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Combining away

October 19, 2010

The kids and I paid a visit to the hub this afternoon out in the field. He was running the combine and we wanted to show the kids what he’s been doing the past month. We tell them that daddy’s working on the farm with Papa, but it’s more fun when you can actually see that work being done.

The combine is big. And dirty. It hasn’t rained in about a month, and you can tell. The fields and roads are dry and dusty. We had to take some gravel roads to get to where the guys were working and the kiddo kept asking why there was smoke on the roads. That’s not smoke, buddy, that’s just dust.

Everyone in the combine (except me).

The teeth on the corn head. The snouts go between the rows of corn while the rollers grab the stalks pulling off the ears in the process and the auger portion of the head (the wavy part that looks like a drill to me) pulls them to the center where they’re fed into the combine.

Here’s an action shot. See all the dust and chaff that gets stirred up? Yeah. Plus I took these photos through the window of the combine cab. But you get the idea.

Oooohhhhh artsy and stuff….

Once the ears go through the combine, the shelled corn goes into the hopper.

That’s the big part on the back of the combine.

They usually have two combines running the field where they’re working just to speed up the process. Wave Hi to my Uncle!

The kidlet “helped” daddy drive.

While the kiddo sat on my lap and held on for dear life.

Machinery these days is all fancy. There’s all the information you could want at the touch of a button.

And even more information, plus a joystick for controlling speed and a few other things. I think. For all I know, they’re playing video games in there during downtime.

Once the hopper of the combine is full, it needs to be unloaded. The auger for the hopper swings out to the waiting truck or wagon.

Ready. Set.

Goooooooo!

One of the guys checks to see how full the truck is getting. When the truck is full, that corn gets taken to a bin site to be dried and stored until it’s sold. The weather has been so warm and dry this fall that they haven’t needed to dry much, if any, of the grain, which is nice because it saves on propane and electricity costs.

After we dumped what was in the combine, the kiddo decided he was done riding for the day.

Climbing down.

And down.

And down. The steps are big, but he handled them like a pro.

The kidlet, on the other hand, needed some help.

My hero.

The hub had to go back to work while we got to go home and make cookies. For the guys. To keep their strength up. Those 12-hour days in the fields take their toll!

Bye daddy! Have fun!

After some initial trepidation, both kids loved riding with daddy on the combine. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed it, too. It may be mindless work, but the weather has been perfect and the views are lovely. I’m definitely glad we made the choice to move back. I really feel this is where we’re supposed to be.

Maybe next time we can get the kids in one of the big tractors while the hub does ground work. I think ear plugs may be needed, though. Those machines are kind of noisy for little (and even big) ears.

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