A Wet Spring
In the last newsletter, we talked about the recent rains that we have been experiencing here in the Texas panhandle. I know you are thinking, "Is he really about to talk about rain again?" However, before you run off to another blabbering person on the internet or to window shop some steaks, let this blabbering person make a point.
The rains in the Texas panhandle are so crucial. Not only for the obvious that we need water to live but also because it supports and grows some of the most nutritious grass in America. Growing nutritious grass means a couple of things. The cattle will benefit by gaining weight. You also know that hangry feeling you have when you miss breakfast? Will cattle also get the same feeling. Having plenty of food keeps our cattle happy and less stressed. Don't worry; we don't actually ever let our cattle miss a meal. However, when the grass is less abundant, we must start feeding, which costs a lot of money. Healthy grass growing tall from the rain leads to the ranch saving a lot of money. We are in the business of cattle, but as Sam says, we are also in the business of growing grass.
The panhandle's appearance also changes dramatically during the rainy season. The land is extremely drought tolerant, which means plants can go dormant for long periods. This fact, plus a dry winter, meant drastic changes were bound to occur during the wet spring. We go from golden grasses and white fields to leprechaun green everywhere. I grew up in Pennsylvania, which is a very green state. However, we do not have tall grasses like the Texas panhandle. It is a sight to behold when you see grasses growing waist-high, green mixed with wild flowers. With flat horizons, the fields seem to go on forever and ever. However, there is more than just green to behold. Coming from Pennsylvania, I only get to see a few wildflowers. That changed living here in the Texas Panhandle. I was able to witness more wildflowers than I've ever seen in my life.
Amarillo actually has its name because of the wildflowers. In Spanish, the word Amarillo means yellow, and the city was given the name due to the vast amounts of yellow wildflowers. This was the first year the rains lined up perfectly for me to see these beautiful flowers take over our fields. Really it is a sight to behold. I don't think I've ever seen so many flowers all at once. I'm a horticulture major, so saying that this is the most flowers I've seen at one time is no joke. Horizon-to-horizon green grass mixed with these wildflowers; just wow!
This year has particularly been so wet that we are having difficulty finding a period to get hay into the ground. We are not going to complain about this all too much. We much prefer to have this problem versus having a drought. I'm actually at my parent's house in Pennsylvania with Helen right now. They are in a mini drought currently and have the problem of not having plants in the ground due to the drought. The corn should be several inches high this time of year, but most farmers are waiting until it rains to put anything in the ground. I do believe God is good all the time, so I am just very thankful for the rain we have and praying for the rains to hit Pennsylvania.
It is not very often, but sometimes, this Yankee is called to be a cowboy, and this month happened to be one of those times. Early in the month, Aaron had taken a little spill from the top of a hay hopper. He was okay, but he did bruise his back. His injury happened right before a cattle working. When Aaron is out of the equation, and we don't have enough help, it means it is time for me to step in. This situation also means that it is time for Pepper to come out of retirement. The only trusty steed that I will ride.
I do not act or look like a cowboy; trust me. I don't even have a cowboy hat that fits me. Other cowboys can also tell from my demeanor that I am not a cowboy. This means this Yankee is trying to fit into a world that I do not fit into. I admire a lot about the cowboy world. The one thing about cowboys I admire the most is their passion for their work. In a world where for most people going to work is a chore and almost a hindrance, the cowboy loves their work. They should as well, considering most of them have done the task since they were young children. Cowboying is a unique skill set. It takes a lot of work to be a cowboy, and they are some of the toughest rootin' tootin' people there are. I think they look at me and say "who is this guy" when I show up at a cattle working.
Regardless of how anyone feels about the situation, I hop on Pepper, my trusty steed (she would not say the same about me. She would say "who is this guy"). We take off across the pasture, gathering cattle and pushing them towards the pins. Thank goodness that on this chilly morning that the wind was to our backs. The other cowboys are shouting instructions to me, and I'm not doing too bad for myself as a pretend cowboy.
After pushing some stubborn cattle for about a mile or two, we finally got the cattle into the corral. This is when we push the cattle through chutes and work them, giving them the proper medical care needed to keep them healthy. This can be more of a stubborn chore during a cattle working. This is where one can be kicked and taken advantage of by the cattle. However, I was labeled a pretty good cowboy when this was all said and done. I still refuse the title of being ever called a cowboy because I'm not one. I will take the "not bad Connor compliment." If anything I am truly a Yankee Cowboy. What an oxymoron.
You can feel free to disregard this part of the newsletter, but we always need prayers. Please do not think we are asking you to only pray for us but rather just add these things to the things you already pray for. We really appreciate and believe in this.
- Praises is all we have this month. Things are looking good!
Thank You so much, and don’t hesitate to let us know if we can pray for you.