The Dusters

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The Dusters

Summer down here in Central Illinois has many unique qualities. Want to take a few guesses at what those might be?

No – heat and humidity are not unique. Good try though.

What about corn? Think that’s unique? No?!

Well look at it this way – for a few weeks every summer and into the early fall, I can find one unique thing about corn: it makes the world disappear.

Vistas across the flatlands of the prairie that were here just a few weeks ago have evaporated in the summer heat. It was like one day you woke up and you were living in a tunnel. Corn that was put in the ground back in May and spouted like tiny green soldiers on parade is now what – seven, eight, twenty-two(!) feet tall? Suddenly those drives on the back roads in search of a good sunset to photograph are gone – replaced by tall walls of green with little golden caps. As a photographer, I have been known to drive around down here with an eight-foot ladder in the back of my pickup truck. People have seen me standing on the top of my ladder – which is poised oh-so safely in the bed of my truck – just to get a shot over the sea of corn.

And then there are these guys – the Dusters. If the corn stands 22′ tall (it doesn’t), then they’re taking their little planes and flying 23′ off the ground – at what seems to be a zillion miles per hour. I can only shake my head in amazement at their gutsiness. Wires, trees, crazy winds, it’s not a job for the faint of heart but it is necessary since Illinois corn is everywhere nowadays. My hat’s off to these guys (from the top of my ladder no less).

On a personal note – it’s a joy and a privilege to be a contributing photographer here on the Enjoy Illinois blog. My own personal Web site uses the phrase “finding beauty in unexpected places.” That to me is Illinois. There’s a lot of beauty here. I look forward to checking in with you all a few times a month. Thanks for stopping by.

– David Vernon

To learn more about Dave, check out his bio.

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2 thoughts on “The Dusters”

  1. Oooooohhhhh, yeah! I’ve seen the “dusters”!!! They fly OVER Rte 51 when I’m on my way between Decatur and Bloomington. Catch ’em at the right time, and they almost fly OVER your car during your travels.

    I’ve got a crappy…I mean, cell phone picture of the event I’ll post someday to my future blog.

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