Beautiful patterns in… soil erosion?

Prairie setting about a hundred feet from the snowdrift photos below. The fields are plowed and soil is visible.

Out for a bike ride today, and there’s a grassy berm alongside the trail as it passes through miles of cornfields. Farmers finished their harvesting and then ploughed the soil as winter approached.

Last week there was a deep freeze and a howling windstorm that lasted for days. Only about two inches of snow, but the wind caused drifts in the berm and alongside the roads. Today, the temperature was sixty degrees and the snow drifts are almost finished melting. You can see the result here below. (Click a pic for closer detail)

The snow was as filthy as a decaying snow pile in a shopping center parking lot. In that case the dirt is usually tire particles and soot from exhaust. But what’s going on so far out in the country?

Soil erosion, that’s what. Close examination shows it’s just plain old dirt from the exposed soil. And this is with the soil frozen hard. As it blows across the landscape, it comes to rest in ditches and berms, is captured by grass and trees. But it is lost to the fields themselves – fifty seven billion tonnes since tilling began.

It’s fine… I’m sure it’ll be OK somehow…

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Older technology guy with photography and history background