It was several months ago that I first discovered that Galen, my partner Dave's little grandson, has a love of big machines -- tractors, backhoes, graders -- you name it and he thinks it's pretty cool.
He lives in Lawrence and recently came to visit. Since it's wheat harvest time, letting him experience a ride in the combine to cut some wheat seemed like a good idea,
Sedgwick County farmer Mick Rausch was finishing up the last of his harvest at a field near his home in Garden Plain; a field that got hit by late season hail and high winds a couple of weeks ago and has presented its own special challenge to harvest.
Rausch said he's had to harvest at a crawl to pick up all the downed wheat and keep the combine operating.
"It's been slow going," he said Sunday. "With rain in the forecast I hope to get finished up in the next day or so."
Overall, he said, this has been a better than average wheat harvest on his farm.
"My son, Steve, has been driving the combine for all the good fields," he said with a laugh, "When it came to this one, he was perfectly happy to turn the combine over to Dad."
It didn't matter much to Galen how slow the going was. The size, the noise and even the dirt where impressive enough to override any attention to speed.
And when the ride was done, it was the cows -- Rausch also operates a small family dairy -- that got his attention.
ALL ABOARD: Galen stays safe with Dad, Rob, while mom, Noel, climbs into the combine cab.
THEY'RE OFF: Safe on mom's lap, he has a pretty serious attitude about this.
WALKING BACK: Mom and Galen brave the blowing dust and wheat stubble after the ride.
THE COWS: Look! Out there! I see cows and cows everywhere.