Monday, September 1, 2008


When I was growing up, we took water for granted. When we were thirsty, we held a glass under the faucet and filled it up. The water was cool, clean, and refreshing.

It was only when I moved to college that I realized how much taste water could actually have, and when I moved to the hometown of my husband, I realized that the water's taste was the least of my problems.

Suffice it to say that if a person drinks much from the tap in these parts, he or she will be spending an awful lot of time in the bathroom.

We haul our drinking water from the town that's about an hour's drive from here. The well water works just fine for bathing and laundry, but it's not the best medicine for garden plants, flowers, or lawns.

While hauling our drinking water can become a nuisance sometimes, it is nothing compared to the problem of providing good water to our livestock. When the rain is plentiful, reservoirs hold water for the cattle to drink. After a hot summer with little precipitation, however, that water turns rancid and sometimes dries up altogether.

Ranchers are left with two options: haul water in trucks and fill up stock tanks in the pasture or drill a deep well and pipe the water in.

The landowner from whom we lease our summer pasture agreed to do the latter, and much to our cow's delight, the project was finished in time for them to enjoy it all summer long.

The project was quite complicated, involving many miles of pipe, many days of labor, piping across steep terrain, and even a couple of road crossings.

The result, however, was a good water supply for both the cows and the landowner's home.

In an area where the average annual precipitation is around 15 inches, water is precious.

Even the cows know it.

Photos courtesy of Shane, who really doesn't look much at all like Tim McGraw.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the photos of your life! I have enjoyed 'seeing' how you live, what makes your ranch/farm work.


Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

We are having a horrible drought for another year and it's tough.

I didn't realize that y'all received so little precip. Thankful something was worked out for all involved.

Julia in Sweden said...

LOL! He does and I will persist until proven otherwise! :D I wish my husband would wear a cowboy hat...
Fantastic pics as always. I will sure think some more about how lucky I am to live in an area with many lakes and a lot of rain.
take care!

Mum-me said...

We are also in the midst of a terrible drought and have been on water restrictions for years.

When I was little my mum made her chickens a water trough by cutting a old, small motorcycle tyre in half - so I got quite a laugh when I saw the cow's water trough made from (what looks to me to be) a huge tractor tyre.

Anonymous said...

Glad ya'll were able to get something together that works.. Shane takes some good photos too.. I agree he does remind me of Tim also..


The W.O.W. factor said...

We live where the annual rainfall is 11-13". I've ALWAYS been an advocate of water conservation no matter where we've lived. It is our precious commodity that should not be taken for granted but used wisely for our survival. I applaud you for this post and showing how water matters to our well being and in the foods we eat. I've see a lot of water wasted in the cities and it gets my craw up knowing there are people and animals not so lucky!

Blog Directory - Blogged