Thursday, October 16, 2014

Good Fences in the Neighborhood


I took these photos on Tuesday on our way home from Eau Claire. Mr. C. asked if I wanted to go home on Hwy. 53 or 'Should we take the scenic route?'  Since this was a wonderful opportunity to see the beautiful rolling hills in the area west of Bloomer and east of Colfax I said 'yes' before he could change his mind.




  Corn in the foreground. This is the land of corn and soybeans.

The maples have lost some of their leaves, but the oaks are just getting their full, deep rich autumn colors!

This shot would be better if I had not taken it through the windshield, but I didn't know if there was enough time to get out, take the shot, and get in the vehicle again before one of the many sand trucks came barreling down the road.

 Sand Mine (in background)

 The tip of the iceberg

There are several frac sand mines in our sand-rich neck of the woods. While people were hollering about the price of oil and gas, and the government was fumbling around trying to get their act together, private enterprise was hard at work, extracting oil from oil-rich areas of North Dakota. They use this tiny, special sand for that purpose, so there is a great frac-sand mining business in our area. They take the topsoil off a hill, get the sand out, put the topsoil back on, and move to a different mine. But some of these huge sand mines will be operating for 40 years. At first, farmers who owned the land were selling it to the mining companies for mega dollars. Now many of them are getting smart and leasing it to the mining companies instead, getting royalties per ton of sand removed from their property.

Funny side note about human nature:
There is a very vocal woman in our area who attends any protest meetings re. frac sand. However, at some point, the mining company approached her and made her an offer she couldn't refuse. She sold her land to them for $10,000 per acre, but still attended the protest meetings until word got out. :-)

For all the complaints about frac sand mining being in the area, it should be noted that no one is ever forced to sell or lease their land to the mining company, and the mining companies, unlike the government, can't come in and relieve you of your property by imposing 'eminent domain.' 


 I'm always amused by that 'Safety First' sign.
So are they trying to remind US to be safe?
Or are they trying to reassure us that THEY are safe.
So silly.




Have a happy Thursday!


Linking to 
Theresa's


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50 comments:

Mike @ A Bit About Britain said...

This is a really interesting post, because the pictures show the subtle differences between the way things look in the US and the UK. Also interesting to hear your take on fracking - a big topic over here. You're dead right about human nature and self-interest; had a few classic examples of that in my time! By the way - my wife is very patient because I invariably take the scenic route!

Buttons said...

This is interesting we do not have frac mining here. I have heard it on the news but never really understood how it would affect the people around it.
Your pictures are awesome.
Funny about that woman.
Thank you for sharing this. Hug B

EG CameraGirl said...

The area is lovely. It was a good choice to take the scenic road home.

The story of the woman who sold her land speaks to how powerful greed truly is.

Beth of ".E." Lizard Breath Speaks said...

i wonder why frac-ing is suddenly in the news ... as a kid i don't ever recall it being talked about. when we went through North Dakota i guess it was a different kind? do i have the right word? maybe not?!

i think or i hope the safety is meant for every one ... but some truckers are very scary in the way they drive these roads.

i know several ladies/men that are like your lady in your post they enjoy telling their opinions or rants (i guess there are folks like that in every community.) ( :

Arlene Grimm said...

Very interesting !! I did not know about sand mines!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I always opt for the scenic route when possible and it was nice to see the countryside and fences you passed.
Every town has a complainer like the woman you described, we do!

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

As long as mines put topsoil back and plant grass for murker, I'm good with it.
Why did you name him murker?

Like Mike, I see subtle differences between WI and MD. I think it is the quality of the light.

xo, m & jb

podso said...

Love those scenic routes. Beautiful fall color.

Lynne said...

Great photos . . .
Money talks I guess and kept the woman right on talking.
UNTIL . . .

Felicia said...

love your autumn images Judy. Your farmland looks alot like ours here in Pa.

That is too funny about that lady...talk about calling the kettle black.

ladyfi said...

How very lovely - wonderful autumnal colours.

Cranberry Morning said...

Muker was named after a little village in North Yorkshire. (A magical land, in my opinion) Even our 4 year old grandson says to his mom, Go to Gramma's bwog. I want to feed Muker. Lol

Cranberry Morning said...

You didn't hear about frac-ing when you were a kid because it is new technology, probably within the last 5 years.

TexWisGirl said...

lovely territory. beautiful clean white fencing in the first few shots. thanks for the scenery!

September Violets said...

You live in such a pretty area! Scenic routes are the best if you can put aside that underlying need in most of us to get there quickly. Interesting to read about the sand mines too. Wendy x

NanaDiana said...

I love that route you too, Judy! It's amazing how pretty WI really is, isn't it?
Love the story about the woman selling her property to the company she was protesting against. Does that give credence to the saying "MONEY TALKS"? lol xo Diana

Stephanie said...

Hi Judy! Thanks for taking us along on your beautiful drive :) I love the picture of the dried corn - it looks like gold.

Have a wonderful day! Hugs

Ruth Kelly said...

You've not only got wonderful woods but lots of barns too.

magnoliasntea said...

Lovely fence photos, clean and white. I enjoyed reading about the frac sand mining. Glad some of the folks are smart about leasing their land. I like to have me cake and eat it, too. ;) Have a glorious day!

Karen S. said...

I'd say you took all the right roads!

Marie said...

