When I was a boy, growing up in south-central Michigan (between Grand Rapids and Lansing), I always loved the fall of the year….for a number of reasons. Cooler weather was always accompanied by the turning of the leaves (back then you could burn them and to this Michigan boy, there’s nothing that smells better than burning leaves!), hunting season, and of course, the gathering in of the corn, soybeans, etc. I haven’t lived in Michigan for many years now but I go back every three months to visit my older siblings who still live there. I love the harvest time and this past fall, I timed my trip perfectly; the taking in of the corn crop was in full swing.
I chuckle when I look at this picture because, when I was just a boy, the “corn pickers” used by the farmers then (decade of the 50’s) picked two whole rows at a time! Course, farms back then were much smaller; 150 acres was considered a big farm! Most of those smaller farms have been gobbled up and it’s not uncommon nowadays for a farm to consist of several thousands of acres. Obviously, the 2-row corn picker used back in the day would not be of much help given the size of the fields today! Anyway, I used to love listening to the old John Deere Model A, B and C tractors sing their familiar “putt-putt-putt” song, especially if they were pulling a plow and working hard. John Deere combines used today, like the one pictured above, pick 12 rows at a time, have air-conditioned cabs, are guided by GPS, and can just about run themselves!