Amber Waves of Grain
Okay, that 'amber' aspect does bring to mind a good, rich brew, which is also something to celebrate on the Fourth of July.
To come back to the subject, I just drove from North Texas to Kansas to Granby, Colorado, throwing in the Rocky Mountain National Park, to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, to Albuquerque, NM, and back to N. Texas. I saw a lot of this country, most of it considered flyover land. What I didn't see that I expected to, was lots of crops!
I saw some, but overwhelmingly the land I was driving through was not full of growing stuff that will be coming to your table or into your gas tank. Much of what I saw was cleared land, nothing planted on it, sometimes with a few cows or horses, some goats, once some llama, and the occasional thrill of antelope, mule deer, a coyote and my favorites, the birds.
Why aren't more fields of grain, corn, even cotton, being cultivated? I honestly don't know. Some was for sale, once a sign advertized 'Scenic Ranch, 64,000 Acres", and I suspect this rancher, like my nearby friend who farms over 100 acres with a cropper, (I don't like to say sharecropper, because people don't like to be called that), can't pay the taxes when it's a bad year.
I saw a few signs saying "Free Land", too. If you're in the market I recommend you drive Route 70 through Colorado, and keep your eyes open near the border with Kansas, where the sign says there's land and water, looking for people to live there. Something tells me you probably want to speak English. But what gives? No one's farming. It makes my plough hand itch. No, actually I don't think I have a plow hand, but it makes something itch to grow those amber waves of grain.
If anyone thinks that there's not enough growing stuff to make the biofuels, I suggest you take a ride. About 2,000 miles of riding, and you're going to change your mind.
What I didn'tsee would keep a lot of cars going for a lot of miles. I didn't see switch grass, I didn't see much corn, and I didn't see windfarms either. I did see signs in several places that warned about high winds. No one was cropping them at all. Fields of grass do wave, wheat makes a swelling abundant and rolling sea in beige, milo a chocolate brown, and the whispering sound of amazing beauty. I expected to see more of it.
We're not doing what it takes to make ourselves energy independent, I can tell you plainly. (Pun intended.)
I also saw a field that went on forever, as they do in the flat, huge, West, full of purple blooming chollo cactus, and in among the blooms a herd of antelope. If I could have stopped safely in time to take a picture, I would share it with you, but that wasn't possible. I'll be developing pictures to show you, but that one I'll just have to tell you about.
I also took Woody Guthrie's Guitar to see "Sicko" in return for his hospitality, and he tells you about it at http://thewell-armedlamb.blogspot.com/ .
(This post also at http://cabdrollery.blogspot.com which is blocked at Drury Hotels because of Drug/Narcotics content. yep, I'm still giggling. Diane thinks it's because we've been mean to Big Pharma.)