Friday, August 3, 2012

Whine Fest 2012

Well, hello there friends. It's been a long time. You probably have been wondering why I am giving you the 'silent treatment'. Where are the lamb photos? Where is the Chicken Math?

It's not you, it's me. I have not been carrying my weight in this relationship.

I have always tried to keep my blog somewhat light-hearted, and I have tried very hard not to post whiny drivel.  I know you all have problems of your own, and you're not reading this to hear about mine. Well, I didn't mean that like, "Boy, you reeeally have problems", I just meant....well, you know...we all have stuff.

I have found it difficult this summer to find much to blog about that didn't include a lot of complaining, so I have just not posted. My little cousin recently left me a comment about my lack of blog posts, and her father followed it up with a comment speculating that I would probably blog again when it rained....I am not sure if that comment was his empathetic understanding of how my ideas had dried up like the surrounding landscape, or if it was intended as a smart-arse remark synonymous with 'when hell freezes over', either way it was an accurate assessment. It hasn't rained, and I am pretty sure that Hell hasn't frozen over, but I feel like I need to purge this summer out of my system in order to move on to other, more positive things. So, my friends, this post will contain some whining and complaining...okay, A LOT of whining and complaining.

I know, you are all tired of hearing about the drought, and most of my US friends are in the same boat, so I shouldn't complain, but I'm gonna ( see above...I need to whine). Here in Northern Scott County Iowa we are in the Extreme drought category.

I can't even remember the last time we had any measurable precipitation...unless you count my neighbor Miss Effie's official total in her rain gauge after the last "rain"- One drop, a cobweb and a dead fly....not really what we were hoping for.
My pastures are toast.

For the first time ever, I have been feeding hay to the animals all summer long. 
I normally stop feeding hay in May, when the pastures have greened up, and start feeding hay again in October, when there is no longer fresh grass. The price of hay has sky-rocketed, adding to my frustration, and the extra months of hay debris is already showing up in the fleeces on the sheep. I don't jacket my sheep to protect the fleece, and can't even imagine doing that when we have consistently had temperatures in the upper 90's, and 100's all summer with heat indexes around 110 on many days.

The critters have been seeking relief from the heat wherever they can find it.....I am not sure how effective it is to just shade your head...but it is, after all, a chicken....I never claimed that they were the smartest creature in the barnyard.

I have no garden this year.......
Well, that is an exaggeration. I have a garden, I found this little guy yesterday and gave him a drink of water.

.... OH! And I have these.....
dried up blackberries.

And........dry, misshapen pears..

Oh, and I had AN apple! One, singular, apple on my tree earlier this has since fallen off.

And who could forget my container garden? Okay, so it's a long-forgotten bag of seed potatoes that I just discovered in the counts, right?

The neighbor's corn looks green from a distance, but a closer inspection reveals pathetic, stunted corn stalks  
drying up and desperately pointing to the sky.


So, in order to get over this funk that I am in, I am going to try to look on the bright side, and put a positive spin on this situation.....

Okay, so, on the plus side......
Oh, yes! There are no mosquitoes this year. No standing water = no place for mosquito larva.
The price of propane is going down! There will be fewer crops that need drying, so the demand is down........

AND, we haven't had to mow the grass all summer, so, there is that.

Okay, I've got nothing else. The next posts will be back to lambs, and chickens and all things of a  farmy nature.

After all, the forecasters say that we DO have a "good chance" of rain tomorrow night. HAHAHAHAHA!
Yeah, right.


Judy T said...

I feel your pain. I've done my share of whining as well. I guess we had 'measurable' rain last week... if you can count 0.05 inches as measurable. sigh... I've been watering so I've got tomatoes and peppers but I've given up on my beans. I think the three apples that survived the frost are still hanging in there but I had very few berries either. But at least my livelihood doesn't depend on my garden. My neighbor's fields look similar to yours... sigh....
So whine all you want- you're in good company.

Sharrie said...

Have missed you. Hope we all get some "real" rain soon. It sure is a bad year to be a farmer

LLA Creations Art Dolls said...

I feel your pain and I see it every day at our own farm. You look at your livestock and feel guilty when you walk in the house with air. I think Mother Nature needs an attitude adjustment soon! I keep saying when we do get RAIN I’m going out and doing a jig, how about you?

LLA Creations Art Dolls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jared Lloyd said...

Our friends from LeClaire are in for the week... We've been praying for rain and we got it. We've traded your green and humid (in Colorado?!?!) for our dry and brown. Too little too late for hay though. Maybe that rain tomorrow night will set in.

Anonymous said...

It certainly is the year for complaining about the farm situation. I've never before this summer said I was ready for snow, but I'm just ready for the farm season to be done. Hopefully we'll all get some of that rain tonight.

Anonymous said...

This weather is affecting everyone and everything. We have even seen a difference in the wild birds. We've had an influx of many difference species all coming to drink from the chicken water buckets strewn around the yard. And, yes, we've been feeding hay since Father's's been a long year already.

Nancy K. said...

I haven't blogged or even read any blogs for ages. I don't even know when I stopped! OK ~ I just looked it up on my blog ~ June 21st was the last time I blogged. And I'm not even a farmer! I feel so badly for everyone who is suffering from this heat and drought. It's not as if life isn't hard enough without loss of income, rising food prices and increased demand on the already stretched budgets. I'm really worried about what is going to happen to prices this winter. Thank God I sold all of my animals last year. I sure never thought I'd be saying THAT!

On a lighter note (?)
When I saw the title of your blog post I thought it meant you were having a PARTY. You know...a wine your house! I was gonna come.

I'd even come for a whine party but can't afford the gas.

You and your are in my prayers my Dear Friend!

jeffreypresley said...

Ugggh! I'm so sorry it has been such a terrible summer! We have actually had a normal amount of rain this year here in NY, but it comes in deluges with hot dry spells in between. So vegetable are growing strangely, ugly cracked tomatoes etc. And any seedlings I'd try to start in the garden would be crushed by the torrential downpours. And since we had such a warm winter insects are insane. I'm covered in mosquito bites. It seems it's a bad summer everywhere!

Karen Anne said...

The pictures I see in the news are terrible. I wish I could do something. I am sending rain wishes, for what that's worth. Here's a bunch of big hugs.

Karen Anne said...

Is there any way to rig up shade for the animals? I've noticed it seems about fifteen degrees cooler under the trees here, although I don't know if that's shade or shade plus something else associated with trees, like maybe they give off moisture.

Coffeekittie said...

I've been lurking about and following your blog for a while now - was hoping things were ok (I avoid the news like the plague so is the only person who didn't know about the drought). All I can say is this: my thoughts are with you, and 2) you are allowed to whine on your own blog, especially during times like this!

Take care,

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