I’m so glad we are in the part of our country that has trees, pasture, fields of corn, soybeans, rice, and cotton, not to forget alfalfa and the grains of oats and barley. I’ve had enough of dirt and rocks. Don’t get me wrong, there is beauty in the arid regions of the US, but I need the green of grass and trees.
I received an email from Lynn in the UK. She reads bits of my blog to her husband, Rod, from time to time. In her email Rod passed on a message to me, through her. In the UK the big equipment used to do road construction are called “Heavy Plant”.
We had left York, Nebraska at around 7:30 in the morning and continuing our trip east on I-80. When we neared Omaha the huge earth movers were out, so was the sun and my photos of them were worse than this one.
I have no idea what these steaming behemoths are but I thought they could qualify for Rod’s “Heavy Plant” 🙂
Rolling hills of Iowa
Iowa, in my opinion, is spectacular. Rolling hills all along I-80. Fields of sunflowers, corn, soybeans, and alfalfa are everywhere.
The farmsteads can be picturesque. The first time I came through Iowa with Joe I asked why a lot of the fields had terraces. The hills, he told me, are very steep in places with natural berms. The farmers have learned to use the berms to their advantage for moisture run-off. The natural berms keep the ground from washing away during the heavy rains of summer and the snow melt in spring.
Iowa gets a ton of snow in the winter time. Not just snow but some pretty harsh winds also. When Princess was with us she would make me crazy. Well, craziER. She’d start to do her business in one spot, smell a spot that was more enticing and head for that one, then find a different one and away she’d go to that one. All the while I’m standing out in the frigid air with the wind blowing all around me. My eyes watering and my nose running, and my mouth grumbling for her to hurry up already.
Rivers running over
The rivers, creeks, and streams we drive over are usually lazy running, or just have a trickle.
Recently there has been a lot of rain and all the water ways are full or running over with the abundance of water. This late in the year it is unusual for these waters to be so full. Spring and early summer are when the flooding dangers are most likely to happen.
Southern Illinois and eastern Iowa seem to have the worst trouble with flooding since the Mississippi River runs through them at the state lines. But this is much further north and, as I’ve said, unusual for this time of year.
Sometimes there is a vehicle or two parked off the shoulder and a fisher person can be spotted at the rivers edge. Not this year though.
Joe is getting used to me and my blog now. While he was in front and about half a mile ahead of me he called me on the radios we carry to tell me of the flooded out area he was at.
I don’t know if you can see them, there are a few vehicles in the water nearly up to their roof. There is an ambulance nearer the roadway on the left that is nearly underwater.
The poor people that live in the homes in the distance. I can’t imagine what they are going through. When the waters recede they will have mud and junk in their home to clean up. Floors and walls to replace. Furniture and precious other belongings to throw out in the trash because of being ruined by the waters.
Before we left York, Nebraska this morning I had heard on the local news about the rains they had for the past six days. Now there were stories of all the flooding that had occurred in the area. 36 people lost their lives to this flood.
Seeing all this water, nearly everywhere, tugged at my heart. When I saw the field of corn standing in water I really felt bad for the farmer.
They gamble enough each year on planting a crop that will bring them an income. Some years there is no rain and little in the way of irrigation water, other years they get good rains. This year they had more rain than they have had in quite a long time.
This field is partially ruined, as far as I can tell. Waiting for this end to dry out so it can be harvested will be a long wait. My only hope is that these farmers did not have a family member lost to the flood as well as losing a crop.
On a lighter note. I LOVE BARNS!!!
Barns have faces. Okay, I know they don’t have faces but it is my story.
This barn is having a sip of chocolate milk through a straw.
Some barns have two eyes while others are metaphysical and have a third eye. This barn has a hay loft. I know that because its nose moves open to expose the place way up high for the hay to be stored in.
When I was a child, I remember trying to help some people move bales of hay. How they tolerated me being there I have no clue. I accomplished nothing except a lot of grunting and heavy breathing. The bale of hay I was trying to move was winning.
