Three jakes on a late afternoon walking through the upper field looking for seeds and bugs for a final meal before flying up to roost for the night. Whitetails grazing in a new cut field. Song birds foraging the tall wetland grasses.
Hay. Hay. And more hay. It's everywhere as the first cut starts to wind down. The fields have various looks. Tractors of all sizes and colors (colors are distinct to each make ... ie. John Deere green, New Holland blue, Farmall red, Cub Cadet yellow, etc.), while cutting decks, balers and hay wagons adorn the fields ( a traffic jam up here is getting stuck behind a tractor pulling a load of hay). Some fields are complete, the hay is fully harvested and they are greening up in preparation for the next cutting that will commence sometime at the middle to end of August. Some sit with equipment still in them as the work continues. Some fields are in windrows so the breezes of summer can age and dry the cuttings before baling. Some are dotted with bales in cubes, but mostly baled in wheels, either way a beautiful sight. The wagons are like huge children's wagons, pulled mostly by tractor, some by pick-up. And the barns are bursting out with hay bales filled to the rafters.
Corn. More precisely ..... corn fields. Despite the late planting due to the continuosly heavy spring rains, the fields are coming into their own. Some stalks approaching 4' in height with cobs starting to show. The precision of the rows allows for large equipment to service the fields (sprayings and fertilizing) without damaging the crops. More eye candy for me as I drive the country roads.
Pastures. Large grassly expanses with herds of beef cattle or dairy cows lazily grazing most of the day. The pastures are always fenced, mostly with barbed wire but some with the new low voltage electric fence. The look of old rusted barbed wire is my preference, but the shiny new top wire for the electric fence is certainly not intrusive to the view. Somewhere in the pasture, usually near the farmhouse, lies the barn and the silos. Some new, some old. Some freshly painted, most weathered.
Livestock. Cows and cattle predominate the region. But there are numerous and sometimes unique other species. Horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. All sizes and shapes from burly plow horses and mules to trim riding steeds. The local Amish are expert are trading and caring for horses. They also produce some fine handcrafted leather for working and riding. Goats, sheep, pigs, lamas and even elk! are raised in the surrounding areas. Chickens, ducks, domestic "heritage" turkey and geese are also farmed for meat and eggs. Dogs and cats roam the properties patrolling the grounds for mice and other vermin.
Wildlife. Most importantly eastern wild turkey and whitetail deer. Both of whom we hope will grace our dinner plates. Woodchucks, bobcats, fishers, porcupines, black bears, squirrels, coyotes, rabbits, field mice, pheasants, quail, grouse, song birds, chipmonks, weasels, honey bees, frogs, snakes and on and on. And oh yeah bugs, especially those annoying flies and mosquitoes.
Signs. Unique signs. I've already written about the sign at the Herkimer Fair Grounds stating "No weapons past this point". Official and unofficial signs. The unofficial ones are basically people expressing their feelings about things. A large conspicuous homemade billboard on a local farm warning "An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject". Being a believer in the SECOND AMENDENT, you know I love that one. Seen painted on the tailgate of a Ford F-150 "If Chevy is the heartbeat of America we'd all be dead". Now thats funny, owning an F-150 myself, I love that one too. Our favorite breakfast eatery is filled with whimsical country sayings. I particularly like "I was so far behind I thought I was first". It's refreshing up here in the country, no political correctness, just honest opinions. People speak whats in their hearts and minds. You may not agree with it or even like it, but you know where they stand.
A tom booming a gobble to attract a hen. A tom booming a gobble to ward off a rival. A tom booming a gobble responding to you call. Breath taking when you're in the woods.
Cows mooing in the evening. So loud you'd think they were right next door, oh yeah, they are!!!
The sound of wind and feathers as a bird hovers around your blind.
A deer that startles the hell out of you as it sneaks in from behind. The crunching of underbrush and a snort, or was it a sneeze, less than 10' to your back. Magical.
A grouse drumming in the hard woods.
Songbirds singing in the meadows.
Fields and forests awakening at dawn.
eese squaking at dusk.
Farms coming alive in the morning. Roosters crowing. Diesel tractors rumbling. Machinery clinking and clanking.
The radio playing Bug Country.
The crack of a rifle or the boom of a shotgun.
Thunder rolling through the valley. Rain keeping rhythm on the roof. Water in the creek gurgling over the rocks.
The blare of the radio alert signal, followed by the National Weather Service warning all to take measures for severe thunderstorms and "quarter-sized" hail. Or that a cyclone is imminent. Or that dangerous flooding is rising.
The sound of our own voices as we build a jigsaw puzzle on the dinner table.
The quiet. The utter lack of any human sound as darkness sets in. The crickets chirping, the bull frogs bellowing, a barn owl hooting. Incredibly soothing, complete relaxation, a feeling of balance and harmony. Can this be the voice of God? After all we're up in God's country.