Wednesday, July 27, 2011


The drought. It is the 34th consecutive day of triple-digit heat here in Vernon and everything is struggling to stay alive. We have let our garden go - watering twice a day was not only expensive, but of no worth, as the plants' leaves were being severly burned.

The pond...just a puddle now.

The vultures have already feasted on Zack's bellied-up catfish.

As in Jeremiah 14, it talks about the drought and so much of the scripture from the biblical ages could have easily been written about this summer here in Vernon, Texas.

'For there has been no rain on the land. The farmers have been put to shame and have covered their heads. Because the ground is cracked. For even the doe in the field has given birth only to abandon her young. Because there is no grass. And the wild donkeys stand on the bare heights; they pant for air like jackals and their eyes fail.' Dyke has had so many calls from people finding baby deer in their backyards, on the side of the roads and in the most obscure places....just like the bible said. The mamas have abandoned them to find food and water to stay alive.

Our Earth is so thirsty....

The pastures have dried up and are blowing away in the furnace-like winds.

Infliction. Asphyxiation. Tortuous. Lethal. Excruciation.
Our cattle gather each day, under the few trees that give shade by the pond. Most days, you can find them yearning to stand ear-deep in the muddy water, but the daily changing levels are now only teet-deep...Trying to find some resemblance of relief is nearly an impossibility. We are blessed to have two ponds and this one still has water. The lower pasture still has some grass...but when that is gone, so are the cows. We will be forced, like so many others, to sell out. Here's what our local news report said about the recent influx of cattle sales:
Wichita Livestock has confirmed they are no longer accepting anymore cattle for sale, unless a seller has made prior arrangements with staff members.
This comes as livestock sale barns have been seeing their busiest year yet. The drought is forcing many cattle owners to sell off their animals because they simply can't afford to keep up with supplying water and food.

Last week Wichita Livestock Sales saw 3,500 head of cattle come in for their weekly auction and they're expecting the same this week. Usually they see 1,500 to 2,000. In the 11 years the livestock barn has been open owners have never seen anything like this before. "We've been as busy as you can be in a 24 hour period," said Owner of Wichita Livestock, Billy Easter.All day Tuesday cattle raisers dropped off their herd one truckload at a time. Chris Mooney brought a 50 foot trailer with 45 cows. He hauls cattle around for clients, and says work lately has been nothing short of hectic."We're hauling to the sale barns and feed yards every day. Everyone has run out of grass and run out of water," he said.And for the owner of this sale yard, it's record breaking auctions at or near capacity of 3,500 and it's not slowing down. Recently auctions have been lasting nearly 24 hours; from 9am Wednesday morning to 7am Thursday. They usually end about 7pm Wednesday."It makes for a long day because we still have to check the cattle and get them loaded on trucks the next day. It kind of wears everybody out," said Easter.We're now 17.5 inches below normal rainfall. It's a cattle raisers worst nightmare."This is by far the worst year," said Mooney.There is good news. Livestock sales are not being affected by mother nature, "They're bringing in good money, awful good money," said Easter.
Those who are buying the cattle are coming as far away from Mississippi, Colorado, and Missouri. Wichita Livestock's weekly auction kicks off on Wednesdays at 9am.
There are concerns for the cattle raisers who are selling off their herd. Some may not be able to purchase their livestock back and it could potentially put some people out of business.

Our cotton has all but burned to ashes and those plants that are holding on to life are so very sparce.
In an attempt to keep spirits uplifted with a little humor...a friend sent me this picture of the "new Texas rain gauge"... but in our case out here on the farm...we haven't even had this much rain...and the punishing winds would have blown this right off the rail within moments of setting it there.

One of the coons that we were rehabing is still making appearances from time to time. Her sister has not been seen for several weeks. Although this one's off the bottle, she has grown to enjoy feasting on the dry catfood that we bring her, when we know she's back in the tree. I go out and call to her several times a day, offering food and water. Somedays, she pokes her nose out of the hollow and comes to me, other days, there's no response...The intense heat vaporizes the water that we leave in the bowls for her, and they have to be checked almost hourly. I can't imagine the heat index when you're wearing a raccoon coat...and I hope and pray the hollow tree provides enough protection from the scorching sun and heavy air.

PLEASE pray for rain to come to this part of our country. We're so very desperate. I know without a doubt that the Lord will provide. Those who read this, who are in similar not give up, do not doubt God's abilities and do not cease your prayers. He knows and He loves His children. God bless this country, the troops overseas, and the government leaders and others who are willing to stand up for what is right in the eyes of God.

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