Baxter Black: Weather Views

October 31, 2016 12:42 PM

One thing that separates farmers from their city brothers is the weather.

How many times have you heard the local anchorman say, “Gosh, Kimmy. That’s a really good news. I'm sure getting tired of this rain.”  

Well, when the big city weatherman’s map has a yellow sun with a smiley face that covers the Louisiana Purchase, we realize how far from nature some parts of our civilization have been removed.

But somewhere out beyond on the cattle guard, [a] farmer is standing on the edge of his wheat field, watching the rain and smiling. Farmers and ranchers are students of the sky; they spend a lifetime looking for a blue horizon or a black cloud.

It’s bringing them luck, sometimes bad, but sometimes they win.

They smell the weather changing. They aren't looking at it through a window. They are truly part of their environment. And maybe that's why we don't take it for granted.

I'd been out on JP Point one spring after the thaw
The water was so thick a fish could walk.
The road was washed out all the way, but still I struggled on
I just drove my pickup truck from rock to rock.

One time up at Grass Creek it hailed all one day
And then I swear it settled into snow.  
We had to dig a tunnel to put cows in the shoot
And that’s the day I froze off all my toes.  

And then down at the Bear Ranch the fog was so thick
We didn't need a fence to hold them in.
We gathered up some two by eights, nailed them to the air
And hung the gate securely on the end.

The clipper flaps, a rafter tee,
I can’t remember which.
The weather turned off mighty cold indeed wind come blowing up
And got that whippin’ chill right down to minus ninety-nine degrees.

But if you're looking for a hole to send someone you hate
Try the Sheep Corral at Cat Creek by the rise—
The only place I ever stood in mud up to my knees
And had the dad gum dust blow in my eyes.

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