Farmer in a row boat
September 20, 2010
After receiving a very heavy rainfall early this summer, Ben and I woke up one morning, looked out our living room window and saw that a huge lake had formed on the neighbor’s land. There was a lot of water standing in his soybean field and some of it even extended over to the cornfield beside it.
Typically, there is a small pond in the middle of the field where his soybeans are planted. The lay of the land makes it a perfect location to have a pond. Our neighbor Dale told us that years ago it was actually a buffalo wallow.
In the fall of the year, the pond comes in quite handy. Dale puts his cattle out in the field after harvest to eat the grain, which has fallen on the ground. Since there is always plenty of water in the pond, he doesn’t have to worry about what they will drink.
To help regulate the size of the pond throughout the year, Dale has a pump submersed in the water. When the pond gets too full, he simply flips on a switch and forces the excess water to flow down to a nearby creek.
That afternoon, Ben and I were very surprised to see Dale’s pickup parked out in the field with a trailer hooked onto it. We laughed when we saw him rowing his way across the water. (It isn’t every day that you see a farmer in a rowboat in his field). We watched a while longer and figured out that he was trying to repair his pump. A boat was the only way he could get to it.
Obviously, he wasn’t successful for the lake looked just as deep a few days later. Then we got some hot, dry weather, and the water began receding slowly. However, the damage had already been done. A section of cornstalks was drying up and where soybeans had been growing the ground was bare.
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Shortly after that, we got another several days of heavy rainfall. The lake swelled up once again much to the delight of a huge, long-legged bird. It had found a new place to go fishing.
Then one afternoon, I came home from work and did a double take. It looked strange to see a small tractor parked out in the water. A small stream of water was shooting up in the air behind the idling tractor. The next day Ben visited with our neighbor, and he asked him about the strange things we’d been seeing going on over at his field. Dale told him that when he rowed his boat across the water, it was too deep for him to see what was wrong with the pump. The tractor was now operating another belt-driven pump. He predicated that it would take about five days to drain the excess water; but in the meantime, Dale still had a sense of humor.