Our family farm dates back to the late 1860s when my great-grandfather, Homer Lawrence Matthews, Sr., acquired the bigger portion of it and had a house built on it. My grandfather, Homer Lawrence Matthews, Jr., and mother, Helen Louise Matthews, later Shires, were born in that house, but the structure now lay in ruins. Before cars, telephones, electricity, and rural water became popular, the house may have been well placed, but nowadays, living at the bottom of a hill next to a road edged by a cavernous creek and having a front door routinely assaulted by winter's howling north wind has lost its appeal. We live in a home built in the late nineteenth century but purchased by my great-uncle in the following century, which we moved from a highway location and out onto a pasture hillock, on the lee side, so that we could avoid both biting cold and traffic noise, and enjoy a quiet, pleasant view overlooking the farm with its meadows, timbers, and crops. The farm is small, about 150 crop acres, and 100 plus acres of timber and meadows enjoyed by deer, turkey, beavers, and our county government for tax purposes.
This spring we experienced our fair share of rain, unfortunately others got even more than their fair share. The bridge to the closest elevator, located just across the Missouri River, has been closed since the beginning of spring and floodwaters are not expected to recede until sometime after August. But we got our crops in as living in the hills does have its advantages. We do have ten or so acres that will need to be planted late late, but that's because we're having terraces and tile put in. So maybe we'll be the last ones done planting afterall.
Gaining farm ground by pushing back the treeline. Great-Grandfather's old house reappears.
Below are pics from the hidden camera. If you observe the squirrel you'll understand the low corn yield.
The Beaver dam before and after the 2-3 inch rain of 27 March 2018. You have to click on the picture to see some of the subjects. Ducks taking advantage of the beaver pond before the deluge burst it. At night, two raccoons skirt the pond. An elusive heron enjoys the exposed pond bed in the fourth picture, but again you may have to click on the pic to catch a glimpse of him. In the last picture a beaver inspects what's left of his engineering work.