Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The End of Summer

With the passage of Labor Day, we see the end of summer approach.  The shortening of the days becomes noticeable, the cooling of the days and nights, and the leaves begin to turn from their summer greens to their autumn hues.  Here in the South, the children had returned to school a month ago, but with the passage of Labor Day they may now be returning in the northern states as well.
There they will rekindle friendships of those they’ve been apart from, and create new friendships with those they had not known before this year.  If they are lucky a few of those will become lifelong.
We forget that this is perhaps the most important time of year for the farmers.  They will be harvesting the grains, the corns, the grasses and all the other crops that feed this nation.  The apples of the Hudson Valley are ripening and await the coolness of the first frost to impart its crispness to them.
The vast fields of wheat stand golden on the plains of the mid-west waiting for the harvesters to cut them from the ground, shake them from their stalk, and prepare them for the trip to the grain silos where they will wait their turn to be made into some foodstuff or silage.
The corn, grown now for both energy and food will be harvested across this land.  Some with go to silage to feed the cattle in the winter, but much more will go to create ethanol or to be prepared for our tables.  The development of ethanol as a fuel additive to our gasoline is a somewhat interesting study in which came first the chicken or the egg.  Did our government experts decide ethanol should be added because it cleaned up the environment, or used up the overabundance of corn left in the field?  Perhaps we will never know.  What we do know is don’t let it sit in your tank for more than 30 days or it will turn to jelly.
In Aesop’s fable of the grasshopper and the ant, the industrious ant has been preparing all summer and into the fall for the onset of winter and its dark days and lack of food.  The grasshopper, on the other hand, has spent the summer enjoying all that nature provides, living in the moment would be the popular expression.  The grasshopper sees the ant and the methodical method of his existence as boring and unnecessary.  Soon the error of his thinking will become apparent as the first snows fall and he has nothing to eat.

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