What You Will Not Find Here

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 30 Outdoors: Edge of Cornfield

Wednesday, October 3, 1:30-2:40 p.m.

Field corn harvest has begun around the township, but many fields still hold standing corn, since the drier it is when harvested, the less energy will be required to dry it later. It’s a lovely sight, these tall plants of domestic gargantuan grass with giant, graceful leaves that turn from deep green to bright gold and then gradually become more and more pale as their moisture evaporates in autumn wind and sun. This field is bordered on the south and west by woods, on the east by newly tilled ground, and it faces cherry orchard rows to the south across the road. On a clear, blue-sky day with no farm machinery at work in the fields nearby and no RVs interrupting the stillness, a day with the barest breeze stirring the paper-dry leaves, the cornfield is a peaceful place. A few flies, a distant crow....

Many ears of corn along the outer edges of the field are missing kernels. The work of deer? Raccoons? Crows? Bright yellow kernels contrast sharply with their dark, dry red cradle, colorful botanical teeth in a richly painted but dessicated jaw.

Two uprooted stalks lie akimbo in the dust of the road, golden teeth spilled onto dirt. How long will it take for scavengers to find and devour these easy pickings?


Dawn said...

I've always loved corn fields. When I was little I used to play on the fringes of the fields surrounding my grandma's farm...and on occasion when I was brave I'd walk down a row deep into the field...but not for long..something always spooked me back out into the light. Even now as an adult I have these brief urges to run down a row of corn.

P. J. Grath said...

That first (messy) sketch was looking down a row, Dawn. Could you tell? I grew up across the road from a farm operated on a simple corn-soybean rotation plan. When I looked from our front porch to sunset, it was over that cornfield--or bean field, in alternate years--and to me that symbolized the West! I wanted to ride my horse (the one I didn't have) into that sunset! So there is romance in cornfields for me. That childhood cornfield in Illinois was a small one, as are most in northern Michigan. Bordered by trees, sometimes even woods, the scale of the fields is not overwhelming but just another part of the landscape, and the plants themselves are graceful and lovely to eye, nose, and ear.