Monday, May 7, 2012

Dreaming of Mud Boots and Dirt Tanks

I try to keep up with what's going on in the rest of the world although I love living under my rock. Sometimes I peek out and check things out and it makes me want to dig deeper under said rock. One of the things that we keep a vigilant eye on, is the weather. Ranching (and farming) tends to make you a tad obsessed about it. Its not like we can do anything to change it, but we follow it like a hawk. Ranching in the desert makes you even more insane about it. We gather around the radar on the computer screen and when you run into someone at the feed store you ask, "Did you get rain? How much?" I called my neighbor, Cotton Picker, the other day and said ""Get outside and start dancing. There's a big black cloud hanging over the ranch"  She laughed and said, "I can't; I've got company!" I replied, "The more the merrier".
Around here we measure rain in drops and we will get up before dawn, trudge out to the rain gauge and check it with a flashlight to see how much rain we got. Seriously. This is important business folks. We had a 12 yr drought in the Texas mountains and when it rained, we had to replace all of our rain gauges because they had dried up and cracked and would no longer hold water. My mud boots dry rotted and crumbled. True story. Needless to say, when it rained, I vividly remember standing on the screened porch and crying at the sight of water falling from the sky. The sounds of rain on a tin roof is a beautiful thing.
Yes, deserts are dry, but they do receive rain. Or so I have been told. :) Actually I have proof. This was about 5 years ago:


Our arena then:



 and now:



Summer swimming holes:



Not much swimming going on today:



Fishing was always on the schedule:



No fresh fish this summer:




Our days are spent driving a feed truck and doling out cake to the masses. The last moisture we received was 12" of snow on Christmas.
The good Lord always provides though, doesn't He? DH came in today talking about fat cows. Huh? There is no green grass, but God sent us the Yucca. Cows LOVE yucca blossoms and it is good feed. Our yuccas are blooming like crazy. And soon the prickly mesquite will provide beans that they like too.

Yes, our hope is in the Lord and we are faithful that our rain gauges will one day look like this again:


Last year the sale barns were overflowing with cattle because so many people droughted out and had to sell. We were in good shape because we had old grass from the year before, but it is hard. When you ranch, it's not like you can just go look for another job. You can't just leave the land that you've poured everything into. Lots of people were out of work though. I know that's the case in other areas as well, not just agriculture.

Cow prices are good, but feed prices are high. The price of hay quadrupled. Lots of cowboys driving trucks and working in the oil field today because ranchers have sold their stock.

Still not giving up on the rain though. God's timing is perfect, but we're staying on our knees and praying for rain and still praising God that we get to ranch for a living. And when it rains, I want a pair of these:

I saw these on Julie's blog, Better Than I Deserve and a seed was planted for this post. Now if we could just get that seed some rain.

14 comments:

Dora, the Quilter said...

When I arose this morning and checked Weather Bug, I was absolutely shocked to see that it is predicted that "rain showers are likely" every day this week. It's been years since our Estancia Valley forecast has looked like that.
Here's the thing: watching and thinking about rain may well be part of our genetic code, don't you think. After generations of being in agriculture, it no longer matters that the closest I get to the real stuff is gardening and buying food (and, of course, supporting my daughter in FFA)--because my brain is programmed to consider the weather every single day. I'm praying this drought will break and the earth will blossom and lives can be put back together.

Doniene said...

I hear you Sister!!! Love the boots, but don't think Mike would let me get them!! LOL

JMF said...

Thanks for sharing my boots. If you get some rain I will share them with you! I hate to tell you but over the weekend we got 4&1/2 inches of rain.We weren't as grateful as we should have been, between worrying about the calves, newly newly born buffalo calf (1st one of the spring) and water in my basement it was a night of worry, and soaking up water with towels! I can't count how may Hail Marys I prayed, but she must have had a talk with her son because everything was fine in the morning 5 new calves born up and going. The baby buffalo running with his mom. God answeres prayers and I will include you in mine.

rosie said...

Karin, it was so nice to hear from you.. Although thousands of miles separate us, we are in the same predicament, watching and waiting for rain. It is our winter now and the black clouds are teasing.. We had more than our share earlier in the year when we had floods and water every where...
Take care, and I so hope that it rains so very soon. xxx

carol fun said...

Oh I hope that rain is in your future! We have plenty here in Ohio - wish I could send some your way -- take care!

Denise :) said...

Wow, the difference in five years is astounding. Isn't it comforting to know that God is sovereign and holds you close, no matter what the circumstance or trial?! I will jot this concern down in my prayer journal and keep it lifted! I adore those highfaluting boots -- what FUN!! :)

Deanna said...

My family ranch is in Southern Colorado and my parents are in at least equally desperate times. It is so hard, but they have faith, God and each other and they, too, hold on. I wish I could do something to help you both.

Cow Pies & Mud Pies said...

I continue to believe that God WILL provide you rain...I almost feel guilty that its so green in my part of the country. God is faithful and will never disappoint.

I think those rain boots are so cute!

Staci said...

What dramatic photos! WOW! What a difference. I pray some rain comes your way--and that you can get some of those boots to celebrate. How much fun they are.

Jennifer said...

All of our rain gauges are broken... we got a little last night, maybe about an inch.

Judy Laquidara said...

On a MUCH, MUCH smaller scale, I know the feeling of waiting for the rain. Having pretty much always been a city girl before moving to our little piece of land in Texas, I had no idea how much and how hard folks prayed for rain and truly needed it is. We've had close to 2" in the past 24 hours, none expected for tomorrow and then rain again on Thursday and no one in our area will be complaining. I'll pray for your area to get rain. I'm thinking I need a pair of those boots too! Love them!

Alycia said...

Heres to hoping you get rain!! Last year a lot of the farmers we buy hay from were sending it south to TX, and NM, so hopefully that doesn't need to happen again.... rain dancing here for you!!

Love the pics tho - pretty place!!

Karin said...

Oh wow what a difference between the pics! I guess compare to your place I live in a oasis. Normally we have plenty of rain and if we have a dry year I think it was 3 month we had without some drops. I hope you will get way more rain this year!

Karin said...

I *totally* want a pair of those boots!

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