Devastation comes to this earth in so many forms. Often times its quickly – hurricanes or tornadoes, flash floods or fire. But the kind of devastation we are experiencing this year, is a little different.
It’s SO dry.
It’s constant wind.
It’s always dusty.
And it seems to last forever…
It’s watching grass start to grow, but then shrivel up with the heat.
It’s seeing grasshoppers by the millions come in and eat what little crop came out of the ground.
It’s an entire crop that didn’t even germinate and break out of the ground.
It’s having to part with animals who have been part of the family and operation for years.
It’s hauling load after load of water because the well just can’t keep up.
It’s the stress and worry of not having enough feed for the animals to make it through the winter.
It’s scrounging for every blade of grass possible.
It’s praying for rain and some relief.
It’s the sound of crunchy grass stems and grasshoppers with every step.
It’s seeing cracks appear in the ground because it is just that thirsty.
It’s hours on the phone, filing paperwork, and showing insurance adjustors around to try to find help with the financial devastation.
It’s hoping you’ll be able to recover from this awful year to continue the family legacy.
It’s driving hundreds and hundreds of miles to haul feed home for the animals.
It’s paying highly inflated prices for feed…if you can find it and if you can afford it.
It’s being ready to fight fire at any moment.
It’s watching the horses and cattle fight flies with no relief.
It’s moving cattle to different pastures hoping they can find something to eat there.
It’s leaving the combine parked because there is no reason to even start the big machine this year.
It’s wondering what we will do next year with no grass left, no hay reserves, no financial reserves.
It’s hoping nitrate levels in the hay are low enough that the livestock won’t get sick eating it.
It’s wondering what even the grasshoppers are finding to eat, since there is nothing left standing on the entire place.
I could go on…
Drought is slow and recovery is even slower. But as with anything there are lessons to learn, little things to appreciate, and blessings bestowed in the hard times. We learn to rely on Him from whom our help comes for just the little things in life. We see the big and small miracles of God at work every day. We’re extra thankful for one more bale of hay, knowing that that it is one more cow we can keep and fed for a few more days.
There have been close calls with fire where only God’s hedge of protection protected us. We realize how many things we take for granted – Food in excess, electricity, fancy vehicles, social get togethers, technology at our fingertips, WATER. It’s years like these, the hard years, the drought years, the hot years, the long years, the years with a crazy amount of grasshoppers, that we realize just how fortunate we are, how much we truly have, and how great our God is.
We are not complaining about our situation, so many ranchers and farmers across the county are experiencing dry conditions on some level. We just want consumers to be aware of just what producers go through to put nourishment on their plates. It’s not an easy way to make a living or an easy way to live, but we continue on because we love what we do, we love experiencing God’s creation firsthand, we love raising our families in this lifestyle, and we love keeping the world fed.
Pictures are from first week of July to third week of August 2021.