Your photos are wonderful! I love the two of the fields in the foreground and the Autumn leaves in the background! About that woman protestor...that is so typical! It made me laugh! :-) I think the company saying Safety First is telling everyone that they follow that motto...I even love their bright yellow, happy trucks! How can anyone be mad at a lemon yellow truck! :-)

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Very interesting post. I am glad all that mining is at lest benefiting the local economy.

Pamela Gordon said...

I'd be taking the scenic route too. Beautiful countryside there and very similar to ours here in New Brunswick. I've not heard of Sand Frac-ing but frac-ing for shale gas is a big issue here in NB. BIG. I don't understand it all myself and try to stay out of it but it's a big political issue that is in the news all the time. We are in huge debt (aren't most provinces/states?) and our young people are going to Alberta to work in the oil field and it's related industries. We are a province of aging retirees with no work or industry that can sustain us but people are so against frac-ing which could provide a good future for our province. Nuf said. Thanks for taking the back roads and sharing your pictures.

Terri D said...

I found this post to be very interesting, Judy! We know about phosphate mining, here in Florida, but not sand mining! I think the whole state of Florida is made of sand!! Your photos are wonderful (as always), and the fall colors are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

eileeninmd said...

I learned something new today about the sand mining! Funny story about the lady, in the end money does talk! I always love taking the back roads. Love the barns and farmland! Enjoy your day!

happywonderer said...

Lovely scenery and fences and I enjoyed reading about the mining business in your area. Glad you didn't get hit by one of those safe rigs...:)

Judy S. said...

Are you close to Eau Claire? We were in that area last spring on the way to the Dells from MPLS. Your area of WI is so different from where I grew up near Milwaukee.

Ginny said...

So they even put the top soil back on, and try to leave it all as they found it. And are respectful of people's land. That is a rarity these days! I can see all those layers. I knew nothing about this! I love the trees in picture 4, and even the wheat in the foreground. Also this awesome yellow truck.

bailey-road.com said...

Gorgeous countryside. I almost always choose the scenic route.
Great story about that woman. Everyone has a price!

Farm Girl said...

Very interesting I didn't know that.
I love your scenic route

Linda Kay said...

I have always loved those white board fences around farms, especially when there is a red barn and well-kept property.

Valerie said...

Dear Judy,
I just adore your photos. It is always like a mini vacation just browsing your blog. =) What a lovely spot of heaven you live in.
Blessings and Sunshine,
Valerie

Primitive Stars said...

Afternoon, love that fence and the scenery is breathtaking.Blessings Francine.

Carola Bartz said...

Good question about the "safety first" sign.
Lovely to take the scenic route - I would have done that, too. Beautiful scenery and farmland.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It's so nice to have time to take the scenic route. We have to watch for log trucks in NC and a lot of our trip to FL. Here in FL it's just slow drivers! haha! Enjoy your evening! Hugs, Diane

Amy Burzese said...

Pretty countryside! Love the barns. I can say that I don't know enough about frac-ing. Need to do some research.

Ida said...

That is beautiful country with pretty trees and fences. Wow that is a lot of sand for sure.

Margaret Adamson said...

Interesting post through scenic countryside

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I am ever so glad you got the opportunity to take the 'scenic' route.

Beautiful rolling hillside and wonderful farms. Love the white barn with the silver silo at its side.

Even the heavy truck traffic was fun...I can hear them rolling down the highway.

Fun post Judy.

Patty Antle said...

What a beautiful drive! We in Indiana are a land of corn and soybeans too - that's it - corn and soybeans. I love to take drives in the country!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

What absolutely stunning photos and may I say, you are my "neighbor!" I am in Minneapolis, and today is one gorgeous day here in the city by the lakes. Don't you just love this time of year? And thank you so much for coming to visit today! I am working on a new post but having technical difficulties. Enjoy your weekend! Anita

Curtains in My Tree said...


beautiful fall pictures and very interesting story about the sand mines , I had never heard this before
Thanks for visiting my blog

Red Rose Alley said...

Judy,
Your pictures make my heart sing. The rolling hills are so lovely. I've never heard of this frac-sand mining before. Thanks for sharing. We have a Colfax here in California too, and it's a charming city. I love the picture of the corn fields with the beautiful oranges and reds in the trees.

I also wanted to buy a few of your Christmas soaps? Could you e-mail me when you get a chance? Thanks.

Have a peaceful weekend.

~Sheri

Nancy Shuman said...

Absolutely magnificent.

Anita Johnson said...

Interesting...love the story about the lady selling her land! it is beautiful here too...the colors are such a gift!

Michelle F said...

Hi Judy,

Great pictures! I love the Autumn scenes!

Have a great weekend.
We may be going to our local Fall Festival.

Debbie said...

my husband has explainded to me that frac-ing is safe but i know that is not the popular opinion!!!

your images are just plain gorgeous....love that pretty barn!!!

Eva Marie O'Brien said...

IT looks very nice and autumn like there, lovely colours. And I really like the photo with the corn in the foreground. I love this time of the year, the colours are beautiful.
Hope you'll have a lovely weekend.
Greetings from a very windy and rainy Ireland

waleedgazdar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
J_on_tour said...

Liking the lines and composition of the first one and the autumn colours depicted throughout.
Fracking is an unpopular and controversial policy here in the UK as no-one wants it in their area. Strangely it follows on from the introduction of wind farms that people have reluctantly got used to.

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