A Kansas cattle farmer wanted to say 'Hi' to someone far, far away so he enlisted the help of his herd of cows and figured out when an orbiting Planet Labs satellite would be passing overhead.
If you bull'd it, they will come... or at least, they'll come have a look-see. This particular field of dreams, however, was a dry and dusty pasture near Peabody, Kansas.
Instead of Shoeless Joe and the Black Sox, the “players” were Derek Klingenberg's hungry herd of beef cattle. Getting them to take their positions was easy as pie – or whatever it is that beef cattle eat.
Klingenberg, who documents his various examples of “cow art” at the Klingenberg Farms Studios Facebook page, was inspired by the recent Space X launch of a Tesla roadster into outer space. Could he top Elon Musk? Not exactly – there weren't any volunteers to be the first cows-monaut.
What Klingenberg COULD do, however, was use his thundering herd to send a message up to and beyond the wild blue yonder. To quote Klingenberg, “We decided we want(ed) to do our own space amazingness, farmer style.”
Klingenberg already knew that orbiting Planet Labs satellites managed by the FarmersEdge company regularly overflew and photographed his farm. He was also able to download the images snapped from space.
After roughly estimating when the satellite would be making its flyover – necessary because cows aren't the most patient photographic subjects – Klingenberg used his truck to lay down lines of silage (cattle feed) spelling out a simple but powerful message... “Hi”.
He monitored his progress using a high-flying, camera-equipped drone: the source of the first image above. The second, much blurrier image is what the orbiting Planet Labs satellite “saw” when it imaged the area around Klingenberg's farm – and anything on it.
You can watch Derek Klingenberg's how-to video here. Will Klingenberg ever get an answer? Now that the message has been sent, we're guessing he won't have to wait 'til the cows come home.