All Aboard Harvest | Laura: Storm on the prairie
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Laura: Storm on the prairie

Tribune/Sharon Springs, Kansas – On July 3, Mother Nature put on quite the show for us. We had just moved to our last field of the job. It looked like we may get some rain, but we didn’t know if it would be a slight delay or shut us down completely. The crew gave it their best shot and stayed in the field until the rain drove them out. In the end the storm won. We ended up having to wait the majority of the next day for the moisture in the grain to drop to be able to cut.

For those of you who haven’t witnessed a prairie storm or who just like weather, these photos are for you! They show the progression of how things went down. It was truly an amazing sight to watch it all unfold.  

High Plains Harvesting (Photo Credit: Laura)

The rain was still off in the distance and didn’t look to be a very deep line. (Photo Credit: Laura Haffner)

High Plains Harvesting (Photo Credit: Laura)

Then things really started brewing. (Photo Credit: Laura Haffner)

High Plains Harvesting (Photo Credit: Laura)

The rains kept getting closer and closer. It was clear that we weren’t going to miss this one! (Photo Credit: Laura Haffner)

High Plains Harvesting (Photo Credit: Laura)

Then things started to look like it could get a little ugly. (Photo Credit: Laura Haffner)

High Plains Harvesting (Photo Credit: Laura)

Go, combines. Go! They tried hard to outrun the storm, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m pretty sure this shot is going on the wall of the office. (Photo Credit: Laura Haffner)

High Plains Harvesting (Photo Credit: Laura)

The rain was about to overtake them. In the next few minutes everyone finished dumping, the power fold bin extensions came down, and the green machines waved the white flag at edge of the field.  (Photo Credit: Laura Haffner)

High Plains Harvesting (Photo Credit: Laura)

The rain and wind started, and everyone made it safely to vehicles. It was then time to get the trucks off the dirt roads and everyone back to town. Thankfully, despite the ominous appearance, this stormed seemed to pack more rain and wind than anything else.  Besides the delay in harvest, this storm over our field had a happy ending. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be so excited about these weather photos.  (Photo Credit: Laura Haffner)

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Laura can be reached at

  • Paul Tomlinson
    Posted at 14:49h, 10 July

    that looked like a just plain bad old storm!!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 15:32h, 10 July

      We’ve had so much hail this season that its more than a little concerning when they pop up! Luckily this one was more photogenic than anything! 🙂

  • Dan McGrew
    Posted at 08:09h, 11 July

    Please don’t tell us you shot these storm photos with your cell phone.
    In the 1950s, carrying my 4X5 press camera and 12 two-shot film holders, all 24 would be used on any storm approaching this while on the harvest trail.
    In night’s dark, I would climb inside a combine to achieve total dark, empty exposed film into thick black paper, fold tightly and tape, before putting into an empty 100-sheet film box. [Shooting Ansco Super-Hi-Pan, developing with ultra fine grain developer when I returned to Okla A&M in fall].
    I would sell those negatives to NYC stock companies. Routine images — $5-$10. Spectacular rodeo, forest fire, storms, scenics– as much as $50. Lightning storm below Going to the Sun Highway, Glacier Park, with St. Mary’s Lake reflecting flashes — $100.
    Now with the internet, cell phones, I-Pads and tablets and other digital cameras — Free lance profits lie in embarrassing photos of celebrities.

  • Tom Stegmeier
    Posted at 21:55h, 11 July

    Neat stuff Laura, we sure don’t have those type of clouds here on the eastern slopes of the Rockies here in Cochrane AB. Talk about storms , It was the first time in the history of the Calgary Stampede that the Chuck Wagon races were canceled on day 4 because of lighting knocked the lights.Hoping your crew has some more wheat to cut !!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 08:21h, 12 July

      That’s crazy, Tom! That sounds like some lightning.

      I would love to get up that direction some day! Regina is as far as I’ve made it!

      • Tom Stegmeier
        Posted at 21:18h, 12 July

        Laura , You & your Family are always welcome here in Cochrane AB.Banff National park is super even in the winter.It is only a hour from home .

        • Laura Haffner
          Posted at 21:47h, 12 July

          Thanks, Tom! I may have to try to talk Ryan into a road trip! 🙂