Land of Silos

Whatever I thought of Iowa before we spent over three weeks in the state was embarrassingly based on the little understanding that comes from flying in and out of their major city airports.  As a hobbyist photographer, Iowa was not on my radar as a destination state to photograph.  That has changed!  The images below were captured in and around the area of Forest City, home of Winnebago Industries.  The city is located in the north of the state, in farm country.  Here we found mile after mile of corn and soybean crops.  In August, the corn is topped with gold tassels and the soybeans are a bright green.

Silos!  I admit to not knowing what silos are about other than that they are used for storing 'stuff'.  Oh, but a bit of research has made them very interesting indeed.  These silos were located in Forest City next to a railroad track.

Silos!  I admit to not knowing what silos are about other than that they are used for storing 'stuff'.  Oh, but a bit of research has made them very interesting indeed.  These silos were located in Forest City next to a railroad track.

Huge!!  How would you like to climb those stairs?

Huge!!  How would you like to climb those stairs?

Iowa is the nation's largest producer of ethanol from corn.  Forty-two ethanol producing plants use more than 1.3 billion (yep, billion) bushels of corn.  Ethanol production consumes approximately 1/3 of the state's corn production.  This particular silo looked a bit different but I don't know if it was processing animal feed or ethanol.

Iowa is the nation's largest producer of ethanol from corn.  Forty-two ethanol producing plants use more than 1.3 billion (yep, billion) bushels of corn.  Ethanol production consumes approximately 1/3 of the state's corn production.  This particular silo looked a bit different but I don't know if it was processing animal feed or ethanol.

A very common site as we drove the side roads.

A very common site as we drove the side roads.

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The darker green field on the right is soybean.  In some years Iowa is the largest producer in the nation of soybeans.

The darker green field on the right is soybean.  In some years Iowa is the largest producer in the nation of soybeans.

Soybeans and corn.  US farmers account for about 46% of the world's soybean production!!

Soybeans and corn.  US farmers account for about 46% of the world's soybean production!!

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Silos and red barns next to old white houses.  I just never tired of them.

Silos and red barns next to old white houses.  I just never tired of them.

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Ah, bet it was gorgeous at one time.

Ah, bet it was gorgeous at one time.

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I asked what the quilt patterns meant when they adorned a barn.  Many barns had them.  I was told that they were just for adornment.

I asked what the quilt patterns meant when they adorned a barn.  Many barns had them.  I was told that they were just for adornment.

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This is one of those images that you see driving by and pull over to get.

This is one of those images that you see driving by and pull over to get.

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Wind power contributed over 15% of the state's energy needs in 2010.  Bet it is much higher now.  I was surprised to see these windmills dotting the landscape for miles.

Wind power contributed over 15% of the state's energy needs in 2010.  Bet it is much higher now.  I was surprised to see these windmills dotting the landscape for miles.

More soybeans.  Did you know that an acre of soybean crops can be used to produce over 82,000 crayons?  Me neither.  Did you know that the elevators in the Statue of Liberty use soybean based hydraulic fluid?  Me neither.

More soybeans.  Did you know that an acre of soybean crops can be used to produce over 82,000 crayons?  Me neither.  Did you know that the elevators in the Statue of Liberty use soybean based hydraulic fluid?  Me neither.

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All along the roads we also saw wildflowers and bees.  This one is for whoever need a smile today.

All along the roads we also saw wildflowers and bees.  This one is for whoever need a smile today.