Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hail and farewell

No, I'm not going anywhere. At least not that I know of.

We had a thunderstorm last evening and it produced some interesting results.

The bulk of the storm went south of us. As it passed we got whacked by backside wind and hail.

The hail was pea-to-golfball sized, and driven by 60 mph winds. At the home place we only got a splash, but down at the south unit there was enough to color the ground.

Hail like this doesn't so much damage to grass or livestock, but it's pretty hard on small grain crops. A neighbor had most of his proso millet wiped out; looked like it had been professionally mowed.

As I was inspecting following the storm I came across a young black tailed jackrabbit that had taken a big hailstone in the squash.

It's all part of nature. Still, the empathetic part of me felt bad. Lost, alone, wounded, brain damaged, the young rabbit would surely be snapped up by a coyote. He didn't think of it that way of course, he was a rabbit.

I had a decision to make. Leave him be and let nature do her thing, or put him down.

Well, I did one of those things.

It's all a big, wonderful circle of life. The 0.82 inches of rain that came with the hail will reinvigorate the prairie and make lots more "free" food for my cattle and for everything else that lives on the ranch. But more than one rabbit died last evening, and no few birds and other creatures.

It's the way of the universe. An infinitesimally tiny pocket of life on a tiny world in a mundane galaxy. In the midst of life, death and rebirth.

And at the end of the rainbow, there's a tractor!


  1. Thanks for taking care of the rabbit. Suffering does an animal no good.

    1. It's awfully hard to watch creatures suffering.

  2. Either way, he winds up inside a coyote. That is the way of nature, but at least one way is painless.

    1. As I fixed fence and scouted grass yesterday I found dozens of dead rabbits and at least as many dead birds.

  3. We tend to forget what happens to the animals living in the wild what happens in these storms.

    Sad, but a fact of life.

    1. I was just thinking that if we'd been hungry prehistoric folks living on the prairie we'd have thought it was Christmas with all the free food. Of course we wouldn't have any idea what Christmas was, but we'd still like it.