Mitigating the Dirty Thirties – Relief

The rains stopped in 1929.

No one panicked. Dry years were not unknown – there had been the occasional one or two every decade so far. Everyone knew the rains would come again “next year.” Abe certainly believed so, for in the fall of 1929, he purchased a new Rumley combine.

The new Rumley combine, 1929; Abe on the combine, Garnet and Addie standing in front of the tractor

But the rains didn’t come “next year,” or for several years after. Crops struggled. What little grew was quickly devoured by grasshoppers, that is, if it wasn’t blown away first. Abe recorded annual yields between 2 and 9 bushels per acre. In 1937, the year of no rain, it plummeted to 1/3 bushel per acre, a “total crop failure.” Continue reading “Mitigating the Dirty Thirties – Relief”



The fallen leaves lay strewn on the ground,
resplendent in their gold, whilst up above
the screeching jay — a blaze of brilliant blue —
competes with magpie at the feeding station.
Sparrows, dressed in drab, with dove and finch
forage and feed on scratchings in the grass,
and startled, whir as one to hide and watch
and wait while tawny, sharp-clawed predator
creeps, crouches, switches tail, departs.
The last warm wind of summer shakes the trees
and sends leaves rattling down. The lady bugs
take shelter ‘neath this blanket, sleep and dream.

For Autumn’s not the end, just Nature’s pause.
To give much needed rest, its only cause.


#Sonnet #Autumn #AutumnalEquinox #Poetry