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What About This…? 8.23.2018

We have been told, at least by some, that there is no such thing as Global Warming, and the climate conditions that such warming would bring about. And I, for one, am very glad to hear that.

I am watching some of those terrible fires burning in California, one of which is fairly close to my brother’s home. I’m surprised there is anything left to burn out there as I recall that last year it seemed like the entire state was on fire as well, and Jim told me he could see the glow at night and even smell the smoke.

We are not threatened with huge fires, but we are being sorely tested by the lack of rain we have experienced this season. When we walk our fields, we feel and we even hear the crunching of the grass that should be re-growing for winter pasture. 

I was speaking to a friend the other night at a neighborhood gathering and he told me he was having trouble figuring how he was going to feed his cattle over the winter since the hay he made was insufficient and he was having a lot of trouble locating hay he could buy. He even mentioned that he was considering selling some of his animals.

We ordered some hay to augment our winter pastures before this (is it drought yet?) struck. Some was delivered and the rest promised. We are keeping our fingers crossed, hoping the balance of that contract arrives.

I have heard that there is a “drought map” being kept somewhere and that we, in spite of the dryness around here, are not yet on it. Perhaps by the time you read this, the weather will have turned, as it always does, quickly enough to help all of us with our grass. We can cross our remaining fingers and hope for that, too.

Our wonderful neighbor, Mr. Shortt, often recounted to us when we complained about a lack of rain, the horrendous droughts of the early 1950’s when, even if you had some money to buy hay for your cattle, there wasn’t any hay around for sale. Not anywhere. Mr. Shortt showed us stumps of a tree he cut down so his cattle could fill their bellies with oak leaves. Not very nutritious but at least green.

We had heard from another person who was west of Ava during the same drought periods how glad she was that there was a natural “spill” coming from the side of a hill near where she had her farm. They drove a pipe into the hillside and a stream of water came out, strong enough to satisfy their domestic water needs, but too little by half for the animals they owned. They eventually sold all their milk cows. She was very proud of the fact that they made known to anyone who seemed interested the location of that spill.

I realized later what a charitable thing that was, sharing the water they had developed, not knowing when the drought was going to end.

I’m glad I heard those stories from people I found credible. We all know how time often magnifies the dimensions of bad times and these folks were straight with us. I’m careful not to make such a big deal about our current water shortages now that I remember the tales I’ve heard about times when things were a whole lot worse than they are today.

Like I said, I hope when you read this the ponds are filling and grass is green and tall. And I hope that the next time something like this happens weather-wise, I can tell some young whippersnapper, “Why this is nothing, way back in the summer of ‘18, we really had it bad!”

Wouldn’t it be great if this is as bad as it gets?