The Missouri river bottom land has always been one of my favorite places to ride. Nobody lives there, there's seldom any traffic except for an occasional four-wheeler or farmer checking his crops, and it's fun to watch the corn and soybeans grow each summer, and see the harvest activity in autumn.
Early last month when it flooded down there, it was interesting, at first, to watch how high the water got, then to see it recede.
But once the water went down, it wasn't a nice place to ride any more. The smell of dead animals and rotting vegetation was almost overwhelming, and nothing was growing. Blue wasn't too crazy about plodding through mud and sand.
Vultures circled me as I rode, seemingly expecting me to drop out of the saddle at any moment.
Ah, but yesterday, changes were taking place. Farmers have disked up the fields, getting ready to plant soybeans where corn grew last year. There'll be no corn growing on the river bottom this year; it's too late to plant it. Perhaps some farmers will slip in a crop of winter wheat this fall.
Yes, there's still flooding on the far side of the levee. I doubt any crops will grow there at all, this year.
But as I was getting at the far end of my river-bottom ride, I saw a farmer had his tractor down there spraying weeds, killing them in preparation for planting beans. He'd stopped his tractor and was visiting with another curiosity-seeker such as myself who, when I rode between the two vehicles, said, "You sure do get around".
He'd passed me back on the levee a half-hour earlier.
It'll be good to have my Missouri River bottom-lands turning green again.