As I was thinking about a topic to grace this space (trust me, poetry is not my forte`) I?thought of the old phrase, “Heads Up!”
Now, depending on the situation, the traditional Heads Up can be used in several ways. In construction, the shout of “Heads Up” is a warning for people to look around for moving items, falling tools, or to avoid a hazard of some type.
In other circles, a Heads Up is used as an advisory – such as a reminder of something that is to occur. In the newspaper business, a Heads Up means that we’re getting notice of some kind of event – for instance, I got a Heads Up message last week that the Kindergarten students will be traveling to the Fire Station next week for Fire Prevention Week – so I?marked the date and time on my calendar.
I alluded to the use of a Heads Up as a warning a little earlier, and to be honest, that’s the real purpose of this piece. Unless you’ve been buried in the office under a stack of papers (you should see Mount Paperwork on my desk!) you may have noticed that the calendar flipped to the Fall season this past week, and the colors of our landscape are reflecting that fact. Soybean fields are rapidly turning shades of brown as the leaves fall and the stalks dry, and the cornfields of the area are losing their green hue.
There are numerous fields that have been harvested in the past few days, and reports say that early crops look good but could use a few more days of natural drying before starting the harvest in earnest.
But it’s when that “earnest” part begins that the term “Heads Up” should become foremost on everyone’s minds.
For drivers, recognizing farm equipment on roadways should become more important, and with that recognition, an extra dose of patience should be included. The average combine or tractor can move around 15 to 20 miles an hour down the roadway, and when you come up on one at 50 or even 60 (shame on you for speeding!) the rate of closure on that implement is tremendous.
When you see farm equipment on the roads this harvest, give them room. Don’t tailgate them, don’t try to pass if they are approaching an intersection or driveway – they may be turning as you try to pass. Be prepared to slow down, perhaps yield a little of the roadway, and allow for some extra time to reach your destination.
The harvest is a hectic enough time for our farmers as they race Mother Nature to bring the crop from the field to market. Days grow shorter, the leaves turn colors and the air grows crisp.
Fall can be a beautiful time, but a little Heads Up to watch out for our farmer friends will make for a safer harvest for one and all.