A very intense storm went through West Michigan on Tuesday evening just after 9 PM, and knocked out power to tens of thousands of households across Michigan – 27,000 of them in Kent County alone, and about 140,000 across all of Michigan.

Thankfully we have a generator, so our power was back on in less than 30 minutes.

Generator in the Barn

The Generator sitting in the barn, plugged into a 50 AMP outlet to feed power back to the house

Power to our area was restored about 8 hours later, but for our neighbour he wasn’t so lucky. Half of a massive Willow tree in his yard broke, and landed on the power line to his house, breaking the wire, AND breaking the power pole that held the wire up.

Crews were on the job right away – by 0700 the next morning all of the underground cables along the road in front of our properties had been marked so that Consumers Energy could safely drill a hole for a new pole, but it took until late Thursday afternoon for “1 pole for 1 house” made it to the top of the priority list, and a crew arrived with a new pole and put it up and reconnected the wires, so the neighbour could stop using my generator and get back “on the grid”.

Below are a few photos taken on my “new” cell phone – a Nokia 2720 with a “whopping” 1.3 MP camera in it.

 

Mid afternoon yesterday the distant sound of a diesel engine alerted me that someone had decided it was time to cultivate the large corn field behind our house. This field was last cultivated in almost the depths of Winter on 21 December 2009 – see this post for images of the 4″ thick ice that was being “cultivated” along with the dirt and mud.

Looking out I see the now familiar 480 horsepower Case IH coming, with a truly massive cultivator behind it.

The Case STX480 and Cultivator

The cultivator was at least 50 feet wide I think - 16 long paces across the swath of tilled land it left behind.

After it had made one pass I walked across the tilled ground – 16 good long paces, so at least 50 feet – 16 metres – probably!!!! I’m not sure of the exact size of the field – probably in the 50 acres region, and it was “done” in less than 3 hours – now that’s progress!!!!!

A photogallery is below.

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We live in farming country, with our property almost bordering a very large field/paddock. (See http://lisaandroger.com/2009/05/our-farming-neighbours/).

Today as I went by I noticed a flock of large white birds circling over the corn field – turns out they were swans.

Birds on a Pond

A large number of waterbirds on a pond in a corn field near our house.

shows a shot of the nearest pond, with Mallard ducks, Canada geese and the white swans. I’m not sure if they are Tundra Swans or Mute Swans – both are indicated as being present in Michigan.

 

Well it was just a three weeks ago that our “neighbours” arrived with the giant green combine harvester on tracks and harvested the corn from the field out behind our property.

Today they’re back with a giant tractor cultivating the mud, dirt, water, ice and snow.

The Giant Tractor and Chisel Plough

A closer view of the tractor and its running gear. The tracks are about 2 feet wide on the ground.

Pictures below.

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We live adjacent to a large field that is planted in either corn or soy beans each summer. I don’t know who owns the ground, nor who does the planting and harvesting, but they sure have access to some very large machinery. At the end of November we got an inch of rain over Thanksgiving, which came on top of already very wet and soggy conditions, and it seemed like the corn might have to stand all Winter, or at least well into the Winter until the ground froze enough to let the get on it. But on 30 November a monstrous combine harvester on very large rubber tracks turned up to harvest this corn. And it needed all of that support and drive that the huge rubber tracks and large rear drive wheels could offer to get around the field. It was accompanied by an equally large IH Case tractor with 8 drive wheels pulling a large bin that was on rubber tracks to take the corn from the combine out to waiting semi-truck and trailer that was beside the road.

Here’s one picture, and a gallery shows if you open this post.

John Deere 9770 STS

John Deere 9770 STS

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We’re lucky enough to live “in the country” and so one of our neighbours (our properties touch corner to corner) is a large field of about 70 acres that is used by a local farmer to grow one of corn, soybeans or wheat each year.

Our Local Neighbourhood

Our Local Neighbourhood

After the corn had been harvested in 2007, a very large tractor turned up to cultivate the ground ready to plant the next crop, which in this year was to be winter wheat. Continue reading »

 

Some photos of the large tractor and haybaler that worked in the field neighbouring our property in 2007 and 2008. Click the image to open a larger view. Continue reading »

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