When the kids were here Memorial weekend, it began to rain. Our girl is in Oklahoma and I don't think they've dried out in 3 years. They are sick of the rain. She even said she thought she was beginning to mold and she was looking forward to soaking in some of our NM sun and drying out. Alas, she got wet in the desert. We've been praying for rain and we were so grateful for answered prayers.
DH said we ought to hold our girl and Kenny hostage and then rent them out to all the ranchers since they had brought rain with them. LOL. And it really hasn't dried out since then. That's 2 months of wet and we are so just tickled. This is what the above area looks like now:
This is so unusual for us. It pretty much quit raining in 2010. Of course, we've had some rain, but our annual rainfall is 9" here and for the majority of those years, we had 2-5". It's hard to grow grass with those numbers. So far we're at 14" here at headquarters. With 128,000 acres, the rainfall amounts, of course, differ across the ranch, but that's a pretty good average. We've been spending lots of time in the ranger, checking rain gauges and marveling at the water:
And studying the forage:
We're seeing grasses headed out:
And that's worthy of celebration after a 10 yr drought. We sold 70% of the cattle and are giving the ground some time to heal. Without the pressure of livestock (we kept 300 hd), these grasses will go to seed, disperse and multiply if it continues to rain. We're just so tickled to see growing green things:
We've got weeds shooting up taller than the fence in places:
DH and I have been having fun discovering new plants we've never seen. This is a Scarlet muskflower or Devil's bouquet. Such a strange name for this beautiful flower, but it has a very unpleasant smell.
And grasses as far as the eye can see in places:
If we're not together, we discuss what we've found at the end of the day and when we are together, we're making lots of stops to study what we've discovered, capture a picture and check our plant identification app. We just discovered these apps and they are fun, but they're not so good at identifying grasses so we still rely on the books we've collected:
Skeet and I have been enjoying our morning walk-abouts:
It's a fun way to begin the day:
And Skeet is particularly thrilled to have water holes to sink into along the way:
Who wouldn't want to begin the day with joy!