Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Reminiscing: The Cornfield fire

Back when I bought my horse, Blue, I rode all over the countryside; but I especially liked riding down on the Missouri river-bottom ground.  I didn't have to worry about drivers speeding past us or honking.  Not that there is that much traffic on 224 highway, but down by the river it was just me and my horse, with nobody to bother us except the occasional farmer planting or harvesting or checking his crops.  I always had my camera along, a camera that wasn't nearly as good as the one I have now, so forgive the quality of these pictures.

In September of 2004, I was enjoying my ride as usual.  The corn appeared ready to harvest.  Now, one thing Blue would never do was go into a field of corn or weeds that was higher than his head.  I might get him a few yards in there, but pretty soon he would put it in rapid reverse and back out the way we came.  Which is just as well, since I'm sure farmers wouldn't appreciate us riding into the middle of their corn.

I liked to stop during our rides and admire the wide Missouri River.

As I was riding along the levee, I noticed smoke in the distance.  Strange.

Oh my!  I later found out that sparks from a pickup truck started this fire.

Our volunteer fire department was there.

It looked like a lost cause, and I wondered if their whole crop would be destroyed.  There was a large portion burnt and lost, but the fire was put out in time for most of the field of corn to be saved.

Smoky job, eh?

I have been wanting to do this post because I originally blogged about the cornfield fire when I was on AOL Journals, and I used AOL pictures to store the pictures for my entries.  When they closed down Journals and their photo-sharing, I was able to transfer the content of the blog to Blogger.  However, the pictures didn't make the trip.  I have been frantically searching for the pictures on my computer for days and finally found them, somehow wrongly filed under June, 2004 instead of September, 2004, when they were taken.
Blue and I had some memorable times.  After I passed this fire and headed up a hilly gravel road home, thinking I was done with the excitement, I heard a siren coming from town and knew I would be meeting a fire department vehicle on a road with very little room to move out of the way.  Not knowing how Blue would react to the excitement, I got off him, climbed as far up the bank as possible leading my horse with me, and crossed my fingers.  As the firetruck topped the hill the very wise driver saw us and turned off his siren, which I greatly appreciated.  I am adding a video that I made three years later, but it shows me riding Blue on the same road where we met the fire engine and you will hear me mention the cornfield fire.  If you watch it, you will see that in many places there's no room on either side of the road, with high banks on both the left and right that left me nowhere to go.  I think at about the 42 second mark is the spot where I was when I heard sirens coming.  

A little sidenote:  Our new next-door neighbor is a member of the family to whom that corn crop belonged, although I imagine he was a teenager when this occurred.  I mentioned it to him a while back, and if I understood him right, I believe he was there when I rode past.  When the stalks burned it left singed corn lying on the ground, and we got permission to pick up as much as we wanted.  Cliff and the neighbor boys gleaned enough for us to raise two hogs.  


Hollie said...

Oh how I miss your rides on Blue!!

Becky said...

I second that. I miss your rides on Blue too. Good horse. Fun and interesting photos and videos. I know it was just your same ole same ole everyday stuff, but for a city mouse, it's always fun to see what the country mouse is up to. :D


Blue sounds like a wonderful horse. too bad your rides had to end.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

How great to find those old pictures and a video too.I remember going along with you on many of those rides. Glad the pictures were not lost