An Autumn Pet Peeve

I love a field of autumn corn. The stalks all golden brown, lined up, and waiting to be harvested. It’ll be cut down, chopped, and used for silage to feed cattle during the long winter. (Silage goes in a silo and that’s what most farmers call it. I grew up on a farm very near the Quebec border and never heard the word silage until a few years ago. We used the word “ensilage” exclusively–the French influence, I guess.)

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I even love a field of mown corn. It looks restful, harvest finished, and its sere, muted shades make the surrounding foliage seem all the more radiant.

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But this? This make me peevish. Who does this?


Who harvests an entire field and leaves one last corn stalk standing? So untidy . . .

(And can you see the blue jay photo bombing the picture?!)

59 thoughts on “An Autumn Pet Peeve

    • It’s only since moving away for many years, then moving back to this area, that the ways French influences language here has become really apparent to me. All the place names (I live on Point au Roche) and people names (Benoit LeFebvre and Gilles Hebert) and the funny idioms. Fascinating, really!

  1. πŸ˜‚ I have a feeling it is in a very wet spot that they avoided,as the corn was much more greener than the rest of the field. The silage that they usually make around here is from green corn if the corn is that dried is it for shelled corn. I like to go out to the fields after the farmers have combined to pick up left overs for the birds. Your falls are so lovely!

    • But just one stalk in a wet area!? I still think they were just sloppy with the harvester. Many farmers here seem to wait very late to harvest the corn but I still think it because silage. Not sure, really–I do remember it being green when we put it into our silo on the farm.

  2. It had to be deliberate, why would a person leave one lonely corn stalk; a marker of sorts, a mysterious crop harvesting ritual, the last laugh of sorts, a pause for thought, it certainly makes a statement….I was here this year!

  3. Yup, with you on that one. I have the same attitude towards the farmers who leave just one 12ft stem of sugar cane standing in an otherwise harvested field. Skinny, messy, and leaning drunkenly. It doesn’t even look defiant. Given our climate, it isn’t even a wet patch. Just a miss with the harvester.

    • Oh, afterwards. I was in my car, watching to see if anyone was coming up the road behind me and trying to get the right angle to show the corn stalk. The jay was a bonus!

  4. Very untidy harvesting. In our area, farmers often leave a couple of rows standing in the middle of the field. Technically, we are not allowed to “bait” deer with feeding them corn. But, if you leave a couple of rows, guess who comes along to clean up… easy hunting. – Oscar

  5. That does seem a little odd! The fall color in your photos is beautiful! You are blessed to live in such a beautiful spot.

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