Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day 301: End of the Beet Campaign

I wanted to get some photos of the beet trucks traveling through town, preferably crossing the bridge, and at sunset. This turned out to be harder than I thought, and it shouldn't have been!

Today was the end of what is known as the "beet campaign"; an army of trucks transport the sugar beets, 24 hours a day, to the processing plant, American Crystal, in East Grand Forks, where these big, ugly, beets are turned into sugar. For days, these trucks take over the roads, sliming them, and I always tried to be wary of the beets that might fly out at my windshield, or one of the very sleep-deprived drivers swerving suddenly. It's a hard-worked way of life in this community and today was the end of it for the season. It generally ends very abruptly, not necessarily because all the beets have been harvested, but because the plants are at capacity, and the temperature has changed. The temperature of harvesting is critical, or that sweetness you'd expect from sugar, won't be there.

Anyway, with such an army, a photo should have been easy. But not for a novice like me! I sat at the bottom of bridges. . . that were the wrong angles for the sunsets. And I started too late, so the army was no longer an endless processing but a slow trickle of stragglers.

I watched the "whens" of sunset (with my little gadget above the weather pixie), but there surpisingly few sunsets that I could head out. And those crucial moments between the perfect sunset, a truck passing, and adequate lighting, were rarer than I expected.

And I got cold. Just when I'd give up, and go sit in my car, two or three trucks in a row would pass faster than I could jump out and get in position again! So here are a few attempts this year, and I'm forewarned now for next year!









13 comments:

Jess said...

Wow, that is so interesting about the beets. I never knew any of that! I love that last silhouette shot, with its headlights gleaming!

April said...

That is cool. I've never heard of that.

Stacey said...

Cool! I think you did a great job!

Cari said...

Interesting! Love that last shot!
Cari

Mandy said...

I seriously NEVER knew that. I think it might make me appreciate beets more now that I do. I think the last one is awesome. I love the pink hues and the headlights.

Bobbi said...

I love that silhouette shot! The colors are just so beautiful, you did awesome.

Erika said...

I really like the truck shots with the sunset! Very cool!

Sharon said...

I grew up with sugar beet sugar but didn't know much about them. Cool info.

Mom2Drew said...

I love beets...what a cool thing to have nearby.

Amy said...

Neat! I like the last one a lot!

Liz said...

You never really think about where things come from, especially things that aren't produced around you. This is so cool and such a great glimpse into life. YOu always have great posts for seeing little pieces of life.

Suzy said...

Very cool!

Jeanne said...

You know what...there's a blog I read and just recently her hubby's been doing a delivery stint and I think it was beets (I tried to find the post where she said but couldn't. They live in northern MN. I have to think...what a small world in that you shared the harvesting and he just finished up a driving stint. Makes me wonder if he's in one of those trucks...LOL