Sunday, July 26, 2009

Photo of the Week - The County Fair

Went out last evening to see what photographic opportunities the Platte County Fair might bring. It is a typical rural county fair. A small midway, lots of festival food (let's hear it for funnel cakes!). The one young lady wasn't so sure that they were having a good time... The big event going on last night was the tractor pull. If you don't know what a tractor pull is, well, I don't think I can explain it to you. Think smoke, noise, dirt, drag racing with tractors. It was so crowded that I couldn't get a shot of anything.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Photo of the Week - KC River Market Photo Walk

Debbie and I participated in Scott Kelby's World Wide Photowalk '09. One of the local walks in Kansas City was in the River Market area. The River Market is a shopping and entertainment district on the north end of downtown KC,MO. It is the area where the original city was settled, just above the Missouri River. Much of the shopping is a farmers market and ethnic foods market. The three photos are just a few of what I'm posting on my gallery. I highly encourage you to look at the other photos in the gallery this week.

This motorcycle is a Ducati. It was parked outside of one of the office buildings on Delaware Street.
The vegetables in the market building offered great opportunities for color and texture

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Harvest - Epilogue

A little closing information on the wheat harvest pictures that were posted earlier.

The field being harvested yielded 57.7 bushels/acre, which is a great result for this field. Average test weight was just slightly under 60 lbs/bu, average moisture 12.4, and average protein 10.4. The test weight and moisture are right on hard red winter wheat. The protein is a little low, but to be expected with the high yield.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Harvest - Day 4

The last task at the farm of turning seed into grain is moving the harvest to town. It is from here that, combined with the yields of numerous other farms, the grain moves to the miller domestically or overseas.

Here is the wheat coming from the combine harvester in the field to the trucks. This year the fields are soft and trucks can get stuck. This wagon can carry enough grain to nearly fill both trucks at once. With one driver on the wagon and one shuttling trucks to town the crew can keep up with the combine better than two truck drivers without a wagon.
Here is Travis, driving to town to deliver grain. Travis is a seminary student in Denver. He comes out to work on the ranch during his breaks from school. He is a college friend of several family members.
Here is a truckload of grain being unloaded at the grain elevator. At this point the grain is delivered. The farmer's bookkeeping with the grain dealer is all in terms of the delivered amount and quality. This truckload was about 480 bushels / 28,800 lbs of grain

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Harvest - Day 3

Day three woke up gray and humid. When the humidity is high, you can't harvest the wheat because it raises the moisture of the grain, and the threshing is much more difficult. The humidity and the clouds kept harvest shut down for the day

Vacation Photos - Day Six

Friday dawned with a thick fog. The evening cleared and I headed west to the upper end of Enders Reservoir for a vantage point. There are a series of bluffs along the south side of the lake valley. This photo is from that vantage looking across the sunset towards the hills southwest.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vacation Photos - Day Five Evening

Thursday dawned cloudy, and then cleared for about an hour while we were shooting early. Then it clouded up again and stayed that way until mid-afternoon. The first two images are the clouds associated with the front as it moved out

The cloud bank stayed on the southern horizon all day. It spun off the feathery mare's tails all evening. These clouds gave us the great sunset this evening!

Harvest - Day 2

Thursday started off cloudy, but it soon warmed up with a breeze. It was cloudy at Enders until mid-afternoon (and it was sunny at Imperial eight miles away!) It appears that the front was setting right over us (see the next entry).

With the early moisture and higher humidity the crew didn't get started until late morning. But they cut all day until sundown with a crew of three: Joel in the combine, Rebecca running the grain cart and Travis driving the trucks to town.

Here is Joel at the controls of the combine. It is a complex machine, and has devices that measure the quantity and quality of the grain as it is harvested.
Here is the view of the wheat field from the cab of the combine. This field has soil conservation earthworks call terraces. The top of one is the ridge at the right of the image. The tractor and grain cart are sitting behind the terrace. You can see the farmstead in the background of the photo.
The grain cart is used to transfer the harvested grain to the trucks at the edge of the field. Trucks can be used out in the fields, but this year things are soft underfoot due to all the spring rains. So they use the cart and keep the trucks on the roads at the edge of the fields.
This is an image of the cut stubble in the sinking light near the end of the day. I enjoyed the pattern of the tracks and how they swept towards the village.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Vacation Photos - Day Five

Thursday morning dawned cloudy as my brother Roy and niece Nora and I headed out to the pastures. After a few minutes the sun broke and we had beautiful light on the hills and the cattle.

The calves are four to five months old. This fellow was enjoying life, running and jumping through the grass.

We watched a large group of the cows and calves at the water tank. This pair were curious about who are those people up on the hill.

This image provides an overview of the country. The windmill pumps water for the cattle. You can see the rolling sandhills on this part of the ranch.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Harvest Has Started!

At 7:40 PM Wednesday evening wheat harvest began on Grosbach Farms. Joel and Travis arrived with the combine early this evening and after a few adjustments cut a few acres to test the quality and the readiness of the wheat. Things look good. If the weather holds warm and dry they will be harvesting at full speed tomorrow.

Here is the combine making the first pass through the field

Here is the first grain being unloaded from the combine for delivery to town.

Vacation Photos - Day Four

My niece Nora and I went out early on Wednesday morning. We traveled north to visit another valley and the northern part of our family farm.

This image is of the end water cannon on what is called an Irrigator. An irrigator is a system of a 1/4 mile of water pipe on wheels fed by a well. I like the juxtaposition of the modern water technology and the old windmill in the background.

This image I call "The Old Corner". The corner post of a pasture fence is usually larger and more heavily reinforced than the rest of the posts. This one has been doing its job for many seasons.

Vacation Photos - Day Three

I went south to high points on Frenchman Creek for the sunrise.

This is the Frenchman Valley looking southeast across the rising sun. This area is considered semi-arid. The rain fall averages 15 to 18 inches per year. They have seen record amounts of rain this spring. The hills are greener at this point in July than some residents can ever remember.

After leaving the hilltop I was driving one of the canyon roads scouting photo sites for later in the week. I encountered a flock of wild turkeys. This photo has an adult female at the center. If you look at the lower right you will see three of an uncountable number of poults that were moving with the group.

The evening was overcast directly overhead, but it was clear to both the north and the south. This image of a thunderhead is from an access road south of the lake looking north towards Enders. The storm clouds were over 60 miles away. To the south we could see the tops of thunderheads at a distance approaching 130 miles away. This is truly big sky country.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Vacation Photos - Day Two

We were up early this morning to see the sunrise on the valley. The wheat harvest is close but not quite ready. The weather has been pleasant, but it is going to turn hot. This is something the crop needs to finally ripen.

This photo is taken from 1/2 mile south of our family farmstead (the trees and buildings on the horizon. The day dawned clear and cool.

Vacation Photos - Day One

Following Cat and Darren's wedding party Debbie and I hit the road to southwestern Nebraska. We are here to visit with my Mom who celebrates here 76th birthday this week.

This first image was taken just after we arrived Sunday evening. The skies were overcast from thunderstorms to the west. As the sun set it came out under the slate colored clouds to paint everything in a glorious light.

This is a new technique that I am trying. It is several underexposed images stacked together in Photoshop to heighten the color and reduce the noise from one high ISO image.

Congratulations Cat and Darren

Cat and Darren held a very special event yesterday at Lake Shawnee in Topeka, KS. They celebrated their life together by recommitting their vows and celebrating with their friends. The images are still in the camera, but will start popping up soon!

(More to Come!)