Read my lips: South Texas is NO LONGER in a drought.
North Texas is looking a lot better in the water department too. All our ponds are filled up again,and there is water running through the almost-always dry creek. Ahhh, the creek. It is a most interesting neighbor. This creek gives our property its wild beauty, but keeps it untamed.
There used to be a dirt road running along the west edge of our property. The county owned and maintained it at one time but finally gave up fighting that creek because it cannot be tamed.
We knew this when we bought our property. The creek criss-crosses and meanders all the way across our ranch. There is a main creek, but there are also several smaller "sub-creeks" which tie into the big one. We have at least four creek crossings on exterior fence lines. Twice the main creek crosses the exterior fence line. Well, not any more. The fence is gone now.
There used to be a fence stretched underneath those guide wires. If you look closely behind the small tree on the right side of the picture you can see the cattle panels crumpled under there. This has just become a major highway for cattle on both sides. The cows can walk under this fence without even touching their ears. Now they can leave our ranch on the south side of the property. The rancher who has cattle on the south side will soon have his cows coming over to our place.
This is the picture of a frustrated man. Do you see that mangled fence? It is supposed to stretch ACROSS the creek, but it has now been bent back against the east bank. This has also just become a major highway for cattle. Now they can leave on the north side of the property.
Because more rain is expected, there was little point in trying to fix the fences now. We might as well just gear up to retrieve cattle and fix the fences when the water goes down. We have giant boulders the size of Smart Cars in that creek. The force of the water MOVED one of those giant boulders. The debris line is pretty high, but the water didn't stay up long because the vegetation isn't dead.
See that sandy bank? There used to be a really big tree trunk lying across it. I know this because for years I used to shoot at it. (Nice safe place for target practice) The tree is now GONE! Imagine the force it took to lift a heavy tree and take it down stream. That kind of force demands respect.
At the moment the creek is back to being our deceptively tame neighbor. The rains have brought lush spring grass, wildflowers, and water for the year.
For now, all the cattle are present and accounted for, and we had two brand new calves.
That's not his momma.
Her calf is peeking out from behind her. This is the first time he's seen humans.
He has been born into a wet, wild, and dangerous world. His survival depends upon his mother's good sense and his father's protective instincts. His father is a young bull who shows a strong tendency to protect the calves. His mother, Dancing Cow, is the lead cow. She is the oldest and wisest, so this little guy stands a good chance of surviving, but not only must he contend with coyotes and cougars, he must also survive the creek.