Thursday, June 05, 2014

More spring beauty and then...

 Yearling ewes and their new lambs.

 Missouri Milk Vetch (Locoweed)

 (purple) Lambert Crazyweed:  Locoweed

 Prairie Smoke

Matted Pea (A. gilviflorus)

Common Star Lily

Hello again, friends!  I'm back so soon with more of those wildflowers I wanted to share with you.  It's neat to see the different flowers that grow in different types of soils.  The matted pea, you can see, is growing in a pile of rocks.  It reminds me of a bridal bouquet, perfectly round and properly arranged with just the right amount of flowers to greenery.  All of the locoweeds are exquisite, but as you may know by the name, are not good for livestock to eat because it can make them loco (crazy) and sick.  It is very rare that we get a ewe or cow that eats locoweed.  They tend to stay clear of it.  It's as if they just know better.  The prairie smoke is a favorite and a difficult flower to find.  It's low-growing and inconspicuous so you must be looking for it.  I dug up a little of it this year and planted it in my rock garden.  We'll see how it fares.  I wish I had dug up some of the matted pea.  Maybe next time we go checking cows I will do that.

After all this beauty I'm sharing with you, I have disheartening news.  Yesterday afternoon we had a hail storm, and a pretty devastating one.   Thankfully the entire ranch was not hailed out, but three quarters of the hay fields were totally hailed out and likely will not produce anything this summer, but that may depend on weather conditions.  We are hopeful that if we get some rains now, instead of harsh heat, some of it might come back.  It's all very iffy.  Even if it does come back, it might not grow enough to make hay, but it could make grazing.  We'll just have to see how the days come.  The areas by our houses did not get as much hail damage.  My garden fared ok.  The tomatoes and peppers that had ice cream buckets around them look great, but the lettuces and things are tattered.  I can replant those easy enough and it's still early.  The poor rhubarb is shot, but I'm hopeful that there are enough young shoots underneath the big leaves that it may come back.  No damage happened to the homes except for a little bit of siding on the mobile home.  Nothing major.  

The crazy thing was that there were INCHES of hail in the main hay field.  One area was so packed  down with hail, we had to use our feet to dig underneath.  It remained a frozen 2" mat of ice 4 hours after the event.  We expect it didn't fully melt until noon or so today.  We went back out this evening and the fields look even sadder than they did last night.  

Thankfully, the cattle are all fine.  The bulls took it the worst and ended up with some swollen eyes.   We had to move them to another pasture with some grass, but today they are much better.  We were so glad that we didn't have the yearling ewes in Chuck's where they had lambed last year because that pasture was totally hailed out and would have probably killed new, young lambs.  They were in Dick's instead and were safe and sound from the major part of the hail storm.  No lamb loss.

Below is a sampling of the hail storm mess.  Pretty sobering.

Hay field.

The photos above were taken 4 hours after the hail storm.

This photo taken of the same hay field as above this afternoon.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about the severe hailstorm, but glad that the animals fared better than many of the hayfields and some of your kitchen produce. It must be devastating when you have animals to feed and care for. I've enjoyed seeing the wild flowers - each one is a gem. I like looking for wild flowers myself. We even have them along our roads around the city as it's a policy for the council to brighten up the area with wild flowers and countryside-type flowering bushes such as wild dog roses. Every blessing on your day, Jody.

  2. Disheartening indeed - those are serious balls of hail :-( You must have taken the flower photos before the devastating weather began. I do pray some rain comes and helps the hay to grow again.

  3. Oh my, that hail is horrible. Sorry your animals and glad the bulls are better.

  4. We heard about the hail. I'm sorry. Hopefully with thee cool days your hay will recover. You never know. One year we got nailed by a nasty hail storm in Lead. That was the best garden I had. I hope good things come out of bad happenings. Take care. Glad nobody was hurt.

  5. What huge balls of hail, no wonder the bulls suffered. They can do some serious damage. I hope you have some gentle rain to help the hay grow back.
    What unusual wild flowers- I've never seen any of them. I like the Matted Pea the most.

  6. I'm just sick for you. I'm a farmer's daughter, and I really feel your pain.

  7. So sorry to hear about the hail and the extensive damage! And like you, I am thankful that your livestock was spared from major injuries! After being blessed over the years from knowing you, I can just imagine that you have already given this over to the one who holds the future in his hands, and now you are "doing the next thing." I hope your fields recover as much as possible and that it will not have a major impact on this year's ranching!

    By sharing your story, you have give us all a glimpse of your lives and unique challenges! Over here in city-country land, our family has different challenges at times. And yet we share the common thread of love for family and all of God's creation!

  8. Oh no, Jody, I am so sorry to hear about the hail. So glad your animals were mostly okay. What crazy weather you have (and we think Texas is weird). I've been watching Longmire and I think of you when I see the countryside. I have no idea if it is close to you or not but it is "up that way."

  9. Oh my, Jody, I'm so sorry to read this. I think life can feel so sobering as we are so at the mercy of weather. That is some huge hail. I'm blown away at how long it stuck around. Did the hail storm hit mostly locally or did it hit in a large circumference around you? Will it be tough to source feed this year? Again, I'm just so sorry. It is humbling to see your previous post before this one about God leaving little things for you to find & see to remind you of Him & His friendship - nature can make one feel so small, but we need to remember we are still important somehow. We will be thinking of you all. We are just getting cattle out onto pasture, and the ones that head out to the mountains won't go till the end of this month -- our gardens haven't even peeked through the soil yet, but we aren't much behind.

    Thinking of you & the prairie flowers today.


I love reading your comments. Thanks for stopping in. Sorry, but due to spam, only registered users can comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...