News Letter: Summer 2001

Fire and Rain!

The drought goes on as we alternate between fires and at last, some rain. We have had five lightening strike fires within one mile of the farm. This one was just 1/2 half mile west of us. Fortunately, the Fire Department was able to get to this fire. Another fire just to the north up the canyon was inaccessible and so we were told to monitor and let them know if it spread.

fire to the west
fire to the east

The fire pictured to the left was one of three fires that was to the east of our farm. There are more roads and homes in that direction and the fire fighting was more intense and rightly so.

And now for the Rain

We hadn't had any rain for all of June and a good deal of July. Then one afternoon we got 3 inches in one and a half-hours! As a friend said: "well, its like throwing a bucket of water at a man dieing of thirst". Indeed it was just so. The very dry ground couldn't begin to soak up the heavy rains. The water ran over the fields in huge amounts. In some cases the runoff came to be five feet deep or more in some washes.

The aftermath was one of those dismaying cases of Mother Nature having HER way. Some of you may recall my speculation about what may have happened to the original homesteader on this farm. Sometimes I thought he died of cold and snow, then of drought, but now I think he may have drowned in one of these intense heavy downpours. You wouldn't want to be caught in a low spot!

rain washing over fields
fencing washed away

The rushing water moved enough rotten granite particles and debris to push over a thirty-foot section of six-foot high fence. This happened in two other areas of the farm perimeter fence as well.

Then of course, there was the damage to our "never-was-any-good-road-anyway".

It's hard to know if the net gain was for the good or for the not so good.

Some days later, we had all of the fencing put right again and the gates rehung where their posts had been pulled from the ground.

fences fixed

Here we are at the end of the summer. The heat will break, the goldfinches and hummingbirds will fly south and the last blooms of the trumpet vine will close.

The ewes are already throwing kisses to the rams in the next field and so another fall and breeding season will come to us on the farm.

We hope a season of peace and calm will settle over us all and bring a measure of comfort and solace to those of our friends and family who have lately lost someone so dear.

trumpet vines and sheep

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