Archive | 3:04 pm

On the Homefront

11 Jul

As exciting as it is to go away on vacation, it’s also kind of scary to know you aren’t going to be home to take care of the animals and farm the way you usually are.  That can make it even more scary to come home.  Of course, I wasn’t surprised to find that the vacuum cleaner hadn’t jumped out of the closet to pick up the dog’s fur while I was gone.

Bob

Seriously, how can one dog shed so much?  It was right after this picture that Bob’s nap was disturbed because I drug out the vacuum.

Of course, it’s always the outside animals that worry me the most.  I was a bit surprised that Naughty Rooster Boy was still around after the reports of him attacking both my mom and son.  I figured the story that he had escaped the pen was a cover-up of the great noodle murder, but he’s still here to torment another day.

Naughty Rooster Boy

I did my tail count of babies, and everyone was present and accounted for!  I can’t believe how much some of those kids have grown in the short time I was gone.

Spike

I can tell that some of the goats have dropped weight, but that’s to be expected with the horrible heat of last week.  They just don’t feel like eating when it’s that hot.  I’m keeping a close eye on Kizzy since she’s trying to raise three kids.

Kizzy and too many kids

While I was gone, I did get word from my son that the well was running dry.  It still has some water in it thanks to a half inch of rain on Monday, but our drought conditions are continuing.  Luckily, if the well does go dry, and can haul rural water to the animals.

I was happy to see that my corn still looks this good.  Every day, the news reports that the amount of corn in good condition is dropping.

Still, after traveling east, I feel so lucky to have my corn looking like this.  There are many fields in Illinois and Indiana that are just completely burned up.  I’ve been getting that half inch of rain or less about every week to help it hang in there.

I’m even seeing some ears forming now.

On my farm, the drought is most obvious in the Back Forty.  The hayfields were cut and baled at the end of May.  By now they should have been baled a second time (or just ready to).  Instead, it’s thin and turning more brown all the time.

The watering hole where the cows and llama drink is almost completely dried up.

There’s just a little bit left, and then they won’t have any water back here.

I remember when I was still in the process of buying the farm, the man who had his cattle here for the twenty years before I got it said there was only one day in all that time that there wasn’t water in the ditches.  The main ditch through the Back Forty is already dry.  I scared up one lone frog still clinging to the tiny bit of mud in the bottom.

Instead of the constant chirping of frogs, it’s completely silent except for the dry rustling of the cottonwood leaves as they fall from the trees.

It looks more like September than July.

I’m concerned for all these trees and pastures and crops that so desperately need water.  Hopefully, we’ll see that change in the weather pattern that the weatherman said might be coming to bring us some rains.

Still, I count my blessings that I do have rural water to provide my animals, and even if I have to buy hay, I know I’ll be able to get it.  My conditions here are so much better than many others.

Since coming back from vacation, I’ve become aware of the horrible plight of fellow blogger Feral Woman in the midst of a Montana wildfire.  You really should grab a box of tissues and read about the fires on her blog, Go West Feral Woman.  I was happy to see that Nancy from A Rural Journal has set up a way to donate to the Montana Red Cross to help victims of the fires.  I can’t put the widget on my WordPress blog, but you can donate at Nancy’s blog (worth the visit anyhow) if you want.

Linking to Jenny Matlock for Alphabe-Thursday where the letter is H.  I’m also linking to Thankful Thursday and Rural Thursday hosted by Nancy of A Rural Journal and Lisa of Two Bears Farm.