Photographer's Note


Friday evening, after this picture, I’ve got to return home before sunset, and I told the owner of 279-acre rice farm that I’ll come back ‘tomorrow’. So I did. But when I stepped down on his rice field yesterday evening, the surprise shown on his face was more obvious than when he met me first time.

This is another snapshot of the rice at sunset over Egypt, Texas 77436 within the "rice belt" — in Wharton County. The precise time was 8:11 PM, Central Time.

I kept telling that I am just an ignorant on rice agriculture in the USA until a few weeks ago. The more I tried to find out, the more stupid I discovered myself.

On my way heading back to Egypt, I had in mind three people:

• John Framr, the owner of the rice field who facilitated and gave me lot of details about rice farming.
Nicoleta, the Trekearth member who is the most patient friend to spent time not only for my snapshots, but reading through my stories and my bothersome notes that accompanied the poor pictures. The more encouraging words she gave, the heavier load I felt each time I prepared the note.
Yuan, another Trekearth member who regularly double-checked the info I quoted, and made invaluable contribution into my topic.

For Nicoleta and Yuan, this humble picture was what I had in mind as I return the same spot in the second day: I told myself I’d try to record a picture of “rice at sunset” and if it comes out acceptable, it will be devoted to you. Please share with me, my friends!

During the second trip to the rice belt, I had more time to be spent with John Framr — my new friend living in the nearby little town East Bernard, TX 77435. He is 78, descendant of Czech — the highest percentage of 1729-population here with 33% while German 12.3%, Irish 11.1%, US 10.4%, English 5.0%, Polish 3.6%, and 3 Vietnamese families.

From John, I started my first understanding about rice farming in the USA. There were too many things to hear (and to learn) and here are just a few entries from my notebook:

• Combine harvester: $225,000/each — the main machine that make the combination of works with only one operator at the harvesting speed of 175,000 lbs (nearly 80 metric tons) in a 7-hour shift.
• Auger Cart: $8,000/ea, capacity 15,000 lbs, to received rice from combine harvester and transport it to trailer parked at staging area.
• Trailer: $15,000/ea, capacity 75,000 lbs, to contain and transport rice from field to dryer/mill.
• Used Truck: $10,000/ea, to haul the trailer of rice from field to dryer/mill.
• etc… and etc…

Well, I will go into detail of each agricultural term above later. I will also return to John’s residence to learn the rice farming from "step a", beginning with land preparation sometime in mid-March, and to see how he would seed rice with planting machine — not by transplanting the young rice from beds to the large fields by hand as in Vietnam.


kmarscher, nicol_g has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 471 W: 125 N: 2332] (8458)
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