Showing posts with label Farming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Farming. Show all posts

People You Meet on the Trail...

I am by no means a portrait photographer.  My camera just isn’t suited for it and I am more interested in capturing the beautiful nature I see on my rides, anyway.  Lately the cloud cover has muted the light and left things grey and lifeless, so I have been taking more people shots along the way than usual.  If I were so inclined there would be no shortage of portrait material no matter where I go.  Here is a sample of some of the people I might bump into on a bike ride.

These guys I could smell long before I could see them, as I approached from downwind.  Those little red onions have a pungent aroma for sure.  The workers were in high spirits in spite of the smell.

Sometimes it is rice farmers that one encounters on the trail.  Everyone seems willing to strike a pose if you ask nicely.  I actually spent a few minutes visiting with these guys as I snapped away.

Some people are just very hard to see even when you are looking right at them, like these ladies watering the young rubber trees in the nursery of our nearby rubber plantation.  I call this the Thai Ninja suit.

Everyone needs to take a break from time to time.  The old couple above had been collecting bamboo shoots for dinner, up beyond the reservoir where I was headed that day.  We crossed paths at the reservoir and again on my way down where they were taking a much needed break.

The other two guys had been harvesting fruit from the heavily laden Lamyai trees in their orchard.

Speaking of Lamyai, this guy was very generous as he offered to share his bowl full of freshly picked Lamyai.  Everyone seemed quite entertained by my presence and the presence of my camera.
This fellow biker was a bit on the shy side but friendly enough as his friends made fun of him and he tried unsuccessfully to hold back a smile.
Here is the village gas station and the ever vigilant attendant.  I guess he realized I wouldn't be needing his services.

This guy was the most camera shy of them all.  Don't know how many shots I took just to get this one.

The reason I am diverging from my usual presentation of pretty trail shots, is because it was all I could do to stay on my bike as I maneuvered the washed out trails, complete with mud pits and heavy sticky clay that clung relentlessly to every part of the bike.  This 33km ride took a little longer than usual as my progress was slowed by four or five kilometers of this stuff.  I think I will take a different route next time.

Planting Rice 2012 ...

It is that time of year again and our neighbors are very busy planting their fields.  Rice is so much a part of the fabric of village life, yet so foreign to most outsiders.  Things are changing for sure as everything becomes more mechanized but on days like today one can glimpse the soul of village life, the way it was in simpler times and sometimes still is.

Some may see only dirty backbreaking work but from my house I can hear their laughter and friendly banter.  Taunts of going “inter”, as in international, and perhaps finding a farang were heard as I walked among them.  I assured them they would indeed be gracing the pages of my blog as they had in the past.  Have a look at these photos taken this morning, as I mingled in their midst managing just barely to stay out of the mud.  Take a look and see if you can see what I see.  At posting they are still out in the field, spirits still high, undaunted by the task at hand.

Another day another field.

Fire and Rain ...

Trusty fire-stick in hand our neighbor, along with many others, was setting his field alight in anticipation of plowing the earth before the forecast rains.  Perhaps he noticed me taking pictures, though I somehow doubt it made any difference to him.  Whatever the reason he only burned part of the field, leaving the remainder to be finished off the next day while we were conveniently away in town.  I noticed the gardener had the presence of mind to turn on our sprinklers to keep our plants wet and singe free.  Though annoying, we have suffered no more than sore eyes and irritated breathing passages from the burning so I guess we are lucky in a way.

Heading into this last weekend it had been so hot and dry that one wondered if it would ever rain again.  On this occasion the forecasters were not wrong and the rain fell in abundance leaving the soil saturated with standing water in lower areas.  Today the clouds have begun to part and the sun is illuminating a new and wondrous view.  Another month or two and we will once again be floating in a sea of lush green vegetation from our doorstep to the mountains beyond.

Each day brings with it new challenges and adventures, rewarding us sometimes with views like this morning, in contrast to the burning of a few days earlier.

Photos from Today’s Mt. Bike Ride ...

I was going to write something today but by the time I returned from another mountain bike ride my body and brain were just too tired to think.  Decided it might be best just to upload some pictures from my ride and leave the heavy lifting for a later date.

Today marked only the second time on this dirt track and the first time to return home the long way via the main road we normally use when returning from town.  It gave me a chance to stop along the way, something one just doesn’t do when commuting, and get some more photos of the roadside trees that bloom this time of year.

Up in the hills the aftermath of recent burning was evident even after the strong winds and brief rain we had last night.  Spotted a couple of guys driving their small tractors on a very steep slope that was recently cleared.  They obviously had the presence of mind to keep the tires pointed straight up and down the slope.  If they had gotten sideways I am sure they would have flipped.  Found one guy tending his newly planted eggplants and took a couple of pictures as he looked a little out of place with his plastic sheets. 

So here is a selection of photos from today’s ride.

Fallen Rice

Thunder and a heavy rain roused us from our dreams shortly before 4am the other night.  A friend had mentioned rain at his place in town the other day but somehow I just wasn’t expecting any where we live.  Lasting nearly an hour we received a substantial amount of water.

The plants needed the water but the effects on our front field were not welcome, though it is interesting to look at.  Most of the surrounding fields were not effected, just us and another nearer the road.  These rice-falls seem to happen every year with no rhyme or reason.  Once they are down they never get back up and it makes harvesting that much more difficult.

Nothing to do with the rice but I like the lines of this plant.