MAINE SPRING IN FARMLAND

Driving down the long hill in the familiar rural road of my childhood farming town, and cresting the first hill, I see a tractor pulling out of a muddy field after his first trip of the chilly March morning. Continuing along the slim road into the valley, I look up to watch a flock of sparrows swooping and diving through the dawning sky, like a silky scarf undulating in the breeze. A stately eagle soars in an unending and graceful circular pattern above the black and white cows grazing in the new green grass of the hayfield.

As I drove past the John Deere tractor, (a modern manure spreader or hay bale machine vs. the oxen drawn equipment or a farmer utilizing a scythe), I noticed the driver was pulling a manure spreader, flinging dung-balls all over the smooth asphalt, recently washed clean by a recent spring rain. When the tractor passes the farm, I saw what looked like giant “snowballs”… round hay bales shrink-wrapped in white plastic and piled high, looking like someone was constructing a fort next to the barn. Some farms make cartoon-like figures such as a snowman, a Christmas tree or other characters out of the piled hay bales.

I could not help but notice the passenger of the tractor, standing on a foot peg next to the flared fender over the large black knobby treads of the tractor tire. Ohhhhh, but wait! The Norman-Rockwellian picture screeched to a halt as I suddenly witnessed the passenger was checking his e-mail ….. on an iPhone!

Welcome to spring in Maine.

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