View from the top of a grain trailer at dusk.

A Change of Scenery


The last two years at harvest time, we’ve made an arrangement with one of our neighbors, & have thrown in with him to get both of our crops cut quicker & easier.  Plus, it’s more fun for him and for us to have extra people around.  Farmer Farver, Uncle Gerry & I get tired of looking at each other. And our neighbor gets tired of working by himself– he’s usually a one man show.

It’s the kind of thing we do in rural America.  Not uncommon at all.  But one of the things that makes small farming communities the heart & soul of our Country.  We come together– for work, for play & in sorrow.  But that’s another post….

Sometime during the last few weeks — I lose track with all the rain delays — we were cutting our neighbor’s crop & hauling it back to dump at a bin site in their yard.  Grain bin site in a farm yard in Montana.

And yes,… lots of farm yards have rows of grain bins lined up in their yards.  In fact, lots of farm yards have a whole array of lawn ornaments you won’t find in town.  But that’s another post too….

My job for the day was dumping the grain from the truck to the bin after the grain cart driver (Prairie Boy!) brought the cut grain from the field and unloaded it into the truck.  There’s some downtime in this process, after the truck is unloaded, before the grain cart comes back again, so I had a few minutes to enjoy the new scenery & snap some pictures.

Anytime you have more than a few trees in one place on the Prairie, it’s picture-worthy.

Grove of trees on a Montana farm.

This day though, was one of those quintessential late fall days when the temperature was perfect and the air was clear & crisp.  The sun was warm & lazy, giving off a glow that made everything I looked at appear like a picture out of a National Geographic magazine.

I walked around just a little, and found an old ladder, propped against the side of a tree.
Old wood ladder propped against the side of a tree.

I could imagine a hundred days, just like this one, when a farm kid hiding from the days chores climbed up in that tree & laid on a branch, looking at the sky…making out the imaginary shapes of white fluffy clouds as they floated by.

Or maybe, the ladder was an entrance to a secret kindgom.  The Narnia’s wardrobe of farm yards.  A place where time stood still.  Where it remains….still.
Old wood ladder in a Montana farm yard.

A 90 degree turn put me at the end of a row of historic, homestead era farm equipment, used now as a frame & guardian boundary to the farm yard.
Old wagon wheel in a tree row on a farm on the Montana prairie.
I didn’t take the time to walk clear to the end of the row. The truck was getting close to being empty. And somehow, I wanted to savor the discovery…. waiting until the next time we worked at this bin site to uncover the waiting treasure.

The changing pitch of the auger motor let me know it was time to get back to work.  I climed up the end of the truck to check the grain level, and even the golden wheat against the shiny silver of the truck hopper, set off by the early evening sun, begged for my camera’s attention.

Wheat in a grain truck on a Montana farm.

I paused for just one more picture though before I climbed down to turn off the equipment & drink in the stillness of the now cool evening.  Sunset behind a row of trees on a Montana farm yard.

Thirty minutes later after helping move vehicles & tuck the operation in for the night, I drove home slowly in the last light of the day, window open, letting the breeze drift across my face & through the cab of the pickup.

The headlights were dimmed by the grain dust hanging in the air. But beyond, I could see pinpoints of light– other farmers still in the field, working until their machines couldn’t efficiently chew the kernels out of their cocoon in the head of the wheat stalks. The stars were starting to peek out of the inky dark above my head, & the moon was already casting its half moon glow across the horizon.

It was quiet. It was one of those moments of realization & gratitude that makes the heart skip a beat and the eyes tear up. And it was good.

Sometimes, just a small change of scenery is all it takes to help us see & feel the beauty in the mundane-ness of the every day. This week I’m challenging you to find your change of scenery and your place of gratitude. Then come back & share your inspiration with all of us!

If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for updates from the Farm so you don’t miss any of the craziness that goes on around here. And if you enjoy what you’re reading, we’d sure appreciate having you pass it along to a friend.

I’ll see you soon on the farm! -Shauna

4 Responses to "A Change of Scenery"
  1. Well written Shauna this brings back memories and smells and the taste of dust from my Uncles farms in Alberta where I used to go to help at Haying and Harvest. Amazing! Thankyou.

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