I admit that I have been pretty lax in my writing this year. Granted, I have not ever been a powerhouse at keeping up with this blog. But this year has been very sparse. And here's why....My mom always told me if you can't say somethin' nice, then don't say nothin' at all. Well, I've had a pretty hard time not whining about the drought, so I decided rather than harp on it, I'd just keep my mouth shut. I knew full well that everybody was in the same boat as me. And I also knew full well that my God is bigger than any problem I may face. But I prayed every day from October on for snow and for the most part what I got were remnants of an "almost" storm.
Then when calving got well underway, God decided to start sending moisture. And while I was so, so, so grateful for the moisture, the extra work trying to keep calves alive (not to mention their mothers), made me feel like I was looking a gift horse in the mouth.
It was depressing beyond words to ride out through the hills and see the gray color that, even when spring should have been starting, just remained that dead, gray looking color. My heart sank every time I really looked at the hills.....most of the days, although I was out in the hills feeding cows, I never allowed myself to really "look" at the hills.
And to top it all off, the temperatures just wouldn't warm up enough to let the grass grow. After we'd had a little moisture, the dog gone mercury wouldn't rise in the thermometer enough to get above 50 degrees. That just won't make grass come.....my heart was heavy.
But then......little by little, I started seeing tiny, tiny sprigs of green coming. What a glorious sight! I have never in my life been happier than I was to see that little bit of green starting to come. Many times I was brought to tears (yes, tears) by the sight of the grass coming on. I have thanked my Maker many, many, many times this spring for the wondrous emerald green color that our hills have taken on in this last month!
We are not out of the woods just yet. The topsoil moisture looks good for our part of the country. But the subsoil moisture is still depleted. Our north pastures are about 2-3 weeks behind normal and our summer pastures that we use exclusively for summer are about a month behind normal. But these last couple of rains have sure made things look better there. We will hopefully get the first bunches of pairs down that way the first of next week.....about 3 weeks later than we usually go.
But we are GRATEFUL beyond words for the grass that is coming. As I told a neighbor the other day, I had a plan for everything till now. But when our hay supply ran out, my only plan was to hope for grass. I prayed for moisture EVERY DAY. And I knew that whatever happened, God would care for us. I did trust Him to make things work out the way they needed to, but I have to be honest.....I wasn't sure I was going to like what His plans were.
Like I said, the drought isn't really over. Things are looking good and so much better than they have for quite a while. But it will probably take several years to put things back to what I would actually call "normal". There are many places that were so depleted that it will definitely take some time to heal. And we ranchers will all need to use careful management practices to care for the fragile hills. But I'm certainly not complaining. I'm so grateful for the moisture and the beautiful emerald green color the hills have taken on that it is hard to complain. I am ever so aware that it is a gift from the Big Guy Upstairs that we have been blessed with a reprieve.