Nature Paints in Watercolors…Sometimes a Bit Much

I always like to say that nature paints in watercolor, but she’s been splashing the canvass around here like an angry artist.

My herd of bison graze in a part of eastern Colorado that generally receives about 15 inches of moisture each year. Four weeks ago, the rangeland was a tawny shade of brown.

Then the rains came. And came. The countryside is being transformed. Green grass is pushing up through the soil, red-colored calves are bounding along beside their mothers, and songbirds are flitting among bright prairie flowers.

But I am starting to wish that Nature would switch to another canvass…perhaps one in northern California where tawny brown is still the dominant color. Many farmers and ranchers across the Midwest share that same feeling.

Rains though much of the Midwest have been unrelenting over the past three weeks. The creek that normally trickles across the ranch has become a raging torrent twice in the past 30 days. Fences repaired two weeks ago may require a second fix-up in the coming days.

Farmers strive to be sustainable, but they recognize that they are also very fragile. Mother Nature is still the boss.

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