Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Rain, Rain, Rain

It has rained here today. I mean... RAINED... this morning and again this evening.

But, we were lucky in Hutchinson. Wichita, and other towns nearby, had horrendous hail. Bigger than golf ball sized, some tennis ball sized. It came in three different waves this morning and did a ton of damage to buildings and cars in Wichita - even denting people's aluminum siding.

It also damaged the wheat crop. Although I've lived in Kansas a long time, I've never quite gotten the hang of the planting cycle here. But, in short, they grow "winter wheat," meaning that it grows over the winter so by now it has heads on it - that's the part that you sell. This is very bad news when hail hits.

Much of the crop is ruined. Some farmers will just cut their losses and plow it under and plant milo, trying to salvage something from the field. Even if they have federal crop insurance and they pay, that combined with the milo sale will not equal what a wheat crop would. It's the difficult life of a farmer summed up.

It has been so very dry here, but the wheat was not looking too bad considering that. And we so needed the rain, but not the hail.

We went out to Dutch Kitchen tonight for dinner and stopped to take some photos of the sunset on the way. Greg took the cool one above when we came out of the restaurant. I snapped this one of the train tracks.

We were paralleling the tracks, anticipating the arrival in a week of an old steam engine that will be on an excursion through here.

One of the last pieces I did for radio was on 8444 and now I'll get to see it again. I got one of the best quotes I ever got - this lady said, "Oh, these old steam engines just have a soul." Just as she finished, the whistle blew. The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

It will be good to see it again.