Saturday, November 9, 2013


We’ve already had a taste of snow and plenty of dreary overcast days to warn us to put on the winter tires and make sure the snow throwers are tuned up.  In fact summer was so short I didn’t even bother to have my snow tires changed out.  For once I’m ahead of the game.

Anyhow, when we get one of those unexpected sunny blue days that are so rare in November we almost don’t know how to act.

I took a little time to drive out east of town to see what the farms looked like.

 All the potato fields have been harvested.  Now the farmers are giving the dirt one more turn before letting it sit for the winter.  You can see in the background of this photo two big center pivot sprinklers that are used to keep the ground wet when there isn’t enough rain.

Water is pumped up from wells and the giant systems slowly lumber around to irrigate the crops.  That’s why if you look at the farms in southeast Idaho on Google Earth you’ll see large circle shaped fields.

The spud harvest has been put to bed in huge cellars.  The cellar here in the foreground is made of metal and is probably full to the top with Idaho Russets.  The one on the right has a dirt roof and is the kind originally used to store potatoes.  Often farmers now use the old dirt ones as sheds for trucks and combines.  Way in the background is another type of cellar with a rounded roof.

 The other major crop in this area is grain, mostly wheat and barley. Those fields have also been cleared.  The harvest is stored in tall granaries.

Way out in the middle of these fields will be a single rail line.

When the price looks good the grain will be loaded into train cars and sent to market.

The winter wheat has already been planted and new sprouts are glowing green in the low sun.

 A few trumpeter swans were out walking around with their big black feet in the fresh dirt.  Most of them migrate south but some spend the winters along rivers where warm springs keep the water free of ice.

Way in the background of the last photo you can see the peaks of the Grand Teton Mountains.  They are eighty miles away in Wyoming but stick up so high we can easily see them on clear days.


Val said...

Those trumpeter swans are upstaged by the Tetons! Grand indeed.

TALON said...

Beautiful shots, Leenie! The weather here has been rain to wet snow, high winds and generally dull dull dull! Got a new lens for my birthday, but haven't even had it out yet. I love how the swans are enjoying the empty fields and how cool that you can see the mountains like that! I'm jealous! :)

joeh said...

At first I assumed the Tetons were clouds.

Alica said...

This was neat to see...I had no idea how the potato harvest is stored. The last picture, of the swans and the Tetons is gorgeous! I am continually struck, by how different and beautiful the landscape is in so many different places.

Joanne Noragon said...

It certainly is a clear day.
We forget where our food comes from. A lovely overview.

Brian King said...

I love farm country! Beautiful scenery!

Terry and Linda said...

You are so lucky to have Swans, we have none. Although, the Cranes and the Geese have returned!!


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the scenery. All I know about U.S. agriculture is that potatoes come from Idaho and oranges from California.
Don't know where Australian potatoes come from - smart answer would be from the soil I guess!

Carla said...

Farmers putting their fields to bed. I wonder if the potato farmer plant a nitrogen fixing plant for the winter like the grain farmers do.
I never think of swans as flying or migrating or acting like normal fowl at all. I picture them puttering around grand lakes being fed bread crumbs by children. Silly me.