheat spring, and a lot of early summer showers that kept the wheat berries from drying down to the low moisture content that makes them safe to be stored in grain elevators, and which makes them suitable for milling.
i love wheat harvest.
update: a link to another blog's post on the wheat harvest. as it turns out, the linked article contains photos of the same field depicted in my article, which i took on my handy dandy nikon snapper. and, the photo of the cat rubber tracked crawler pulling the bunk wagon is the same phot as appears in my post. http://master-link.newsvine.com/_news/2012/09/22/14039427-what-i-did-this-summer?last=1348367509&threadId=3572732&sp=0&pc=25 . but, i did not take the photo of the moon over the blue mountain foothills, taken from the east side of the milton cemetery, if i am not mistaken. it is gorgeous. and, oh, the little tin shed photo in my post. well, in the linked post, that same shed appears, taken from the other side of the shed down the road. you'll recognize it. laughing.
and, yes. it is just that beautiful. and, yes, it is just as hot and dusty as you might imagine there. end update.
caption: the header is only partly full, ... , the fellow driving the bulk trailer to load the semi's said it was for "... the gps..." in order to "...square the field..." to more accurately calculate yields, and to record where the seed drills and fertilizers plant & fertilize more heavily. it's all controlled by gps now.
i will try to get up early in the morning to get some pictures of the harvesters working the fields. it's pretty neat, the big combines moving along at a "very fast walk," followed by big tractors pulling big dump bins for later transfer to the various trucks carrying the wheat to storage. the big semi rigs carry the wheat down to the rivers to the big elevators for barge transport to portland, oregon and then to transfer to the big boats & ocean transport to the far east. the immediate storage elevators are near the mouth of the snake at the confluence with the columbia, or to the huge bins on the columbia, just downstream from the tri-cities, washington.
caption: wheat field, a couple swaths taken from it, looking towards wallula
pea harvest starts the summer, then cherries, then wheat, and not too long from now the apples will start coming off. then in the early fall, corn to the first killing frost, and sugar beets & carrots and the like sometimes until the ground is nearly frozen.
caption: the bounty of n.e. oregon wheat production, being off loaded from the combine into a trailer which will transfer the wheat to waiting trucks for shipment. it is a lot easier to get the cat tractor and trailer around the field w/ those tracks and big tires, than to drive a semi around over the stubble on highway tires, ... , that stubble is slick.
that's a couple loaves of bread. or noodles. trust me.
this is a lovely time of year, not so nice as the spring around easter, but still a wonderful time to share with you schlubs the bounty of our enterprise. and, in the fall through the first of the year, it will be pheasant, turkey and duck season, along with the big game seasons through october to the new year.
i'll take my little river valley. you can have the rest. the nice part of it is, i can go see the rest of the world at my leisure, ... , while, this little place is as secure as the best kept secret from the rest of you.
if you read this, you won't remember it long. laughing.
john jay @ 07.25.2012, milton freewater, oregon usa
p.s. moose in the neighbor's front yard, deer on the river, turkey in the field north of the cemetery, and wolves & cougars a constant nuisance just on the river, coming down out of the mountains down birch creek. last summer, a couple confirmed cougar sightings just off the campus of the walla walla high school, home of "the blue devils." my old high school, dr. john d. mcloughlin union high school, home of "the fighting pioneers." walla walla is 150 years old this year, milton freewater not too far behind.
does the word bucolic mean anything to you? pastoral? picturesque? beautiful? sinecure? laughing.
caption: sunrise over the blue mountains. a very nice mourning. some of the wheat was cut the previous day, and the field is covered in stubble in the foreground, and some of it has already been disked. these photos taken off the road bordering the dennis rhea ranch, lying just east of milton freewater, oregon.
caption: in the foreground, a wheel line of sprinklers moved out of the way of the threshing combine. in the background, a plume of wheat dust from a combine working another field on the rhea ranch. and, if you click the picture you can a waiting semi truck and trailer in the distance, waiting to load to haul the wheat to market. in the distance, the rolling hills of the walla walla valley foothills, and a patch work of golden and green fields, ... , some wheat, and some beans and the like.
walla walla, washington in the distance.
pretty, isn't it.