Our fair Valley of the Pecan has certainly seen our share of good ol’ Texas weather as of late. We have ranged the spectrum from freezing weather, to typhoon type gales, to fair weather on to some downright hot weather. While we have been experiencing some of the most dry times since the middle of the drought in ’54, we were fortunate enough to get a wee bit of moisture during the earlier part of the week. Not having checked any other gauges around our parts, I’d have to estimate our moisture level received at about .2” to somewhere around thirty points. Lady Z’s rain gauge on the fence between our house and Onliwon was iced over &, therefore, not reliable. Back to an ol’ Country method, I would have to say that the dog dish appeared to have just about ¼ inch out off the front porch.
There are a number of detracts to dry weather; most imminent among the many might be listed as lack of forage for grazing of livestock, which, of course, leads to too much supplemental feeding for the cattle, sheep, & goats. Most folks feed horses much of the time, anyhow. If the feeding during drought isn’t enough to sink the ship, then there is the omnipresent fact of lack of domestic water for the stock from the tanks, creeks, & some dry wells. The dry, dusty, and rough dirt/gravel roads of our County system also suffer during drought as they are near impossible to maintain properly in the absence of an occasional rain. Regardless of some of my friends’ opinion on the road condition, all precincts suffer the same situation as to regards of the rub-board effect. Even former Commissioners are aware of this factor. If you might happen to travel these roads on occasion, we are certainly aware of the severity of the problem as evidence by the rattling of one’s teeth, not to mention the nuts & bolts of some of the old vehicles. We have yet to determine the most efficient speed to traverse these bumpy obstacle areas. I’m not sure if we received enough moisture this last spell to get the maintainers out, but I’d wager that the graders will be trying.
Our Pecan harvest season seems to be coming down to the last “scrapping”. Harvest is actually a generous term this year as most of the gathering has been closer related to scrapping. If you have happened to be going by any of the orchards or bottoms where the harvesting equipment was working, one could hardly see the pickers, rakes, and cleaners for the dust that enveloped the workers and equipment. Looks like the leaf, stick, and pops piles might be larger than the amount of marketable pecans in the trailers. Maybe the recent moisture will allow some of the producers to be able to burn some of them down in the bottoms. The lack of available forage should be a positive factor of fire control.
Now that we’ve gotten through with the “regular” deer season, I think we’ve got a couple of weeks of the “special” season to harvest spikes and antlerless for those that didn’t get all their Venison put up during the regular season. I know that a number of the landowners wait until this special season to harvest their “meat” deer as they try not to bother the paid hunters that are so dear to our local economy. I don’t recall ever seeing quite so many hunters around Town & the County as we’ve witnessed this past season. It’s surely a good thing as it’s still pretty dry for the Mayor & me out around–Harkeyville!!!!!