Saturday, June 4, 2011

REPOST: Knee High by the 4th of July

While I am down after arm surgery and can't type, I am recycling some posts from a year ago.

This from 4 June 2010, here (you'll need to click back to see any images, I could not easily or quickly insert them in this re-post):

Today’s morning run ( I was off work today) took me on my familiar Harshman Road. As always, I enjoyed observing the farm activity.

First off I noted the crops. Around here, the farms are largely dairy, so the primary crops are corn, alfalfa (for hay), timothy grass (also for hay). Also we have—although not for cattle—soybeans and wheat.

It was the corn, however, that caught my attention today. My father passed away in 1989 but I vividly recall one of his favorite expressions, that the corn should be “knee-high by the 4th of July.”

That maxim held true for western PA where I grew up, but here in the Cumberland Valley of south-central Pennsylvania we have a milder climate so that the growing season starts at least a couple of weeks earlier than western PA. Well, let the record reflect that for the first time since I moved here in 1974, the corn reached knee height by the 4th of June—a full month early.

Here is Harshman Road as it looked in January (photo by Gary). On the left, the closer field is now in soybeans and the farther one is in timothy grass. The field on the right is in corn, where I made the knee-high milestone discovery.

This winter's snowpack and subsequent mild spring have created perfect conditions for plant growth this year...which in turn creates an extremely pleasant environment for running.

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