Weather challenges ranchers

Weather, be it friend or foe is omnipresent and never to be ignored if a rancher/farmer’s life you lead; ...

Weather, be it friend or foe is omnipresent and never to be ignored if a rancher/farmer’s life you lead; the day’s labour depends on the forecast and is most often decided by viewing the sky (night (before) or morning) instead of a more scientific prediction. Weather history (past events) can aid us in choosing where to live, pour a foundation and put down roots; there are better and worse places.

At this moment (for example) the Gulf-coast stands out as a poor choice as we see its beleaguered citizens battle the elements in another hurricane force storm system. Oh, my, we could use some rain, but we could certainly do without its travelling partners; the torrential (flooding) downpours and damaging 100-plus kilometre-an-hour winds. It appears that you have to square off with the devil every now and again, as a trade-off for residence in heaven, the rest of the time!

Regional drought has left a marked impression on range/grass lands here in the Cariboo, readily evident as one views roadside pastures/grazing areas throughout the region. Most look well-grazed, and are brown/ burned-off in appearance, in some places multitudes of grasshoppers abound and there is no saving grace in any form other than precipitation which must arrive very soon to generate any sort of re-growth before fall colours appear in earnest.

As native forage dwindles and the feeling of fall creeps into evening/early-morning, instinct propels the cow herd homeward, so beware of those cattle on road-sides. The glorious summer heat and minimal precipitation has shrivelled late-season berry crops; as a result the bears are coming earlier – to a yard near you. There have been three separate night-raids in my backyard orchard (two apple trees). I know they’re hungry bears – but I wish they could learn to pick apples without bustin’ all the branches!

Liz Twan is a local rancher and freelanc columnist for the Tribune.


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