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April 23, 2006 - Seeing Beauty from Above

Flying from Kansas City, Missouri to Chicago on a recent Friday morning in April we were at 33,000 feet.  It was a clear morning and  from that altitude you could make out the outlines of the farm fields, but it was difficult to see much contrast in color....this early in the season the landscape was pretty much a drab brown.

But, when I have the opportunity, and it happens frequently throughout the year, to fly in "Air Orion", the Cessna 210 I have owned since 1984, we generally fly at an altitude of 3,500 up to 6,500 feet.  That gives me a close look at what is happening on farms and ranches below and  I enjoy it immensely. The change of seasons is always fascinating and I really can’t name a favorite season.  I like them all, but Springtime is special, because it is the beginning of life... baby animals arriving on the farm and the greening of trees, lawns and the fields of America’s rich farmland.

As I mentioned earlier, with the melting of the winter snows we have gone from the crisp whiteness of winter to the rather drab colors of early spring, but you know it won’t be long before the tractors and planters are rolling, the seeds will be planted and in a matter of weeks, those fields will turn bright green.

Fly over those fields at 3,500 feet in the summer and watch the rows disappear as the crop canopy covers the soil and turns various shades of green. The exception to that last year was flying over the drought areas where plant growth never did cover the soil and by early August corn fields had turned brown.

Then fall arrives and from the air you see those same fields turning into various shades of brilliant gold and yellow colors and in the surrounding woodlands you see those colors as well as the brilliant reds of maple trees. Looking down you watch the dust trails of combines and you know the  harvest is underway bringing in the bounty of the earth to feed  the hungry people of the world.

Don’t tell me there is no God, as from the cockpit I watch this miracle of life unfold below me every year. And let me strongly suggest that if you have the opportunity to see your farm from the air in a private plane, do it. It will open your eyes to a lot of things, especially drainage patterns and the soil conservation practices you have put in place and how well they are working. It will help you do an even better job of leaving that farm and its precious commodity, soil, in better shape than it was when you started farming it.

Finally, you will see from a different view, the role you play with the help of God, in producing this annual miracle of life. We are truly blessed.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.