Monday, August 5, 2013

The Drought Continues Even After the Rain

Water is the key to life in Central Texas.  Just add water and you have plenty of grazing and forage.  The trees, forbs, bushes, weeds, flowers and succulents all do well when it is a wet year.  The deer and other wildlife are in good shape and raise a good crop of young.  Livestock on the range will do well and there is not much supplemental feed needed.  Take away the water and everything starts to die.  The food plots we planted all died, there is little natural forage or grazing.  Everything needs supplemental feeding including the wildlife.  Water must be furnished or what wildlife there is will leave in search of water or die without it.  This last year we lost many oaks and even some cedars died.  The Russian Thistle we fight each year in the food plots turned brown this year and died.  We recently were blessed with almost five inches of rain in a four day period.  The ground was so dry there was no runoff.  The stock pond did not come up in depth of water and the roads were not washed at all.  One day after the rain dust again was boiling up behind vehicles on the ranch roads.  I am very thankful for the rain we got but it is going to take a lot more to get us out of the effects of this long term drought.

Stone trough built by my wife and I for that old ranch look.  It took lots of hours to build and plaster.  We still need to run a water line to the well and hook it up, but it does hold water.  We laid steps inside and outside for wildlife to get to the water and get out if they fall into the water.  The birds and deer have already been using it.

We put in a plastic trough and float at my sister's well this last week.  It may not look as authentic as the old stone water trough I have been working on at my place but it only took about 30 minutes to set up.  Wildlife is already beating trails to and around the water trough.  We hope it will help out the wildlife while providing water for our livestock.  My wife and I finished plastering the limestone trough we have been building at our place and it held water.  We will now be running a line to the well and putting an automatic float on the trough to maintain the water level.  The deer and birds found the water there within hours.  We also placed a bird bath out by the barn and fill it several times a week.  It is amazing the birds that have found it and come for a daily drink or bath.  The area lakes are in dire straights and Buchanan is worse than I have seen it in my lifetime.  People in this part of the world are going to have to change their water use habits or do like the wildlife and go somewhere else.  For those of us that plan to stay we must adjust, Wild Ed

Rubbermaid trough set up in around thirty minutes.  It may not look pretty but it supplies water for the livestock and wildlife.
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