May 4

There’d be a few more acres to farm near Wilton if it weren’t for the slag piles and open pits left from the coal mines of 100 years ago.  Farmers in these parts have to be careful because sometimes, the mines open up and a tractor can be lost in the new pit.  Well, not always. It’s been 10 or 20 years since an entire tractor was swallowed, but still the ground can open up and a tractor can fall into enough of a pit to break an axle.

This farmer east of Wilton is tilling the soil for the first time in the spring, making his first trips across the field, turning the stubble in to tillable soil.  The dirt is moist from the melted snow but still,  you can smell the fresh dirt.I drove by the farmer discing the field next to the road, and shot several images, the dirt clumps rolling, the engine growling.  I watched him turn the soil before I headed on up the road. I got to the nearby hill, mounted my telephoto and shot the first image above to show North Dakota’s landscape. It’s not as flat as you think.