Skip to main content

I live in east Texas and have a 50 acre a mini-llama ranch. Compared to last year's drought, this year was a piece of cake. But last year was horrendous; a terrible drought, and many days above 100F degrees. This year, it never got above 98F, and that high temperature didn't start until early August. Llamas and alpacas are very efficient eaters. Typically, they eat about 1 square bale per day, or forage for the equivalent of pasture grass.

See more after the squiggle ...

Last year, I got about 100 bales off about 15 acres, when 1200 would have been more normal. I had to sell about 1/3 of my herd last year because I couldn't afford to feed them that $12/bale hay imported from Colorado. I count myself lucky that East TX was not burning in wild fires, like much of the state last year.

When I bought my ranch in 2002, average rainfall was 44 in. per year. But that's all changing now. This year, thank god we had lots of winter and spring rain. So all that fertilizer, pasture seed, and alfalfa that I put out wasn't a wasted gamble. Indeed we even had rain yesterday, and the pastures are still green.

But the climate change warning signs are all round. Since we no longer get real winter with several weeks below freezing, the tree beetles never die back properly. This results is that lots of trees are dieing, and this is an area heavily invested in pine tree farming. I've already lost a pecan tree and an 80 yr old pine. Lots and lots of dead trees coming down with every high wind. As I look out at the view, there are lots more pines that are brown and dead from beetles.

It's not just the tree problem either. I'm seeing migrating birds returning 2 and 3 weeks earlier. The purple martins arrived the third week in Feb. Normally, Feb here is the coldest month. The purple martins and barn swallows used to arrive about mid-March. The hummingbirds, both black and red-throated are fighting their usual access war to the feeders. They typically have moved on by Thanksgiving. Last year, they were here well into Dec. The bluebirds showed up early too. They've had enough time to breed 4 separate rounds babies in the same bird boxes.

I'm not a climate scientist, just an old retired senior. But I don't have to be a biologist to see what Mother Nature is showing me.

Originally posted to vlyons on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans and Climate Change SOS.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site