Summer in the Hill Country

Black eyed susansThe summer season is stunning here in Monroe County in southwest Wisconsin. Timely and plentiful rains along with sunny and hot days have insured a corn, soybean, oats, and hay crop that is more than promising.

A bicycle ride on Saturday from Tomah to Camp Douglas along the back country roads of Highway 131, County A, Grosbeak Ave, and ET yields sights of the wild country, a term coined by Tomah writer Tom Muench.

The corn is starting to tassel and develop ears. The soybeans are a lush dark green. The oats is ready to combine, golden fields against a background of verdant green trees and pastures. The Amish have much of their oats standing in shocks. Threshing can’t be far behind. Second crop hay is being cut and baled or chopped for silage.

The soybean and corn fields are practically free of any weeds, a far cry from crops planted 30 years ago, when weeds could choke out the desired crop. The use of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) seeds and plants may be controversial in some quarters, but Round Up Ready corn and soybeans had insure weed free fields.

The blue chicory and white Queens Anne’s Lace is seen along most every roadway. It’s a shame they mow those beautiful flower. Kill ‘em right on the spot. There has never been a more beautiful crop of black-eyed-susans along Wisconsin I-90 from Tomah to La Crosse.

Sandhill cranes, wild turkeys, and deer, can easily be spotted, especially with the slow going of bicycling. There’s a big crop of red-wing blackbirds this year, warbling a distinctive song and sporting a red feather patch bounded on the bottom with a tuff of yellow.

A doe with three fawns frequently cross the lawn behind the Scheckel house. Don’t know if all three we born to her or whether she picked up an orphan or two.

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