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Iowa: Fields of Opportunities

18 Jul

Coming back from vacation, driving through Illinois and Indiana, I felt very lucky.  The welcome sign really had meaning after seeing all the horrible conditions of the corn in our neighbors to the east.  If you can’t read it, the sign tells you Iowa’s state motto:  Fields of Opportunities.

When I got home, my corn looked great to me.  I still had an opportunity to have a good harvest.

Now after another week, I’m watching those opportunities burn up.

The news is calling this the worst drought in a generation.  Eighty-nine percent of Iowa’s fields are short on moisture.  Thirty-six percent of the fields are still in good condition, but twenty-five percent are in poor or worse condition. (Channel 13 News)

When I was walking along the field to bring the goats up from pasture, I could smell something different.  I knew the smell, but it took me a minute to figure out it was the smell of cooking corn.  It really is being cooked in the fields.

The Back Forty is also turning brown and drying up.  The watering hole is virtually dry.

The cattle have been coming up to drink from the cattle tank in the barnyard for a few days now.  When you drink twenty gallons at a time, that little mud hole won’t work.

Maxine and Norma Jean

Last night I saw the llama headed towards the barnyard.  He stopped his walking to watch the dust kicked up by a passing vehicle.  Then he continued up to the barnyard.

It’s the first time he’s been up there since I let him out to pasture.  It certainly looks like he appreciated the water.  I feel sorry for all the wild animals that I don’t have any way to help because it’s surely difficult for them to find anything to drink.

Luckily, the pasture is still feeding the animals, but it is more like they are eating hay than fresh pasture.

The sun still beats down with temperatures above normal and little rain in sight.

Iowa’s fields of opportunities are falling victim to this drought.

Linking to Alphabe-Thursday hosted by Jenny Matlock.  This week, it’s all about the letter I.

I am also linking to Rural Thursday hosted by Nancy at A Rural Journal and Lisa at Two Bears Farm.