Ode to Dirt

The plowed potato fields lie sleeping under the snow, soaking up moisture in corduroy ridges. When the plows open the fields in March, dirt takes flight in spring’s rushing winds. Summer’s irrigated crops hold the dirt in place, growing food, barley for beer, canola for oil, clover for the honey bees, hay for stock, white, purple and pink blooming potato plants. By fall, dirt, water and sunlight have done their job once more. The potatoes are harvested, the barley is cut, the hay is baled. The trees along the Rio Grande summon all that remains of summer’s light and release it in the gold of cottonwood and aspen leaves. The wind returns, sweeping the old year away. Behind it, snow.

Dust storm in March. Wind carrying dust from the east encounters wind blowing from the west. Stalemate.
Summer on the Rio Grande

Rest and moisture

16 thoughts on “Ode to Dirt

  1. Lovely photos, evocative prose.

    Dirt is a much-undervalued asset. Unless you understand how central it is to terrestrial life that is, then you love it.

    Children need dirt to play in, not just sterilized sandbox filler from Home Depot. It gives them a strong immune system.

    Farmer’s worship dirt and for good reason. Crops don’t grow on sand or rock. Dirt and its organic content holds water, doesn’t wash or blow away as readily, and delivers dissolved nutrients.

    Dirt on the hands, clothing, and body is a sign of someone who is close to nature. I usually store an ample supply under my fingernails.

  2. An amazing slide through the seasons, great insights, and lovely to look down once in awhile as well! Great images and lovely account of soil. Myself, I am reuniting with soil, discovering the joys of composting.

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