Our Drought… funny old weather
Mother Nature is a funny old beast, isn’t she? Most of you know that I generally adore Her… most of my images, I think, share that admiration on a daily basis.
However, lately, I am feeling a little less… generous. She giveth, but she also taketh away. And at the moment, her sense of humour eludes me.
An old neighbour of ours almost always used to begin a conversations with the line “Funny weather, eh?”. It used to make me giggle. He passed last year, and I wonder if he is looking over us all, shaking his head at the weather his old stomping ground is now experiencing.
For the past two years here, we have had summer floods.
This summer, it forgot to rain. Pretty much at all. Summer is when it HAS to rain here. We don’t really get winter rains. And as each week goes by with nothing in the rain guage, we feel that extra pull down, that loose dirt under our feet as we begin to slide from the edges of drought into it’s central vortex.
I don’t know if it’s possible to ‘get’ what rain means to primary production properties like ours. It’s pretty much our lifeblood.
I’m not even sure my photos will truly do justice to the contrast rain can make to a landscape and, by extention, to our lives* and livelihoods.
But I’ll try.
This time last year, my views were a little like this:
Our River, full to the brim.
And below, the same spot this week…
For us, our ‘wet season’ is usually Summer – December and January usually bring maybe 60-70% of our annual rainfall.
And 80% chance of 1-5mm will not settle the dust. Even if it does eventuate, which it has failed to the last 5 weeks it has been forecast.
I have stopped looking at forecasts. It’s worse than looking longingly at actual clouds!
A sense of humour might be tricky to find when this kind of weather settles in, but I reckon it’s absolutely ESSENTIAL to cope with it.
This next scenario tested our humour almost a little too much…
…it’s really important thing is some GREEN around the house. I have a theory about green. It’s vital to the human soul. To the souls I know, anyway. It helps keep us sane.
We are so lucky to have bore water that enables us to keep our houseyard and a little patch outside in the horse paddock, a bit greener than the au natural paddocks.
Pic above taken around April 2013, below just 10 months later.
I have to admit, while I do take some pride in our lawn (Lord knows I cannot garden to save myself) I find it hard to get cranky at the enterprising cows that ‘break in’ to the houseyard to try the green pick for themselves.
It’s just lawn fertiliser they leave behind, right?
And while we work hard to ease the load on our precious grass – as dry as it is – and swallow the dust and the falling prices for our cattle, we will keep trying to maintain our sense of humour. Perhaps a naked rain dance could be in order – although we will try to keep the photos off Facebook. (Check the link, it will make sense I promise!).
*Please keep in mind that this depicts our situation and does not represent anyone else – certainly not our region or our state. Everyone’s experiences are different and I am well aware that places out west did not even get proper rain during our 2011/12 and 2013 floods. Our hearts ache for them, and we know what they have now is possibly yet ahead of us.