Southwest Oklahoma–A Dry And Thirsty Land

Southwest Oklahoma

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is…

~From The Psalms of the Holy Bible~

Hanging On

Like everybody else with livestock in western Oklahoma, Gramps and I are trying to hang onto our core cow herd until the drought breaks. One of the main problems we face is the ponds have all dried up, or are just mud holes. Without the ponds, we’re forced to drill for water for the livestock.

One of our cow farms (pictured above) had a shallow well and a windmill, but it wouldn’t keep up with the livestock’s needs, so we hired a new–and deep–well drilled. Gramps and son #2 have been working to install the electric line, pump, and water lines so we can move the cow herd to that place.

The Dust Bowl

This week while I battled a summer cold, I watched Ken Burns‘ documentary, The Dust Bowl. I bawled like a baby sometimes–it was like listening to Gramps’ parents and grandparents again. And I was proud of them for being the Okies who stuck it out. I highly recommend watching if you can.

[youtube.com/watch?v=J_LZpKSqhPQ]

A Grasshopper Plague

One of our other problems is grasshoppers eating all the forage. The nasty things eat everything. If we don’t get rains soon, they’ll strip pastures, tree rows, and even start on wood fence posts. I’m not kidding.This is a picture of the “cow kicker” on Gramps’ truck after driving through the pasture:

grasshoppers in OKlahoma

This summer cold has sapped my brains and left them a virtual dry and thirsty land, too, so until next time, God Bless all y’all and enjoy the Cathedrals singing I Thirst. (This is a really good one.)

[youtube.com/watch?v=Ni3R3S1p6ts]

*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just love ‘em.

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7 thoughts on “Southwest Oklahoma–A Dry And Thirsty Land

  1. Pingback: No Animals Were Harmed Making This Blog Post In Southwest Oklahoma | From the Ranch Pen–A Danni McGriffith Blog

  2. I saw that documentary! It was incredibly moving. can’t imagine what all you’re dealing with. Those locusts seem like nasty beasties. I’ll be praying the floodgates of rain are opened for you.

  3. Oh Danni I’m so sorry you and your family and rural community are having to deal with such a difficult time. Drought is an awful thing to have deal with. We had four months of drought here in Northland New Zealand. Our dam dried up and we were at the point of having to truck water in. I kept on praying for rain. Now winter is here and we have the other extreme. It’s such a struggle trying to farm the land and hope that nature is kind weatherwise. Praying for you all that rain comes soon.

    • Thank you very much, Liz. It’s always nice to talk to somebody who knows the struggle. Water can be just as destructive as drought, for sure. One of our old neighbors who lived through that terrible drought in the 1930’s says he’d rather try to make a livin’ in a mud puddle than a dust bowl, though. 🙂

  4. I can hardly imagine the hopeless-ness those poor souls felt. Tough times. It’s not even close to that here, and we have ice & air conditioning to pamper ourselves with.

    • We’ve got it so easy compared to the farmers at that time. I appreciate the farming methods the ’30’s forced on them, now, though. Because of this wretched druought, we’d have the exact same conditions on the land today if it wasn’t for conservation tillage and the highly erodible ground going back into grass. Plus we have all the tree breaks, dams, and lakes from the WPA days. And the ice and air-conditioning 🙂 About the only part of that documentary I took issue with was right at the first when the guy says the farmers wanted “easy” money–while showing them plowing with mules and open-topped tractors with tiny roll-over plows. Ha.

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