Come Hither Barn
This barn made me think of a woman with false eyelashes. Maybe it is Mae West and she is saying “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime?”.
I’m sure the owner of the barn would not appreciate my take on their barn, would they find out.
After taking this picture I had a chance to look at it a bit closer. On the side is another “face” and it caused me to think that maybe, just maybe, this barn is a bit “two faced”. Oh my goodness, I crack myself up 🙂
Still, barns are my most favorite structure. They keep many things safe from the elements. Machinery, animals, and hay, among other things.
I think this guy needs to go to the barber and get that moustache trimmed and spiffed up a bit.
Kind of reminds me of an old man I knew when I was younger. He had a red face, not as red as this barn, and a big bushy moustache that splayed out straight from each side of his mouth. When he talked the moustache kind of vibrated. When he laughed it went a bit wilder. He’d tame it back out to its proper splayed position with his fingers and keep on talking. He was a man with a big belly also. He’d slap the palms of his hands on his belly when he would laugh, just before he fixed his bushy moustache.
Rocky I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII
Wow! That had to have been one long, knock down drag out fight!!
This poor barn has one eye shut while the other one is bleeding. The nose must be mashed against its face, and it seems to be gasping for air from the corners of its mouth.
The structure in front of it lost the fight in a big way.
Yes, I know. You don’t have to tell me. I hear the sirens on the cars that the men in white coats are riding in.
I just can’t help myself. I love barns.
I love the things that people leave around barns. Little do they know that they are doing it to amuse me.
This barn makes me think of someone whistling. Happy tune or just some whistling noise.
Maybe it is whistling to Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs as they whistle while they work. Don’t know but it sure has some pucker going on there and can’t be anything but for whistling.
I think there might be some back up singers on the side to keep time and tempo with the whistler.
This barn is in Ohio, and a bit out of the photo sequence but since I’m doing barns right now then I’ll put them all in one area and add the other photos after I’m done entertaining myself.
Ooops, a bit of snobbery here
Someone unpleasant has just moved into the neighborhood and we are not happy about it.
I’m sure the farmer that built the new barns, or had them built, only thought of having the troubles of a crumbling structure out of the way.
The paint scheme of the two new barns make me think of a couple in an evening gown and tuxedo being approached by a person of poverty.
This barn has made me have to think really hard.
The colors dotting the structure make me think of a robot at one time, then a botched permanent makeup session, or just someone that can’t decide what makeup they want to wear so they will try several out and see what works.
Someone has tried to do something with the face of this barn, and I’m not sure they even knew what they were going to finally end up doing. A splotch of red, a dab of yellow, bold strokes of white, a dot of black.
Maybe this is like one of those paintings in an art gallery everyone else seems to get but me.
Oh well, I love barns. They make me happy.
Since I’m doing this on farms and barns, none of them would be complete without farm machinery.
Kinze Manufacturing in Iowa has a very interesting display on their grounds.
I don’t remember the name of the town this place is located. Only that it is at mile marker 216 on I-80 in Iowa. Joe and I have passed this many times. Several times we’ve taken pictures of this place from the shoulders of the road. Last year, bold as brass, Joe drove up to their main office and asked if we could drive on their property and take pictures of these two displays up close. They told him we could!!! So we did. Those are at home so I had to take more pictures to show you the displays.
The tractor thing in the smaller photo – click on it to enlarge it – is nose down. The implement that is at the back of the trailer moves around like a clock at the quarter hour. Go past it later and the implement thing will be at the 3 and 9 position. Really something spectacular to see.
Chicago granite quarry
This massive hole in the ground is on I-80 out of Chicago and going toward Gary, Indiana.
Going on this piece of road at night is not bad. It is so dark below that you would never know you are driving over a hole that would scare the wits right out of you. In daylight it gives me the jitters all the time.
This immense hole is almost the same on the other side. Makes me wonder how much of the granite walls are left under the bridge we travel on. The big machinery goes under the bridge to the other side to do their digging and hauling away.
