Thursday, July 9, 2015
Worst Year Ever
See that nasty brown grass above? That was the hay field at about this time of year back in 2012 during the drought. The drought sucked. I ended up losing almost all my bee hives over the Winter because they refused to build up enough due to the lack of forage. They went into Fall light and even though I fed sugar syrup they just didn't have enough bees to make it through Winter.
But let me tell you all something. During that drought I got more done around this place than I had ever managed to do in the eight years I been working on resurrecting this old place. The grass barely grew, the weeds withered and died, everything was dry and easy to deal with.
Compared to this constant rain a drought looks like paradise to me right now. In all the years I been doing this I have never once sat my ass down in a chair and seriously contemplated quitting until today.
Yesterday we got another 3 inches or so of rain. My gauge gets a bit iffy after about 2 inches so it could have been more. It rained all day and into the night. It rained when the radar map showed us as being dry, it rained this morning some. We were blessed with about 6 whole hours of sunlight during the late morning and early afternoon but then it clouded up around 2 or 3 and started sprinkling again by 5. They are forecasting more rain tonight again.
I AM SICK OF IT.
I have treated all the sheep three times now with every level of worming formula the veterinarians recommend. We only lost the one ewe but I got another one who's bottom jowls under her jaw have blown up like a balloon. On the plus side with her though I think she is actually getting better today but that's about the only bright spot I got except for the six hours of sun. The sick ewe was up and at least interested in food, that's a big improvement over yesterday.
The ground is a fucking swamp. Sorry about language but well I slipped. Seriously I haven't worn anything but mud boots in months. The inside of the barn has been flooded so many times I had to shut the poor ewes and lambs out of it. It was seriously unhealthy for them and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it because every time I muck it out it just rains so hard the water comes in again the next day and turns whatever was left into more mud and swamp. The grass in the yard is now once again at calf level and too wet to mow not that I have time to mow it anyway since I am trying to keep the sheep clean and in the right paddock all day long.
This morning I went down to the barn to at least start my diesel Ford tractor. I at least start it every other week even though it is still stuck because of the lake that has formed at the entrance to get it out. I went to get on it and there is a %^$$#@@ snake coiled up around the gear shift. I am pretty sure it was a juvenile rat snake but we all know how I feel about snakes in general. Right now they are going anywhere they can to get dry. People's houses, the barn, my shop, my damned tractor apparently. I went to start the thing after the snake fled and nothing. The light came on when I turned the key but the old girl wouldn't hit a lick. I think something has pulled out one or more of the wires that go to the starter but it's so dark in there I can't tell and I really didn't feel like standing in ankle deep mud for a few hours to figure it out.
I will deal with the tractor when I can pull her out into the sun I guess. There is actually mold growing on the dirty parts of her by the way. Mold.... On my damned tractor!!!!!
The weeds are so far out of control I have just given up. I simply don't care anymore. We have been eating a lot of Zucchini out of the garden though so that's a plus. The grapes are now molding on the vine and everything else but my beans are either weed choked or stunted.
I just can't get anything done. or at least not enough to make a difference. It's just constant rain and it has made it impossible to do anything. As I said earlier at least in a drought I was able to work on things. I could put up fences, reclaim brush, selectively water the garden. The sheep were nice and dry and happy and healthy.
I also have two 15 gallon rubbermaid totes filled with burr comb and wax cappings that I cannot even render it down to pure beeswax because the $##$#@!! &*%%$# Sun never shines long enough to use my solar wax melter.
I seriously sat down today and thought about loading the entire flock up into the stock trailer and taking them to market. Actually it would probably take me two loads but at least it would be one problem off my plate until these damned rains stop. Then I went out to the paddock to trim some low branches off the Cedar trees the girls use as a shade awning sometimes. Seven came up and tried to nibble on my battery powered chainsaw, Boris playfully headbutted me and Sandwich pawed at me while all the rest came up looking for food.
I just couldn't make myself load em all up.
I went and trimmed some low branches off a couple of the Boxelder trees I needed to get out of the way in case it ever stops raining long enough for me to mow ever again. The sheep LOVE Boxelder leaves so I threw em the big branches and they attacked them like a bunch of wool covered piranha. I made my son take a video of it I hope to up load sometime.
Anyway these rains have to stop sometime. I just hope it happens before November or so.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!