One of the big season-marking events I notice in our rural community is the winter wheat harvest, usually in early August. Winter wheat, planted last fall, has matured and turned golden brown. Among our big grain crops, it's the first to be harvested. Others will follow right through to late fall.
This year it's been a real challenge to get that dry sunny window of weather for the harvest. I've kept an eye on several winter wheat fields nearby waiting for this to start.
I spotted the start of the harvest on the way into town nearly two weeks ago. This is a spot I've stopped to get several pictures over the season so far.
When I went by, there was a big combine sitting waiting for people to arrive to continue the work.
As well as a tractor pulling a grain wagon for transferring the grain to the big trucks that haul it away.
A week or two later I spotted this very similar combine hard at work, taking down a long wide band of wheat.
The combine takes heads of grain, and leaves the straw stems lying in swaths for baling.
At the end of the field was a tractor and baler, waiting to start baling, while a grain truck is parked in the background.
And the next day when I went by, the entire field of straw had been baled. A lot of hours put in, and a lot of both grain and straw ready for market. One of the big turning points of our entire summer season.