Warm and dry

Early this morning I passed the empty fields from which wheat and straw had been harvested yesterday. It was warm, even before sun up, and the high temperature for the day was right around 100°F. A few short weeks ago I remarked on the unrelenting rain, now I can report that we haven’t had any significant moisture for some time and the ground is beginning to tell of it. We’re expecting more of the same with only a chance of showers late next week. It was so dry last summer that our second cut of hay never materialized. Let us hope it doesn’t come to that and the rains arrive in good measure before the end of the month. Last fall we sold our entire herd of American Milking Devon cattle to folks from Missouri. I recently learned that, because of extreme drought conditions there, they are selling nearly half their herd. Neither hay fields nor pastures have yielded the necessary forage. Last year’s hay has been difficult to find, and what has been available has been expensive. These are hard lessons.

6 thoughts on “Warm and dry

  1. So sorry to hear of the drought conditions. My son had just been down south for a week and told me of the noticeable difference in hues, or lack of hues, of green on his travels. Last year was so wet, here, that we had a hard time harvesting the second crop. Opposite problem. Farms up north were so hard-hit that we had a hay-drive across the state to help out wherever we could.

    This summer we seem to be having a balance of conditions. A change from the last few years when we’ve had so much rain.

    So sorry to hear about the Devons, very sad to think of them without enough forage because of the drought. Hope things improve a.s.a.p. – really tragic to try to run a farm during these times.

    The photograph has an eerie effect, but gorgeous capture.

    • You know, there’s a line that goes … A dry summer will hurt a farmer while and a wet one will kill him/her. I was going to include that in the post but thought it was too depressing. Yes, dry conditions are difficult, for everyone concerned. We draw our water from a surface spring – there’s nothing like relying on this sort of water supply to make one acutely aware of the water table. Our second cut hay crop began to grow like gang-busters right after we took off the first cut, now it seems to have slowed. Animals are really stressing. I hope all is well up North. Best birthday wishes to your husband! Have a great day. By the way – your lambs look really nice. Are you intending to cull … or are you growing the flock? D

      • Oh that is depressing to read .. awful sad reality. Thanks for the nice reply to our farm-goings-ons. I am looking to cull the flock as in the next year I am not feeling like I can adequately take care of them. I hate the thought of parting with any of them. My wethers’ fleeces are some of the prettiest ever. My older ewes and wethers are all keepers from years’ past, so it makes them special too. There is one family interested in starting a Shetland flock from Northern Vermont that is coming to take a look at 2 or 3 this month for next year. We’ll see how that pans out. I’m not very good at either sending them off or culling unless I’m really comfortable with where they’re going. I have faith that it will all work out. If not, I’ll just work harder – I find that I surprise myself at how much I can pull off! Jim had a nice day – half a day of work, half a day on the water fishing with son one, dinner on the deck with the fam! 90s here today – praying for rain your way.

    • Yeah … so am I. I am second-guessing the decision to sell. But, life is full of decisions. Some work out … some don’t. Thanks for all of your comments this morning. Each one is like an early Christmas gift waiting to be unwrapped. Oh … by the way … sunk a couple of t-posts out on the western perimeter. Made me think of sinking those telephone poles for the cow shelter … remember that? Bzzzzz …. snap … blast … argh.

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