Will Edwinson

Author & Storyteller

A Bit of Trivia

Will Edwinson PhotoA little trivia to ponder.  When I lived in Idaho, a friend and I were having a discussion one day when the topic came up about all the rain we had been having that month. I don’t remember the exact month of that discussion, but it was my understanding that the rain fall  had broken an old 1944 record.

My friend asked if this rain was good or bad for the crops.  My reply was, “As farmers I suppose we should never complain about any moisture.” However, most farmers seem always to have a ‘but’ to such a question. I farmed north of Soda Springs, where it’s primarily dry farm barley country so I directed my remarks to that area. (The term dry farm applies to non-irrigated farming; relying only on winter snows and summer rains.)

So I said to him, “If a genie were ask me what I thought ideal moisture conditions for a dry farm barley crop would be, I would tell this genie warm dry weather during the month of May for planting the crop; then the first three weeks of June I would also wish to be dry.  Then I would like to see a nice warm rain around the last week in June or the first week of July.”

My friend then wanted to know why the dry spell in June.  My answer was, “Quite often, if the young plants get too much moisture early on they become a bit lazy.  They think to themselves, ‘ummm, smorgasbord.’  They feed on that easy accessible surface moisture, develop lush foliage (the makings for a bumper crop) and don’t send their roots down into that deeper moisture they will need later.  When the weather turns hot the rich foliage the plants developed in the early stages of growth puts huge demands on the roots.

They’ve sucked up this easy moisture, and if the weather turns hot too early in the season, they may not be able to push down into the deep moisture fast enough to sustain the crop during the hottest part of the summer; the result being, they wither.”

Barley_Field

ripened Barley

I went on to say,, “Irrigators don’t have this problem as much as dry farmers because they can turn the water on to relieve the stress of the mid-summer heat”.  I then told my friend that the next storm I would ask my genie to provide would come in early August just after the barley had come into full head.  This rain moisture would help fill the kernels and make for plump heavy grain.  I would then ask for warm dry weather the remainder of August to finish off the ripening process, and for a warm dry September for the harvest.   October is usually pleasant for finishing up the fall fieldwork, so I wouldn’t need my genie’s help during that time.

Now, moving on to trivia of another sort, my morning walks gave me the opportunity to observe the antics of some Pocatello drivers.  Makes me wonder how these people will get their kicks if Mr. Obama and AlGore succeed in getting U.S. citizens into little cars (you know, those tomato cans with four wheels?) like the cars Europeans are forced to drive.  They will have put a crimp in these peoples’ fun.

One morning as I was walking down Pocatello Creek road, a guy in a diesel pickup pulled away from a stop light, tromped the accelerator to the floor just to see how much noise he could make. and how much black smoke he could blow.  Once wasn’t enough; he did it twice in less than a quarter mile.

Then there are those who put resonators on the end of the tailpipes of their little four cylinder (tomato can) autos so they can play race car driver and listen to their engines roar like those in the European Grand Prix.  You’d think with gasoline prices heading back toward four bucks a gallon—or higher—these dunces would have learned a lesson about frugal driving.

In conclusion—I can’t believe I’d ever admit this—I fully support President Obama in one of his executive decisions.  Right is right, and credit should be given where credit is due. In a brilliant strategic move, he nailed a pesky little housefly during a TV appearance. Had I been in that TV studio under the same circumstances, I, too, would have sent that fly back to its maker.

For a two or three hour respite from today’s harrowing world, why not treat yourselves to some of the adventures in Buddy…His Trials and Treasures, and read about the antics of a young boy growing up in rural America during the 1940s.  Buddy is a bit reminiscent of a twentieth century Tom Sawyer in that he quite often finds himself in hot water for which he must pay the consequences.  Click on the free download button at upper right on this page to receive a free copy.  Enjoy.

—Will

 

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