August 4

Hey! Your tail light is broken!

A late-afternoon drive out of town provides a variety of welcoming opportunities that just kept getting better.  On this drive, as I was leaving town, I was the welcome wagon for this mini-chopper coming in to town.    A rope-start on the engine, a flywheel and belt pulley and a dangling tail light added character to the black flamed paint job on this orange chopper, complete with full size mirrors.

I continued my drive east of Wilton and welcomed a new birth as I headed east — a bale was born.

Yep, I welcomed this baby bale in to the world with um, well, “maternity” photos of the baler giving birth to the round bale.

My trip continued eastward, only to welcome a parade of harvest equipment as it rolled down Highway 36.  The combine leading the pack because it travels the slowest, followed by the support crew including the grain wagon.Harvest is a bit slow to start this year because of the late spring and heavy rains that dampened not only the unseeded fields, but then the rains that came right as harvest commenced.  So, these farmers are actually some of the first to get rolling in the neighborhood.

And speaking of neighborhood, the neighborhood welcoming committee was on hand when I drove in to Regan.  These guys were a friendly bunch and mobbed me with wagging tails and airborne, all four paws in the air, exuberant dancing right on Main Street Regan.

Regan Welcoming Committee

Regan, like many small towns allows the resident’s dogs run “at-large.”  I don’t mind. Do you?  I suppose if the town is much larger than Regan, population 43, that too many at-large dogs could be a problem.  What do you think of letting dogs run loose in town?

July 9

Baling the ditch

The state would have to mow the ditches before winter if it were not for the needs of local ranchers to feed their cattle in the winter. That’s how a cooperative effort is formed between the state and local land owners. The state doesn’t have to mow the snow-catching drift-forming grasses in the ditch, and the rancher can harvest the ditch for his cattle.  It’s a win win and typical of the cooperative culture of North Dakotans who work together, especially to defeat the common enemy of winter.

Across the way, another cooperative effort is underway. The local electric coop is building a wind farm, renting the land from the local farmers to generate electricity from the wind.  The electricity is shipped to eastern states who don’t give a thought about who supplied the electricity or where it came from.  It came from here.  And obviously more is about to come to homes in the east because more turbines are about to be built.  They’re mammoth towers on the prairie as is evidenced by the pickup truck below one of them, driving past the soon-to-be erected tower stems.