After an incredibly dry spring and summer, we are experiencing a very wet autumn. It started raining, and it feels like it has not stopped. As a rancher, I am not complaining. We have to adjust to either drought or deluge. Fortunately, nothing is flooding even after inches and inches of rainfall, which demonstrates how dry our land was.
Immediately following the first few inches of rain, the grass turned a deep and brilliant green color. The pastures are beautiful. Luckily through the drought, our pasture grasses did not dry up and die like many ranches in our area. We count ourselves fortunate and thank God. Our pastures fed the cattle, and will continue to feed them a little while longer.
Where the ground had cracked from extreme dryness, the soil is dark with moisture. As the rain fell for days and days, the soil just soaked up the rain. No rain even ran off. The ground was like a huge sponge soaking up all the moisture it could get. After even more rain, walking through the pastures at Cross Creek Cattle Company is like walking on supersaturated sponges. “Squish, squish.” The roads are also beginning to get muddy, but they are not impassable yet.
Now that the ground is saturated, the rain is beginning to run-off. Our ponds and our lake are finally starting to fill up after lowering to worrisome levels. I do not remember the water in the lake ever being that low before. I am sure the fish are happier with more room to swim. A good supply of fresh drinking water is critical for raising healthy cattle.
With rain, comes mosquitoes. They are everywhere. All the little eggs have hatched and the little mosquitoes are hungry for blood. If you plan on spending any time out-of-doors, make sure you have something to repel the pests.
Despite the mosquitos, the rain has really freshened up the place. It has washed away the dust from the county road that used to lay thick on the perimeter trees and bushes. The pastures and trees alike are well-nourished. The rain has also brought a coolness with it that broke the seemingly constant 100 degree streak we were having. The air itself smells clean. Because of the rain, it feels like there has been a rebirth of nature on the ranch. We are seeing more wildlife out and about, even snakes. Rain is good. We are enjoying the fall season at Cross Creek Cattle Company.