Today is a day off for me. And, as I sometimes wish to do, I went for a drive out into the county (I hesitate to say “country” anywhere in Sedgwick County...for me, “the country” would be southwestern Logan County or similar.) to see what was going on away from the city. I thought I would give you a few observations off the cuff.
- The road I chose, 215th West, is one NICE paved road...all the way from Goddard to Highway 96. The county has done a really nice job with this and other roads outside of the cities.
- There were more sheep and goats in pastures along the way than I would ever have thought would be in South Central Kansas. I don't know if they are being used as simply livestock, as are cattle, or if they are for 4-H or some other purpose. And I suppose that goats could be kept for their value as milk producers. Goat milk in the stores is rather expensive.
- The alfalfa is about ready to cut again. It''s blooming, and I expect the mowers and balers to be busy shortly.
- Several farmers (or else one super-big farmer) have baled straw this year in those big round bales. I'm not sure where that is going, but there's a lot of it that has been baled.
- Those guys who got their corn planted early were able to take advantage of the spring rains. Their corn crop looks good, and some is even tassling now. The guys who were unable to plant until recently will have to rely either on irrigation or the spotty and sporadic rains that come in the hot months of summer.
And I saw one guy re-planting some beans in an area of his field that looked to be rather poorly populated with bean plants. That may be kind of a crapshoot this fall on getting a crop on the re-plant, if we have an early cold snap or two.
- There are some really nice homes in that area. Many probably are owned by “gentleman” farmers or city people who have moved to the county. And there are a few enclaves of home clusters in that area as well.
- Colwich is a larger community than I had originally thought. I'm not sure of the population, but it's a nice town. And if there was a church other than the Catholic church there, I didn't see it.
- The antenna “farm” that has been part of the landscape in that area since the 1950's is still there and very much a part of the country side. An antenna farm is an area where several radio and television towers are placed in proximity to each other.
- People will still wave at you using the steering wheel wave in the country. I think it's not so much as they think they know you as it is an acknowledgment of your presence along with a “thank you” for hugging the side of the road as you pass.
- The railroad that cuts through that area is alive and well. They've replaced a lot of ties, dumped new ballast down, and have upgraded crossings. Looks like the K & O is in this for the long haul.
Well, there it is...observations from one guy who took an hour and a half or so drive to see what he could see out in the “wilds” of N.W. Sedgwick County.