A week ago I hopped a Regina bound plane to go visit my grandmothers, and my parents and other family members. It had been a year, and that had been more than long enough. Though I’ve spent more than half my life at the Pacific Coast, I was raised a flat-lander, a prairie girl. I am familiar with the multi-toned hues of the summer fields, but my children are not; so I thought I’d snap a few photos from the air so they could see what it’s like. But I was in for a surprise. Never before had I seen fields like these.
They were shades of green reserved for the early days of May and June, not July. They were pocked with water where the land dipped and drained into pools like the inland deltas of the Okavango. These wet fields belong no where near Southern Saskatchewan.
I scanned the fields below me in awe. The earth curved in the distant horizon beneath a mist of cloud as the surface water evaporated. A storm in the distant twisted grey clouds into angry purple masses. We would land well before any storm would threaten our descent. And then I saw it, the circle carved in a nearby field. It made me smile. This was clearly not the other-worldly work of a mysterious artist, nor of energetic orbs dancing over the crop. It was the handy-work of a farmer operating large agricultural machinery.
Several years earlier, on a similar voyage, but westward bound, I glanced out the plane window to glimpse not one, but two perfectly formed discs in a field, far from any road or farm. I couldn’t even tell if for sure there was a crop, or if it was simply the tall prairie grasses that had been laid down into tight spirals. I looked at them and thought, cool! Crop circles. Then I realized what I’d just seen, and I craned my neck to keep them in my vision as long as I could as I whizzed at 450km/h through the sky. I said nothing of it to my seat-mates, who were nodding asleep with headphone glued to their ears. What could I have said anyway, “wake up you just missed these cool crop circles?” No, I let them sleep.
I did tell my family when I got home, and despite not having snapped any photograph of them, they believed me. So this time when I was privy to the swamped fields of the prairies, I snapped my digital camera for posterity. The circle in the field that was not a crop circle, was bonus.