Riding in the back of my brother's minivan to and from his three-year-old granddaughter's birthday party, the tassels on the cornfields were spun into gold by the late afternoon sunlight. Each farmplace was a micro-metropolis as it rose out of the molten glow. Skylines of silos, grain bins, and an occasional windmill towered above barns, houses, machine sheds, and a scattering of outbuildings--each farm isolated from the next by a moat of rolling fields.
The drought has not been completely devastating here in this part of Iowa, but some farmers are chopping their corn earlier than usual. The empty fields might be a harbinger of early fall, the days already unseasonably cool; the mosquitos perhaps departed for warmer, sweatier places where there's more bare skin. Of course, everything can shift with the slightest whisper of notice. Too hot, too cold, too dry too wet, too good to last is what farmers say about the weather.