Yep, I supposed you could have called me a sod-buster. I started my presence on this blue and white marble on a farm on the great plains of our great country. I spent the first 8 years or so of my life on a farm in Iowa. Summer times were wonderful. As kids, my sister and I were immune to the heat and humidity of the Iowa summer, though when I go there now in the summer, I find it rather oppressive (and this from a guy who lives near Atlanta).
I recall the summer evenings when my sister and I would go out and play in the shallow ditch that ran along the front of our farm. We’d watch for cars to come down the road (they were few and far between!), and we’d hid from them in the ditch. I don’t recall why, but it was something to do. The fireflies would be lighting up all around us and one could hear the crickets and other insects singing their nightly song from the grasses and fields that were all around us. It was magical.
And as the sun would set in the west, we’d see scenes like the one in my photo that I’m posting today. This wasn’t taken on our farm, but it was taken in Iowa on my cousin’s farm at the end of a summer’s day – the sun going down in a blazing ball of fire as darkness started to take a firm hold on the fields of corn and soybeans.
I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. It was a magical time to be alive.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1999, an earthquake near the Caspian Sea in Iran killed more than 50,000 and injures another 135,000. The 7.7-magnitude tremor wrecked havoc on the simply constructed houses in the area.
Thirty minutes past midnight, with most people sleeping in their homes, a violent quake, centered along the shores of the Caspian Sea in northwestern Iran shattered the nighttime tranquility. A 20,000-square-mile area in the provinces of Zanjan and Gilan was absolutely devastated. This region encompasses both farms and sea resorts–all were demolished. In towns along one 80-mile stretch, every single building was reduced to rubble and every single resident was killed.
Additionally, a burst dam in Rasht, caused by a 6.5-magnitude aftershock the following morning, wiped out a large stretch of farmland. Landslides made many roads impassable and many of the people who initially survived under the rubble could not be rescued before their air supply ran out. An estimated 400,000 people were left homeless by the earthquake.
Worldwide relief efforts were undertaken. The Iranian government grudgingly accepted assistance from the United States, though it refused help from Israel and South Africa. Because of Iran’s tenuous relations with their home nations, many relief workers from western nations were sent home after only a brief time and before critical assistance could be provided.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: A massive 8.8 earthquake in Chile moved the city of Concepción 10 feet to the west on February 27, 2010. This quake also shortened Earth’s day and slightly changed the rotation of the planet. The deadliest earthquake known hit Shansi, China on January 23, 1556. An estimated 830,000 people died.