Where is the Rain Tree?
By Courtney Terry
In the Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, movie “Raintree County” the rain tree is considered a mythical and magical tree that those who find it discover love under a rain of yellow blossoms. Since I have the love part handled, I will gladly take the rain part…preferably ginormous drops of sweet H2O.
Lately the water situation seems to be on the top of the list of conversations at coffee shops, feed stores, sale barns and banks all across Texas. There’s no reason to ask why…just looking out the window and you will find your answer and the affect the lack of is having all over the Lone Star State.
Water and hay seem to be the hottest commodity. Water tanks are disappearing, cattle herds dwindling, and hay is extremely scarce. The cattle market was explosive last week. Just about every sale barn in a 200 mile radius had record numbers, Wharton Livestock Auction in Wharton, Texas had an estimated 2,000 head and in Crockett had an estimated 3,900. At these rates, our cattle population in the state will dissipate, leaving the pastures they inhabited vacant and well lonely. There’s just some comfort for me found in seeing cattle in pastures.
Hay is getting rare and expensive in these parts, while the other half of the United States is under water and can’t get in their fields to cut and bale. In places across Texas hay is $75 a bale in the field and up to $110 delivered. If you can keep your cows that’s great, but can you afford to feed them now thru the winter? It’s one extreme or the other.
We did catch a break the last couple of days, only made it to 100 or so. Sure did enjoy the “cold front.” In some places the threat of fires has decreased…dirt doesn’t burn that well. Another casualty of the drought of 2011 is the trees. Many of the trees have started to turn and die.
It seems no matter what happens all we need is a good soaking rain. There have been many explanations for Texas’ lack of moisture: Texas is too proud (we are, that’s why we live here in God’s country); Texas is too rich and the drought is teaching us a ‘lesson’; Meteorologists say there is a trough pushing the rain north of us. (Doesn’t explain Louisiana getting rain?) There are lists of what is happening, however, there is nothing we can do except pray for rain. Even Dude is praying for rain.