First, the good referred to in the title.
One of the very endearing features of this area is the practice of the honesty box at the end of a farmer's driveway. Miriam has lived here all her life (except for a few years) and says that the practice has been operative for all of that time, and I am sure it goes back much further than that.
Here is what happens. The farmer sets out the produce he wishes to sell in a display at the end of the driveway. The items are priced, and there is a box to drop the money into for the goods you purchase. Hence, the designation "honesty box."
As you can see in the picture above, the box in this instance is an old coffee can with a slot in the top to insert the money. Here it is a little closer.
Who can resist buying something?
The heartwarming aspect of this ancient mercantile system, is that honesty is the operative component. Without that condition of basic human decency it cannot work; and it does work. Obviously sufficiently few people cheat the farmer, and the boxes are not stolen or broken into with any regularity.
In a world of corrupt politicians, and opportunistic capitalism in its most ugly manifestations, I never fail to find this old tradition uplifting and reaffirming.
On the day that we took these pictures Miriam and I bought a huge watermelon for $3.00 and had it for dessert for days on end. It was wonderfully tasty and juicy, and grown just a few kilometres from our front door. The local farmer made a little money for his hard work and we enjoyed the results. What could be better than that?
And now for the bad.
Barbed wire is still used extensively on farms for the purpose of enclosing livestock, but it would seem to me that by 2019 we should have devised better ways to accomplish the same goal.
I am quite certain that the impact on wildlife is not a consideration for the average farmer or rancher, and here is the unfortunate consequence.
An Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) has become impaled on the wire, has been unable to extricate itself and no doubt endured a slow and painful death.
I have seen pictures of Pronghorn Antelopes (Antilocapra americana) trapped in barbed wire which they have been unable to vault over, and it seems reasonable to believe that other creatures are similarly affected by barbed wire fences.
It strikes me as somehow disconcerting that a cherished system of honest dealing, and wildlife carnage caused by barbed wire, often exist side-by-side on the same farm.
The good and the bad I suppose.