Tuesday, June 29, 2010

When the wind blows

The wind in the country is an amazing thing. A good wind is the best way to dry forty acres of hay or drive off the mosquitoes that make working in the garden so impossible,
but it can destroy a barn.

Sometimes the wind doesn’t do what you’d expect. A friend with a very old barn on his property called his brothers the day after our fifty mile an hour winds. “I have some bad news,” he told them. “You know that big wind we had, well it didn’t take down the barn.” That job was still ahead of them on their schedule for the summer. But on our barn, it tore off shingles for the third year in a row.

That wind left our peonies in full glorious bloom, but blackened and withered the leaves on the clematis. It knocked over tomato plants but didn’t bother the potatoes growing in the next row. We’ve seen entire field of sweet corn lying sideways after the wind. When we propped the stalks back up, they recovered. That same wind dried an entire field of alfalfa in twenty-four hours, a new record on our farm at least.

When the wind blows, clouds scud across the sky and I lie on my back and watch, hypnotized by the motion. When the wind blows, the birds can stand still in the sky. When the wind blows, we generate enough electricity to completely power our house and farm. All in all, it is a good day on our farm when the wind blows.

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