Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rock of Ages

My stock trailer, which serves as storage for about 30 square bales, was empty as of mid week. Mr. Fry bought 3 bales to get us through til we could make a hay run to Aubrey this morning. Pony Girl would be dancing in the street if she could get hay for $7.75 a bale for clean, green hay that's been indoors.

I called Nita to see if she wanted to ride. She said yes, but I had to come there. She broke her glasses, doesn't have a spare, and can't drive anywhere. My two really need exercise, but I wouldn't be a very good friend if I expected her to come to me all the time. And there's hay in the trailer, so I can't take one out there. I'll probably go tomorrow.

Our land is so decimated from the drought. The whole back pasture is just dirt and rocks. I had intended to save enough money to seed and feed in April, since the time we did it last August ended up being a total bust. It rained too late and not nearly enough. I need to get an almanac to see what it says about the chances of rain this spring. I'm not going to waste the money again if the same thing is going to happen.

Whenever it does rain, more rocks seem to come to the surface all over the property. I decided to enjoy the sunshine and pick up the rocks in my round pen. I got 2 buckets full, some of them good size rocks. The round pen is really getting nice -- soft and sandy. The horses love to roll in there. Glad to oblige, Boyz.

I started spiraling outward from the round pen and got 6-7 more buckets (2 piles like this) before I decided to not get so overzealous, I'm ruined for tomorrow. The little John Deere's battery is dead, so I couldn't pull my little cart to haul them. I just put them in piles and Mike will move them if he needs them someplace else.

The soil and rocks here hearken back to when the tectonic plates upon which Texas sits (we're on a huge fault), were in a constant state of flux, spewing lava.
We're actually atop a massive, volcanically created mountain range, which then got pushed back down, deep within the earth. Then we were covered by an inland sea that gradually ebbed until the (approximate) Oklahoma border was the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. They don't call it the Red River Valley for nothing. The rocks are generally flat, part of a massive, broken up sandstone/shale strata. They are deep red, which is much more obvious when they are wet. Sometimes you find fossil evidence of small prehistoric sea creatures in the rocks, sometimes the shells themselves.

This is an old piece of wood (actual size about 2.5" x 1.25"), but not quite as old as the rock. The texture caught my eye. I believe it to be part of an old gate, fence, or wagon slat. We found an old piece of iron gate hardware back there after they graded for the round pen.

And of course, those worthless, good-for-nuthin' Boyz. They are at the very back of the property, overlooking our closest neighbor's place. There's not a blade of anything back there, poor things.

Although, as you can tell, they aren't starving by anyone's standards.


Anonymous said...

I pray for your relief from the drought. We have rocks covered in a thin veneer of soil as well. I ca remember the kids and i having "rock parties" to pick them up

Anonymous said...

I would love to have some of your rocks. That sounds weird, doesn't it? We have NO rocks around here so when I want to build a new flower bed or whatever, I have to go buy rocks. How dumb is that? Buying rocks.

I really wish I could share some of our rain with you. We had SO much rain last year it started to look like a jungle and the hay molded, not because it got rained on, but because it was so hot and humid everything molded. Even the grass got moldy and the horses got a mild case of rain rot. So far this year we're above the normal for precip. by more than a few inches. Last year we broke a 112 year old record for rain.

So, if I could, I'd MORE than willing to trade some of our rain for some of your rocks.

Enjoy your ride!

dp said...

They may be starving by their own standards. Have you asked? My dogs will tell anyone who asks that they are definitely hungry. And probably abused too.

Hope you get some rain soon. We live in a rainforest and I can't imagine life so dry.

Jo said...

Oh, gosh, can I send you some rain from Vancouver? We have lots to spare. :-) We have lots of rock too, but none as interesting as in your photos.

My aunt Molly used to raise horses, and as a little girl I loved the smell of hay.

You have a gorgeous place!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Your Boyz look healthy and happy, even without blades of grass to munch.

I've read from other bloggers who live in lush pastured areas where rain falls regularly, that they face a more serious problem: too much grass that can cause founder and insulin problems. They either have to stall, arena, or muzzle their horses so they can't overeat the tall lush grass.

I found it interesting to read the history and geology of your area, because it seems similar to ours, except our mountains didn't fall back, they stayed pushed up instead. But rock, shale and granite is a serious issue here. It's next to impossible to plant trees here, because the ground is solid rock just 1-2 feet below the surface. Well building is equally as difficult. We're at 7,000 ft, but we are also suffering a drought. We usually get alot more snow this time of year, but we've only had a couple inches. Not good.

I hope your drought is over soon and that your parched land gets a relief. :)


Laura said...

I hope the drought ends soon - that is not good...

Do you have to oil your horses hooves or anything since the ground is so hard and dry? Just curious...

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