Slow dust devil lifts plastic sheets off of a strawberry field


[Video Link] Gever Tulley says: "This might just be the most beautiful piece of collaboration between nature and industrial agriculture that I have ever seen."

The video gets much better after the first 30 seconds. It reminded me of the transcendental plastic bag scene in American Beauty.

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  1. Holy Crap! Amazing!

    How dopey was the cameraman to walk that close to the flying plastic pieces though. Was he hoping fro a trip to Oz?

  2. This is absolutely beautiful. It something that you could never anticipate or control, or recreate, yet are lucky enough to witness and be a small part of. Really love this. Real thanks to Gever and Mark on this. Thanks.

  3. It was quite lovely. I couldn’t help though thinking of the farmer eventually coming out and saying “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.”

  4. I cued it to :30, turned off the sound, then started it and Strawberry Fields Forever at the same time. It actually syncs pretty well, especially at the 3:50 mark when the guitars kick in.

  5. My (somewhat) minor critique is that for half of the movie I wanted to know why strawberry plants were filling half the frame, instead of that incredibly cool column of awesomeness. Beyond that, what a neat thing to not only witness, but capture on camera.

  6. Mesmerising, thanks for the post! And for the person who shot it too. It just look so surreal, at the end the strong wind sound as he went closer to the center, that was nice.

  7. > I cued it to :30, turned off the sound, then started it and Strawberry Fields
    > Forever at the same time. It actually syncs pretty well

    It also syncs up well with Tenacious D’s “Swirling Plastic From Hell”.

  8. Sometimes you see things in real life, whether driving down the road, or like this video, and you think, “If I saw this in a game or a movie I’d totally dismiss it as not realistic enough.”

  9. My first thought was some nice waltz (chopin maybe) … and then my second thought was unfortunatelly Jaggety Sax … Damn you Benny Hill

  10. Beautiful!

    I think it was the farmer who filmed this.
    The camera man says, in Austrian*, a flavor of German, :”Now it takes the entire next fleece, that can’t be true!” and tells it to “git outta here”, “Geh, schleich di!”. That also explains while the cameras focus is much on the strawberries, it”s the filmers focus. He clearly is invested, and while amazed, upset.

    What upsets me is the heavy use of plastics in agriculture.
    Here’s a good example:
    http://tinyurl.com/6gemb9u

    *Yes, there are no kangaroos in the alps.

  11. It is beautiful. I’m just wondering if the tarp was in place to cover a volatile chemical pesticide that was then carried into town.

  12. Beautiful!

    I think it was the farmer who filmed this.
    The camera man says, in Austrian*, a flavor of German, :”Now it takes the entire next fleece, that can’t be true!” and tells it to “git outta here”, “Geh, schleich di!”. That also explains while the cameras focus is much on the strawberries, it”s the filmers focus. He clearly is invested, and while amazed, upset.

    What upsets me is the heavy use of plastics in agriculture.
    Here’s a good example:
    http://www.grid.unep.ch/activities/global_change/atlas/images/espagne.jpg

    *Yes, there are no kangaroos in the alps.

    1. Yes, your comment was commented out because of the URL shortener. Your second comment was commented out because you used the name of the URL shortener when you asked if that was the reason.

  13. My post originally continued with:
    What upsets me is the heavy use of plastics in agriculture.
    I tried to link to a pair of satellite images of Almeria, Spain for a shocking show and tell.
    Alas, I failed. I can’t figure out if policy or a technical issue prevented my link. If you care to, do a GIS of the underlined words.

    1. i too was focused on ‘why so much plastic’ and what happens to it when the harvest is done? incredibly cool dance but…thanks.

  14. It looks like absolutely fantastic thermalling conditions. I reckon you could launch a paraglider just standing on the ground and fly for hours.

  15. It looks to me like that is Agribon (or something like it). It’s basically a fabric spun from polypropylene (yes plastic), that is used as a frost protection blanket or insect protection. As an organic farmer, I can tell you that this is a much more sustainable way of keeping bugs from destroying my crops than chemical sprays. I also reuse what is in decent enough shape to re-use from year to year. I expect he’s upset because it isn’t that cheap and if he’s using it for either he’s going to have to salvage/untangle it and hand roll it back out. That doesn’t look fun.

    The above information aside, that was absolutely beautiful to watch.

  16. It seems amazingly gentle, just slowly revolving like that, but it still has to be pretty powerful to lift those plastic sheets (which are probably heavier than they look).

  17. That almost looks like magic. The fabric must be so light to be lifted by such a slowly revolving thermal. Beautiful…

  18. walking into a forming tornado no matter how seemingly benign is never ever smart, pretty though yes.

    1. It’s highly unlikely that this is a forming tornado. Tornadoes are typically spawned by supercell thunderstorms and are often accompanied by high winds, heavy rain, and lightning. The dust devil in this video is just that: a dust devil that just ruined some farmer’s day. ;)

  19. Gorgeous, but dangerous. The cameraman was foolhardy walking that close at the end; an errant drift of plastic could’ve wound him up very quickly, wrapping him a tightly bound, possibly hermetically sealed cocoon. He dodged that bullet, but I hope anybody who might copy his camerawork stays at a safe distance…

    I was blissfully imagining the Blue Danube Waltz as the soundtrack, til he got too close and my inner orchestra faltered while the conductor yelled, “Get AWAY from that, you idiot!!”

  20. I wonder how many of us have walked next to a similar wind phenomenon and didn’t know it was there as there was no sheeting to illuminate it.

  21. Sometimes there’s so many strawberries in the world you feel like you can’t eat them all, like your heart’s going to cave in.

  22. If you truly want to experience this video, watch it while playing the N. Korean My Kindergarten teacher song.

    1. Editz,

      URL shorteners are deprecated. Your comments don’t go through when you use them.

      1. Why’s that? I don’t see anything in the policy other than 75+ character URLs should be masked.

  23. Thank you, I loved this so unique and beautiful, I want to have this on a large screen with the room dark and Classical music, maybe you could enter this in an art festival or something…

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