Wednesday, November 3, 2010

'Tis the Season

Williams Wharf Road, Soybean Field

Many of the county's soybean fields have been harvested, but this one down Williams Wharf Road was patiently awaiting its turn last week. No doubt a combine will be working this field soon, if one hasn't already.


Same field closer up

Last Friday night on my way home from Gloucester (for the fourth time that day but who's counting other than  CBW my poor Saturn and my last two functioning nerve and brain cells), I was nearly forced off the road to allow an approaching combine to pass.  

Mathews has some unique driving hazards including: fiddler crabs  the roadside crew working on The New Sewer Line; commercial watermen's trucks laden with crab pots; sport fishermen hauling over sized boats; the average citizen hauling brush or trash to the dump (with stuff flying out all over the place); and farm equipment, including tractors and combines.

With the possible exception of the average citizen hauling trash, most of these can also be found in our annual Christmas parade. (A representative from the crew working on the sewer line should be Grand Marshal.  They're practically family now, they've been here so long.)

This year's parade, on December 11, will be during the day rather than at night. I always loved that evening Christmas parade and am sorry to hear it's changing. There was something magical about all those lights.

Regardless, I look forward to seeing the boats, tractors, trucks and sewer line crew combines all dolled up.

Until then, and as long as the soybeans are being harvested, we can expect to see the combines in our daily travels.

In case one of you two reading has never been run off the road by seen a combine, here's what Wikipedia has to say about them:

Among the crops harvested with a combine are wheat, oats, rye, barley, corn, soybeans, and flax. The waste left behind on the field is the remaining dried stems and leaves of the crop with limited nutrients which is either chopped and spread on the field or baled for feed and bedding for livestock



This Wikipedia photo is of a small combine.  We grow 'em much bigger around here--they easily take up 1.75 lanes of road on Routes 14 or 198.  On the unmarked side roads, they span from sea to shining sea ditch to ditch. (Imagine that small combine above on the road in the first photo, to illustrate whatever point I'm trying to make.)

Have you ever been on a combine?

I haven't but have always wanted to operate heavy equipment of all sorts.  Must be some deep-rooted desire to knock people off the road to be in control.  

16 comments:

Ann Marie said...

no but I remember the old dude from here that feel in one and died when I was little.. what a mess.

hersing- No one wants to hear hersing at OF so I am not coming...

Re

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

My friend, I have DRIVEN a combine! We had this big, bad-ass red Massey-Ferguson on the farm. It had a climate-controlled cab with a radio (not that you could hear it when the thing was running). My dad was so proud of it... I have photos somewhere, need to find 'em!

My grandma pronounced it "CUM-bine".

Curt and I were wondering when they were gonna harvest all those soybeans down your way - they all looked ready!

Deltaville Jamie said...

Never been on a combine but been stuck behind a few. Also thinking I'd like to see the Christmas parade (since I'll miss OF).

Mental P Mama said...

I think we should spend more time analyzing your desire to drive heavy equipment....

Kay L. Davies said...

It sounds like you're living in the perfect area, where everyone seems to know 'most everyone else, so just go ask "May I please drive your combine?" and see what happens.
Then ask the sewer guys if you can drive their equipment. You said they're practically family.
Go for it.
Otherwise you'll wake up one morning and realize it's too late because your eyesight or your sense of balance or your depth perception or something is all wonky.
-- Kay

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Daryl said...

I know that road, those soybeans ... and no I have never been on or operated any heavy equipment ...

WV scrop .. the combines are about to scrop that field

Anonymous said...

Daggone combines. They paint 'em green so they sneak up on you. Got to always be on the lookout. Probaly cutting our TWENTY Dollar parking spaces at OF while we speak. Deep-fried beer, yum!

Bayman

deborah said...

Too many hills here for combines! A regular tractor can and will run you off the road.
Dreaded words - 'Tis the Season. Only about a million ads starting now.

judi said...

I've been near a combine, they wouldn't let me drive it, mumblings of driving records and insurance costs floated about.

I have a potential entry in you Evening Christmas Parade come see at my bog, light those burn barrels!

Anonymous said...

Guys, I think it's columbine. And they were fearsome creatures to me as a child. CBMother

foolery said...

We have swathers around here, which I have ridden in may a time as a child. Not as cool as combines but they take up about the same road space, AARRGGHH.

And why on earth do y'all have a STREET parade when you could have a BOAT PARADE? Put lights all over the boats and parade up and down the creeks like they do in Marina Del Rey every New Years:

http://www.mdrboatparade.org/history.htm

You'd get tourists for miles around, if you want 'em. I'll buy tickets.

Anonymous said...

Are you baiting me to comment? :)

Sorry I've been so busy and not taking time to comment. I'm still reading often and still very much enjoying your witty words!

Yes I've ridden in a combine. We had two. (not everyone has a spare combine lying around) I've even driven one for a very short minute. Crawled inside one many times to help repair it, when the straw chopper wasn't functioning correctly.

I love the combine in the Christmas parade!

AMN

Anonymous said...

PS

My mother once put out a fire on the combine with a huge container of baking soda that she kept in the kitchen for smothering grease fires. By the time the fire department arrived, she'd already gotten it under control.

chaff+grease=danger.

Diane said...

I got a close look at those fields when I drove down with Ms. Daisy (Meg) and the Baroness. I wondered what the soybeans looked like now!

I've seen your fiddler crabs and I'm very impressed. In fact, they may play a role in my post tomorrow.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

AM-Unfortunately, that would indeed be quite the mess. Speaking of OF, if it rains, I might be hersing...like a sailor.

Meg-I want your autograph. Super, super jealous over here. (That cum-bine pronunciation must be related to dun-key for donkey or bumb instead of bomb. My grandmother said those...along with boosh for bush and poosh for push.)

Jamie-Come on down for the parade.

MPM-That quiz on your post on Monday said you should have been a therapist...and I agree except we don't really need to overanalyze this heavy equipment thing...really.

Kay - Great idea about asking the sewer guys...I"d be too afraid the combine driver might not see me coming and, well, as Ann Marie has explained, there really would be quite the mess. But the sewer guys just might be game enough...

Daryl-You operating heavy machinery would be quite the photo scrop, I mean photo op.

Bayman-You probably spend that same twenty dollars every morning at 7-11, so just avoid a trip that day and you'll be even. Or I'll pay, how about that?

Deborah-One of these days I'm getting in the car and heading west to see this place where you live. Wish I could have seen it Halloween night with all those decorations in the yard.

Judi-I'm coming right on over for a visit.

CB Mother - You are afraid of combines but not of killer geese? Go figure...

foolery-EXCELLENT question about the boat parade. Surrounding counties have them. I think there are some kayakers that go caroling up and down one of the creeks, but a boat parade would be incredibly successful here. Maybe I'll throw the first one here on Queens Creek. Stay tuned.

AMN-YES!! It's good to hear from you, didn't think you were reading. I can't talk about combines without thinking about your place. What a resourceful mother to have the baking soda so handy. I'll never forget the story you told about her coming out in the middle of the night smelling of hair spray...to herd the escaped cows back into the fence. You really have some good family stories. It's great to hear from you.

Diane-Looking forward to your post. If you need photos of fiddler crabs, you know who to ask.

TSannie said...

Hey baby, I'm from Missourahhh and went to college at KU in the great state of Kansas. Combines...I know about combines!