Saturday, July 21, 2012

Who's Got the Rain?

Not us I can tell you.  We have hit 'survival' mode in the drought.  Today hubby and #1 Son and Daughter-in-Law spent over 8 hours in the saddle and doing fence repairs -- Emergency Fence Repairs on the leased pasture.  Pasture we had been counting on to take us into October.  The Big Rancher next door apparently isn't watching his cattle -- they were out of water and grass.  Thirsty and hungry.  There went the fence and in a matter of a day -- there went our grass.

Discouraging - you bet.  Hubby thinks now we will be out of grass in August.  But we can't bring them home.  Because we have these:
Green Cockleburrs -- the cows will eat them and they are poison.  Over the years we've lost at least 2 cows to them.  They aren't dried up until September.  They grow in our sub-irrigation ditches and pop up in August when the water disappears.  We've thought of trying to kill them but then you spreading MORE poison on your grasses so we've managed it by keeping the cows over on the leased pasture until the end of September.

So what will we do???  Probably pay for pasture that has no grass AND cake them.  With Cake that will cost well over $400 a ton (as opposed to the $240 it used to cost).  Corn prices are going sky high and that will affect all grain products because corn is like Santa Claus -- It's EVERYWHERE!!!  Rather it's in EVERYTHING.  It will affect the human food prices too.  Ca-Ching!  Those cash registers will hit everyone in the pocketbook!

On a happier, Hubby was so glad #1 Son and DIL were there to help.  They said they had a grand time but they sure looked pretty exhausted from the heat/work/riding when they came in at 5 pm.  DIL said she was so glad she had on this:
It's a Troxel riding helmet.  She came off Ember when Ember dived right out from under her turning a cow.  The cows were pretty bad I guess as they had been ATV'd herded and they can be real pigs and disrespectful of a rider on a horse. They are always trying to outrun the horse like they can a ATV. (all terrain vehicle -- you know four-runners).  BUT a horse can stop 'em.  DIL said she lit hard and the helmet THWACKED when she hit.  A head injury for sure without that helmet.  A Good Reason to Wear One -- ALWAYS.
Here is Ember, the Hero Horse of the Day, on what our pastures SHOULD look like this time of year.  Instead they are brown and sparse.  We did get some good news today though.  Ember had pulled a tendon last year; and when we tried to use her lightly re-pulled it.  So we turned her out.  This was the first time she had been written since then and today was a HARD ride.  She had nary a limp and worked all day.  That was a silver lining for sure!

But cuts need to be made.  So today I posted Ember's daughter for sale.  She is two years old, registered Morgan, and will wind up at 16 hands like her mother and her sire.  She's a nice filly, one of the better ones I think that we've raised.  Here is her photo from today.  She wouldn't perk her ears up for me.  I think she thought it was toooooo darn hot to be PERKY!

The babies had been at #1 Son's place while he & DIL took them through their Manners #101 courses.  They didn't think it was too hot when they were turned out for Hi-Jinks though!
AFS Hi-Note and AFS Ryder Hi Brida; our 2010 filles enjoying a run and just being a horse!

My Day today had consisted of being the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.  I prepared lunch, no body showed up.  Uh-Ohh; that means things are not going well.  1:00 nobody here, put away lunch type stuff and prepared a nice side dish of cukes and onions and a fruit salad.  2:00 no one.  Put a large kettle of corn ready to boil on the stove.  4:00 -- still no one, hamburger is thawed, prepared lots of patties in the pan ready to fry when they get in.  5:00 here they are -- we had potato salad, hamburgers, cukes, fruit salad and fresh sweet corn.  They all said it was a great meal but I just think by that time, not eating since breakfast, they were just ravenous and anything would have tasted good.

Our hay guy told us he thinks he is going to be way short on our hay order for winter.  No surprise there.  We had been expecting that.  Sooooo maybe we can supplement the cows with some cake and reduce their hay comsupmtion (ca-ching! on the cash register) or we might have to just sell them and buy back when the drought ends, risking losing the lease pasture.

Choices - hard choices.  I just hope we don't make a Porch Horse (poor choice) in all this.  Fortunately this isn't our living.  It's just a hobby-farm but I REALLY do think we should be able to declare these cows and horses as dependents!!!!! on our income taxes.  I mean fair is fair.....................we have to pay taxes when we sell them.

News commentators are starting to compare this drought with the Dust Bowl.  But I KNOW it's not that bad here yet.  2004 - 2006 was a LOT rougher here in the most recent drought.  I think it was 2006 our grass never even came up here at Horse Patch and one of the elderly ladies in Outlaw City told me the Dust Bowl years were worse than that!  Man I thought how in the world could that be possible??? Bare dirt is bare dirt but she assured me it was worse.   On a good note, bare dirt don't burn!  So far no fires at Horse Patch this year and that is a darn scarey thought.

So Who's Got the Rain????   Apparently nobody in the Lower 48.

Just sign me MeridethinWyoming ,where a LOT of Discouraging Words On the Plains were Said Today!


  1. I am so sorry you'all are facing such tough times. Ye Ol' Jetstream just keeps to the North, north of our border, pulling all that hot air from way down south. I pray for rain for your pastures.

  2. Yes, it is too HOT and too dry this year and will only get worse as August approaches. Sorry to hear about the loss of your summer pasture and the dismal prospect for winter feed. I'll join you in praying for moisture.

  3. We've got all the rain over here in England. I really wish we could send you some!! Yesterday was the first day we had sun and it's been warm but since the nice weather we had in March it has rained and rained and rained here! You may have seen it on the news with quite a bit of flooding round the country. I do hope it gets better for you soon. The sun is due to stay for a few days here which will be nice. Susie x

  4. UPDATE - it Rained Last Night!! Not much, probably between a 1/4 and 1/2" but hey, at least the ground was wet this a.m. It will help our sub-irrigated pasture but not the dry prairie grasses. Fire danger was lowered which is a big bonus!

  5. I think about you ranchers and farmers with all of this weird heat and no rain. It's not a profession for sissies, that's for sure. I'll be thinking of you in the winter now, wondering how that is going for your animals.

  6. I do not have cows, but I know a lot of people who do and they are all coming up with the same plan, sell early this year. It is a crying shame. We also got a little bit of rain last night. It lasted about 5 min and was gone, 5 more minutes the night before.
    I usually feed my horses hay cubes, it takes about 10 pallets to get me through a year. So far I have been able to scrounge up 2, and am paying top dollar at that. (you can insert your Cha- ching right there) I still have one pallet stashed from last year. My guy down south says he doesn't know if I can buy from him this year....yes I am worried.
    I'm thinking the time has come for us to start the naked rain dance out in the yard. I tried doing it with clothes on and all I got was 5 minutes of rain!
    If you even need help pushing cows around Merideth, shoot me an email, we love playing "ranch hand"
    Tanke care.

  7. Cindy - will meet you sans clothes for the naked rain dance! Desperate times call for desperate measures!!! We got the 5 min rain too.

    1. Fridays are always good for dancing naked too! Just for fun!
      We finally got a day on and off with some rain. Then we got misquito's. I'm cool with that though!
      Did you get any?