Is It a Messenger with a Message? 

By Ron Eichner 

 Hi Folks,  

As you know a farm can be a year-round destination for every season, for many reasons, like our farm market and greenhouses which are open seven-days-a-week throughout the year. Our farm hosts area critters and birds, thinking the fields are a well-developed salad bar, free to eat and or destroy. Animal behavior can tell you a lot if you take the time or had the opportunity to be taught about it like me by my parents and grandparents. If we take the time, nature can teach and tell us a lot throughout the year. 

    This year, Father’s Day was on June 20, and every Father’s Day has been special for my family and me. Those who know or follow our farm family are aware that it was our first Father’s Day without our dad. This past Father’s Day weekend had moments that I want to share with all of you. 

     It started Saturday of Father’s Day Eve when my niece Michelle and my great niece Isabella saw a massive heart in the sky over our farm around 8:30 p.m. Their camera did capture the moment. 

     Father’s Day each year starts with church, then coming home and getting all of the farm chores done. First, we needed to take care of our laying hens, gathering and washing the fresh eggs, and tending to the needs of our greenhouses, crops and field work. Then we could have our farm market and greenhouses open for our great customers. 

     I had to get our John Deere tractor and John Deere corn planter hooked up to plant our ninth field of non-GMO, bi-color sweet corn in the early afternoon. When I returned to the barnyard with three varieties of bi-color sweet corn to plant, I noticed a “white dove” on the ridge of our roof. To catch the moment of time, I called my two best ‘shutter bugs,” Michelle and my cousin Kathy to take a few pictures. I was called to our farmhouse by my mom, Vi, and going back to the barnyard, I noticed the white dove was still on the barn roof. Then I loaded the two seed hoppers on the JD corn planter, and after being called back to the farmhouse, I came back five minutes later, and the white dove was gone. So, I took the tractor and the corn planter up on our hill to plant 14 rows of corn in the field. It was business as usual. When I got to rows five and six, lo and behold, 80 feet away from the end of the third row was the white dove observing what I was doing. 

       I then planted four more rows of the second sweet corn variety, stopped the tractor, unloaded, and reloaded the second seed hopper for the third sweet corn variety. To my surprise, the white dove never moved. I then planted the last four rows, and then stopped to unload the first seed hopper and, once again, the white dove did not move. I unloaded the second seed hopper only to see that the white dove must have flown away.  

 Surprisingly, the white dove was working its way towards me, and I found it parked on the equipment in the field; it was less than 12 inches away. Our Grandpap Brimmeier had pigeons years ago, and I mimicked the pigeon sounds. It took me about nine tries and ten minutes, until I had the white dove in my hand.  

 There was no one to share the story with, and who would believe me? I decided to drive the tractor and equipment back down the barn yard, only to find Kathy walking up to the farm. I surprised her with the white dove, which sent her back to her house to get her camera for a few pictures to capture the moment. I then set the white dove down on a concrete block next to our farm market to answer the farm phone at our market. When I came out, the dove had flown away.  

 Folks, the story doesn’t end yet! 

        An hour later, I took care of our young chickens in the barn only to exit the barn and look across the front garden; l walked the garden looking over the crops. Then I noticed our newest employee, the white dove. I called Kathy and said, “If you have a chance look out your kitchen window and see where the white dove is now.” 

       The next morning, Kathy called me to say that the white dove had been watching her work in the garden, and she said it left. I walked behind her garage and on her retaining wall was our new friend. I communicated with it, then picked it up and took it back to the barn for some feed and water. 

      Anyone is welcome to put some meaning into what I experienced on my Father’s Day weekend 2021. So, you are welcome to stop by Eichner’s Whole Farm & Greenhouses and experience “farm fresh” and bring a friend and be a friend at 285 Richard Road, Wexford, and get “the rest of the story.”