I understand that some of you probably look at the title of this blog post with a skeptical eyebrow raise, or even that you have some snaky comment to it and I understand.
Although this isn’t a blog post about any one subject and rainfall will be mentioned, I guess it is an invitation from me, to you. An invitation to step into the rain, see what it washes away, and who or what is left behind once the perceptions have been removed. Not all farmers resort to pesticides and poisons (if we did, we wouldn’t need to bush hog.) We respect the circle of life and our little role in it and we accept that sometimes death is a part of life. We don’t kill thoughtlessly but we do kill to eat. We just don’t glorify it. Maybe this will help to explain.
There have been times that I was so sick of the rain that I threatened to move from my beloved Texas, although no one actually believed me. I’m not going to bore you with the statistics, although I enjoy them, let’s just say that it is dry around here. Once flowing creeks have stilled, farmers are water their cattle from pumps and while there was an abundance of hay last year, we currently do not have half of what we need cut for the winter season. Worse than that, the grass is dying in the pastures and we may need to supplement the cows diet with some of last years excess hay and it is still July.
We went and bush hogged after a 4th sighting of a coyote within feet of the yard fence. There is nothing quiet as uneasy as me, having to go check on an alarm on the farm at 3am and not being able to know if something really is following me, or if it is my active writer’s imagination that put those glowing eyes in the tall grass. Now at least I’ll know for sure…I think.
I hate to have to shoot the coyote we have been seeing because she is obviously the mother to some pups that are hiding in the brush in the creek bottom. So far, she has left the livestock alone, the jackasses haven’t seen her as a threat and although the farm dogs run her away every time they scent her, she keeps coming back. I know many of this year’s fawns have been killed during haying operations, not here but on my neighbor’s acreage. Personally, I blame who he uses to cut the hay, but I will admit that is my personal opinion showing and not anyway backed by proof. I can also tell you that we have a plethora of rabbits running around this year. Maybe that is why the mama coyote has denned up where she has good cover, access to water and lots of yummy bunny delivering themselves to her door.
Still, things are getting dry and if she has come out of the woodlands, others may not be far behind. Hell, it was so dry that even my graveled hill had become an exercise in spinning one’s tires in lost traction and a ballet of finding the sweet spot to climb up it. The rain is welcomed and when the storm woke me up this morning I just knew we were getting a good soaking storm. Ha! Boy was I wrong. True, every little bit helps, but I hope it was enough to help the grass in the fields bounce back. Cattle prices may be on the rise, but it doesn’t mean I want to have to sell-off before my appointed time-frame.
Why am I writing this, obviously #FarmGirlFocused blog? I said the other night that I read a bunch of message boards when I couldn’t sleep. I guess I’m tired of being the bad guy. There is a lot of misinformation out there and while I’d be a fool to open myself up to too much scrutiny, (I know how numbers, statements and public opinion can be misrepresented and persuaded. Raised to be political remember?)
I just worry that sometimes the powers-that-be have decided that we as Americans need to be a certain way, whether it is because they truly believe it is healthier for us or if they know such actions will hurt a group that is generalized to vote in a certain way. I don’t know, it made sense in my head.
I ask you to remember this. A TRUE farmer has a special tie to their land and the things that they grow both animal and plant. I eat what I raise; I feed it to my friends and family. Do I have all the answers? Obviously not. Do I change and go with the times? Absolutely, he who doesn’t keep up is left behind.
I also come from a family of hunters. I KNOW! I said a dirty word and implied another. I OWN GUNS and I have used them! (Insert GASP here). The thing is, we aren’t hanging out of helicopters blasting away at animals as they are running for their lives. We don’t bait them (well…except for feral hogs and fish) but we do try to think bigger when we do whatever we’d normally do in the course of farming. Winter’s rye grass seed mixed with a little clover and peas is excellent grazing for the cattle and the deer and doves also enjoy it. I like the idea that the farm is a safe place where the wildlife can come, eat and drink and then be on their way. We don’t hunt on the farm as a general rule, unless we are baiting and trapping the feral hogs. It is always worrisome to mix whizzing bullets with livestock and overseers.
See! We have hearts. We care about people and animals. Sure we do things you don’t like, hell we do some things we don’t like either, but we’re HUMAN. Please, I beg you, don’t demonize us. It doesn’t feel good to be hated for no other reason than someone’s perception.
Maybe it is just a case of not being familiar with someone of a certain perceived stereotype? If that is the case, feel free to post questions or comments for me. I can’t promise to answer them all, but I’ll do what I can. I think everyone should learn something new every day, I’d consider it an honor if you wanted to learn some small something about me.
Thank you and until next time…don’t forget to splash in life’s puddles and laugh because the storms never last.
Mood: Defensive =AND= Wordy
Music: Tired Of The Rain- Black Stone Cherry =AND= Storms Never Last- Jessi Colter/Waylon Jennings