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Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Mild Summer

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

I cannot believe that it is already September. School is back in full swing and routine is setting back into our lifestyle.

The other day I was shocked when a meteorologist in Houston, Texas announced that on record there had not been one day this year that reached 100 degrees. That is so unusual! 1997 was the last time that this has happened.

The ranch is farther north and further from the Gulf of Mexico than Houston, and has I believe achieved temperatures to 100 degrees this summer. However, the point remains that this summer has been unusually mild.

I am in no way complaining. In fact, I am celebrating the fact. It is wonderful. It has been hot; don’t get me wrong. It has not been scorching hot.

This is better for our cattle and animals. Nothing does well when there is no relief from the heat. Without the scorching heat, our pasture grass does better, too. It is not getting burned back and turning brown. It is still green and growing.

So what does this mean for the rest of the year? Will we continue to experience below normal temperatures through the winter,too? NOAA predicts exactly this pattern. In fact, only Texas and New Mexico are facing below normal temperatures this winter. Click here to read up on it.

I’m no expert, but I hear freezing temperatures more often than normal, which means that we need to have good windbreaks for the cattle and plenty of hay. It would be much better to be overly prepared than not prepared at all.

Enjoy the last few weeks of our mild summer. You might consider using them to get prepared for less than normal winter temperatures.

Summer Thunderstorms

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

What I would have given last summer for the week we have had! However, I am very grateful for the storm systems that have gone through Texas this past week. We have gotten rain every day and the thunderstorms have been tame. No scary lightning bolts. No house shaking thunder. No flash flooding. No tornadoes. Just good solid rain with faint rumblings of thunder in the distance.

Our soil is saturated. The lakes are filling up again. It is amazing how much water evaporates in triple digit heat. This past week we have received a total of 8 glorious inches of rain. Wednesday alone we recorded a whopping 6.4″.

The 7-day forecasts have been very strange lately with rain chances each and every day. We are not accustomed to such meteorological predictions. And, they have actually been true.

One of the best side effects of this summer rain is that it feels so much better outside. The week before the heat and humidity almost took your breath away when you walked outside. Despite efforts of prevention, my husband has gotten too hot several times this summer while managing the ranch. One of our employees also suffered the effects of heat exhaustion.

The rain has brought welcome relief. Don’t get me wrong, it is hardly cool. The temperature still gets up in the nineties, but with the clouds and overcast sky, it is much more tolerable.

The rain has refreshed our pastures and woods. Its fresh scent hits you as soon as you walk outside. The rain has replenished our waterways. The water levels have climbed about a foot or more. The rains have also refreshed our spirits after several very hot and dry weeks. I feel so blessed by the rain that I don’t even mind the extra mopping in my entry way to remove muddy and wet footprints.

Summer Heat and the Cattle

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Summer is in full swing here at Cross Creek Cattle Company.  The daily temperatures are hitting in the mid-90s and staying above 70 degrees during the night.  This is prime grass growing time.

With the new growth of our grass, the herd is on a strict pasture rotation now.  We are in the midst of our time-intensive pasture management.  It is time-intensive in that we check the pastures two times a day.  We are interested in the condition of the grass.  We also look for worn areas in our pastures.  We want to move the cattle before they erode any of our pasture land.

We make sure that the herd has access to plenty of good water. Cows drink surprisingly amounts of water in one sitting.  In this heat, full-grown cows drink about 25 gallons of water a day.  Times that by the head that you are raising and that comes to a high number of gallons necessary to support your cattle.

We use natural ponds as reliable sources of water.  We also utilize well water in one of our pastures.  In another, we pump water out of our largest watering hole into a large water trough using solar energy.  To read how my husband set that system up, read my article, “Watering Your Herd on a Dry Pasture.”

As long as the rain continues to fall, we will be sitting pretty on lush green fields.  I hope that we do not suffer from another drought.  Two consecutive years of drought would be devastating to Texas ranchers.  We did better than could be expected last year.  In fact, Cross Creek Cattle Company was blessed with fat cows and green grass.

While other ranchers in our area were feeding hay to their herds during the summer months, we did not.  I attribute it to many things.  First, we prayed specifically for fat cows and green grass.  To understand this statement better, read my article from Texas Homesteader called, “Pray More Effectively.”  Additionally, we adhere to strict pasture rotation.  These are the two things that we credit our success last year.  God-willing, we will be blessed with plenty of good rain, fat cows, and green grass this summer.

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