It’s so hot…

Nothing inspires bad jokes like bad weather.

I sent this photo to a friend in Illinois to show how dry it's been here in southeast Wisconsin. He didn't buy it either, but we really have been dry. Last week I cut open a milkweed and Parmesan cheese ran out. I saw an earthworm carrying a pickax. It's so dry...well, you get the idea.

Our front pasture

I sent this photo to a friend in Illinois to show how dry it's been here in southeast Wisconsin. He didn't buy it either, but we really have been dry. Last week I cut open a milkweed and Parmesan cheese ran out. I saw an earthworm carrying a pickax. It's so dry...well, you get the idea.

 

This summer’s drought is the worst I’ve ever seen in the Midwest, and I’m getting to be old enough to make that count for something. It’ll have a devastating economic impact on tens of thousands of farmers, and there’s absolutely nothing funny about that. Yet they still find ways to wring a smile out of each other with jokes so bad, they’re good.

Our southern Minnesota farmer/rural banker/country philosopher friend Darwin Anthony relays this story from a farmer who recently stopped by his office: “I went out to my garden this morning to see how it was handling the hot weather, and found two raccoons carrying buckets of water to the sweet corn patch.”

You groan, then chuckle, then try not to think about the reality behind it all. I grew up on a farm. My family and friends farm. I’ve written about farmers and ranchers most of my life. But I’m still constantly amazed by their strength and resilience—and more than a little humbled, even when they’re telling the world’s worst jokes.

Photo by Digital Vision

dj ritchie July 30, 2012 at 8:13 pm

It’s so hot out! I was driving down country roads this weekend taking pictures and a grasshopper hitched a ride for miles! Finally as I turned onto a road near a creek bed, I slowed to take a picture of it and it was totally dry. The grasshopper took the moment to jump off the windshield, I guess thinking it could get a drink. As I drove off I saw what I presumed to be the very same grasshopper back on the windshield. Wasn’t no water there, so he wasn’t staying! I actually have a photo of him on the windshield!

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