11-Aug-2001 -- This confluence was originally visited and posted in late May 2001. The photos from Visit #1 show the cropland as it appears prior to the emergence of the new crop. The corn stalks on the ground in the original May photos are from the previous crop year. Minimum tillage practices of not plowing-in this kind of residue are methods farmers of today use to conserve energy, soil, costs, and the environment. This year’s crop is soybeans, which were not evident in the May photos. My brother Steve and his wife Marna, from California, were visiting us in Spencer, Iowa in August. While here we decided to make visit #2 to the Gillett Grove confluence with the purpose of photographing the area with the bean crop near its maturity. This opportunity to view the land in May and again in August shows the contrast of change in this region from spring to summer.
A sunny, warm day greeted the four of us as we made the fifteen-mile drive from Spencer to Gillett Grove. I had called Carl, who is farming the land, on the previous day regarding this visit. This land has been in Carl’s family for over fifty years. The farmstead was the first to be permanently built upon in Logan Township in the 1800’s when much of the land in the region was homesteaded. Carl and his son Phillip met us near the field and walked with us to the confluence. Our trek took about thirty minutes as we walked in the bean rows for a distance, and then had to cross rows. We walked cautiously, trying not to break the plants which were 20 to 36 inches tall.
We believe that the photos we are submitting as Visit #2 will show the vivid contrast of just two of the seasons, spring and summer, in this part of the upper Midwest. Our visit represents summer. If you have not already viewed the photos from Visit #1, look back at them to see the springtime appearance.