So Dry

After an almost snow-less winter, we’ve had little snow or rain in April and May. The skies have been dark and threatening, wind scudding dead leaves across the ground, but the precipitation has been negligible. My farmer friend Mike used to call such weather events “fake rain” — when just enough moisture falls from the sky to settle the dust, but nothing penetrates. To begin to catch up, we would need a four-foot blizzard or a week or two of soaking rains.

Neither is in the forecast.

Though our meager snow is long gone, with no rain the pastures have been slow to green up. The pond is an empty crater.

I’ve felt anxiety building, a hand squeezing in my chest, since Christmas. I think of the wildfires raging north of us in Canada. I remember the elderly hay man saying to me last year, “Rain in May makes lots of hay.” I recall the awful drought of 2012 when sunny day followed sunny day, the pastures did not grow, the only hay I could find was coarse like straw, and my lambs cried with hunger.

I have wondered about sending my steers to the butcher early, to reduce the demands on my land.

And I’ve been praying for rain.

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4 Responses to So Dry

  1. Michele says:

    I would like to say that you are an inspiration! I found your blog several years ago while searching for what to do for a ewe I had with mastitis. I had stopped following a couple years ago when you took your hiatus. On a whim, a few weeks ago I decided to check on your blog and was pleasantly surprised to find you were writing again. I am all caught up. I really do not know how you do it all. Your determination inspires!

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      Thank you, Michele. I’m going to try to keep up with the blog again. It will be easier once the school year is over and I’m not teaching or buried in paperwork. I can’t wait to be outside!

  2. Jack says:

    Hello my Friend I would like to send a word of inspiration, but how successful I will be nobody knows. We also have been having our share of fake rain, so I understand how you feel. If to you things look tough, then maybe you should let some of your animals go. Save your bullets for better times. We all hate to let go of what we have worked so hard for,but in the end you will prosper with out them. Take things a bit easier your health is worth much more than any thing else.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      Thanks so much, Jack. I have thought of your words many times in the past few days while moving sheep fence! I appreciate them!

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