Thursday, 10 September 2015

The Gracefulness Of Maize Harvesting Reminds Me Of A Strauss Waltz.

A rural ballet everyone should see at least once.

Even now I could kick myself because the day I was privy to this delightful show, I forgot my camera at home. Yip, dreadful but never mind. It started off with a walk from the Deutsch Schützen Hall and even before I saw them, I heard them.

Walking towards the country lane that meanders beautifully between the various fields I heard a tractor. Nothing unusual except it was going at a faster speed than normal. A big tractor with its trailer brim full of crushed maize. The only reason I knew it was crushed maize was the fact that with the speedy driving, bits were being caught up in the wind and floated down to the ground in front of me, almost like a prelude. At least I solved that particular puzzle. There are sporadic bits of crushed anything on the various lanes.

If you've ever seen a combine harvester, you know they are huge. Huge and rather scary when one comes towards you on an open road. Best to pull over and let it pass. Most of the times its fangs take over half of the oncoming lane in any case. You actually get to hear a combine harvester driving before you see it. It gives off a grumbling roar of engine noise, that trumps a mere tractor by far.

As I turned the first corner into the country lane, I stopped in awe. Well, at first there was a tad bit of caution and dare I say had a healthy respect for those huge fangs. The driver lords it majestically in his driver's sofa, so far up in that tiny capsule and just in case he has a blind side, I stopped a very safe distance away.

Just as well I could stand and be a spectator of this rural ballet. The supporting stars were two tractors and their huge trailers, although they alternated on stage. The star of the show was this combine harvester. Oh, you should have seen it manoeuvre as gracefully as a ballerina around the maize field. Not a centimeter misjudged and reversing with a skill that even the most experienced taxi driver never attains.

All the while, the Stack of the combine harvester was spewing out a continuous flow of cut up maize. And here is where the waltz comes into play. The tractor drivers follow in a close two step each and every move of the big machine and catch every morsel of the chopped maize. The combine moves an inch to the left, the tractor does too. A reversing of the one, mirrors a similar move on the other.

This whole production goes in five minute intervals as this is how fast the trailer is filled. They must have had plenty of rehearsals, because the way the two tractors alternated in collection the spew of chopped maize was poetry in motion and a joy to behold...

Harvest time is not yet over and you'll be able to catch a performance at a field near you...well worth it.

Biggi