By Bill Anderson
The Great Smokey Mountains of Virginia and the Carolinas had nothing on The Great Smokey Prairies of North Dakota last week. Smoke drifting in from forest fires in northern Canada covered the prairies in a gray haze that burned the eyes and caused problems for anyone with a respiratory condition. The smoke was thick enough that the Coteau des Prairies hills south of town were not visible from Rutland for most of the day. The Canadian smoke had cleared some by Saturday, and Sunday’s thunderstorms washed some of the smoke out of the air, at least for a while. In a reversal of normal results, Roger Pearson’s rain gauge showed 1.2 inches of precipitation as of 8:30 on Sunday morning, while the gauge of his next-door neighbor, Norbert Kulzer, registered only 1.1 inch. Randy Pearson reported that the gauge in his Shuman Township farmyard showed 1.85 inch at about the same time, and Ted Lee stated that Mother Nature came up short in his neighborhood, leaving only .45 of an inch of rain at his Tewaukon Township farm home. Harvey Bergstrom and Kurt Breker reported .7 of an inch south of Cayuga, while Doug Spieker reported that his rain gauge captured .9 of an inch, and Jim Lunneborg said that 1.5 inch was recorded at his farm south of Buffalo Lake. By Monday morning the consensus of The Assembled Wise Men was that the soybean crop in the Rutland area now has enough moisture to take it to harvest, and that may be true for corn, too.
Harvey Bergstrom walked out into one of his corn fields while on his way to town on the morning of Saturday, August 18, randomly selected an ear of corn and pulled it off the stalk. He then brought that cob of corn with him to The Lariat for examination and inspection by The Assembled Wise Men. Once husked, it was revealed that the large cob was filled with kernels from end to end, and that the kernels were beginning to dent. Harvey is a virtuoso on the accordion and concertina, and his corn grows up listening to a 4:4 polka beat. Happy corn is productive corn, and there’s nothing happier than a good, old-fashioned polka, the kind Harvey plays at Uff-Da Day each year. After all, corn has ears, big ears this year, so it might as well listen to something good. Anyone who wants to know what makes Harvey go, and his corn grow, should be at Uff-Da Day in Rutland on Sunday, October 7, to hear Harvey’s happy music.
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