Tons, and tons of granite are shipped out of this hole daily. It then goes places to be sliced and polished for countertops, other pieces are sent off to be crushed, while other pieces are taken to another place to be broken apart into massive boulders for landscaping.
This church is in Indiana on I-80.
In the spring and summer it is surrounded by green fields and it makes the church look welcoming and alive. In the winter time with deep snow on the ground, harvested fields, and trees bare of their leaves this church looks forlorn.
This is such a beautiful structure. I love the red brick, slate colored roof, and the white trim.
This might be a modest church compared to other more grandiose structures but this one fits and looks good where it is. One of those huge ornate churches would look so out of place in this setting.
When I see this church I feel peaceful and happy, even in the winter.
Maybe I should have titled this photo “Narly, dude!”
This is an orchard of some kind in Ohio. We are near Toledo and about to get to our delivery point. This orchard, and one similar to it on the opposite side of the road, give me the shivers each time I see it.
If there ever were witchy trees these would be them. Some of the trees have fruit and I don’t know what it is. The branches are so misshapen and bony. Talk about a Halloween area, this would be my first choice for the scariest place to be.
If anyone knows what kind of trees these are, feel free to pipe up and let me know.
The last picture I have for you is of a bent fender that had Joe totally distraught.
We stopped at a Sapp Brother truck sotp in Omaha, Nebraska for breakfast after fueling. Joe found a spot to park in while I had to go across the street and park with the other bobtails. When I next saw Joe he had the most hang dog look on his face.
While he was backing into a spot he went back too far and ran into a humongous tire that had been planted in concrete to keep the tractor/trailers from backing into a hurricane fence around the property.
With the trouble I had with my truck Joe did not want to tell the customer there was more coming. He stewed on this problem for quite a while. There is a big truck stop in Iowa called the Iowa 80 Truck Stop. They sell bumpers there. Joe asked me if we should just buy the bumper at the Iowa 80 and pretend like nothing happened. Then he thought better of it and was going to call the customer and tell them of his incident. Then he went back to wanting to just handle the problem himself.
The man who was getting these trucks had already received heavily damaged trucks recently. One driver that does decking hit a bridge and knocked the smoke stacks off of a couple trucks. That is about $4,000 each smoke stack plus all the other pieces of equipment involved in the repair. Another driver ran over something in the dark and did some damage to that truck.
We have delivered to this place many times before and the customer has always thanked us for getting them safely to him. Now Joe was in the unenviable position of telling the man that he had also done damage. Joe finally decided to bite the bullet and be honest with the guy. We were going to pay for the bumper ourselves anyway so maybe he would not be quite so upset. Before Joe finished talking to the customer he felt even worse because the customer was bragging to his customer how careful we are and never bring in trucks damaged. Joe and our man in Perrysburg got things worked out. He found a bumper that would fit the truck right and he would only charge us one hour labor instead of the normal four hours. So Joe got off pretty easy with a charge of $400 instead of the $650 we were looking at for the bumper and the labor had it been done at the Iowa 80 Truck Stop.
Sometimes honesty can be expensive. But, it is always best to be honest, no matter the cost. The trucks are delivered, the bumper is replaced, the customer is happy, and they want us back to deliver more trucks for them so it all worked out. At least Joe is happier now.
Another weekend is here. Lynn and her Rod are off in the wilds of the UK on Holiday. She has a new camcorder she is trying out so hopefully she has a camera also. Lynn, I hope that you and Rod enjoy yourselves to the fullest on your Holiday.
Nancy is back from a frustrating experience with her computer crashing. Not everything is accounted for but she is back and I hope to see more new things she has created and posted on her blog – http://www.thenickelnook.blogspot.com.
Joe has picked up two trucks out of Oak Creek, Wisconsin – near Milwaukee – and we are on our way to the Port of Savannah in Savannah, Georgia. They are to be delivered on Monday. I hope that we get to stop by Paula Deen’s restaurant in Savannah “Lady and Son’s” while we are there. I will, hopefully, have pictures of a ship port in a future post.
Everyone have a great weekend. Stay well.