Archive for August, 2012

Diary of a Dogie – June is Weaned

ImageAs you can see, June is quite a bit bigger. She is officially weaned off bottles and starter ration. She is on a “grower” ration now and will be for awhile. She may be weaned but she still is sucking on my shirt and fingers! Our dairy goat, Tater, is in the background.


Navigable Waters – Clean Water Act, and Stop the Flood of Regulations

Navigable: sufficiently deep and wide to provide passage for vessels; navigable waters

Navigate: control the course of a ship of an aircraft

All from the Latin navigare meaning to sail

Congress enacted The Clean Water Act to ensure we have clean, useable water as a nation and keep rivers flowing. It pertains to navigable waters that you can float a boat on, and the tributaries that supply them.

If one simple word, navigable, is removed from the Clean Water Act, then all waters come under the EPA’s jurisdiction.  That means potentially swimming pools, ditches, storm drains, and mud puddles that last longer than 4 hours all would fall under the EPAs purview and would require a permit.

It rained last night – a nice, long, “frog chokin” rain. If the EPA continues to ignore 533 legislators and the American people, using a “guidance” document rather than actual law, any puddles and stock water tanks would be illegal to use without a permit. In this neck of the words, a permit will take longer to obtain than the surface water will last. Arizonans would become responsible for managing flash floods and seasonal rainfall.

Does the EPA really expect us to become fortunetellers about when, where, and if it will rain enough to make puddles or fill stock tanks with runoff?  Do we want to put farmers and ranchers out of business because they can’t water their fields or cattle? Do you want the government in your back yard monitoring your swimming pool? Contact your legislators and urge them to “Stop the Flood of Regulation”!

Cowlendar – August

This is #3, or Phantom as the kids call her. She almost always has a bald face baby, though not this year! She’s looking a little thin because she has a calf. 

July – a little late – Boys of Summer

112 – one of our young balancer bulls ready to get in the game – balancers are angus crossed with gelbvieh

Blue Lines on a Map

The color blue on a topographical or road map usually denotes water. Many of the blue lines that crisscross Arizona still stand for water – only the water may not be standing.


Much of our states waterways and rivers are seasonal and only run water when it has rained enough, maybe once every ten years in some cases.


In World War 2, a prisoner of war camp was set up in an area outside of Phoenix known as Papago Park. Some German prisoners interred there decided to make an escape attempt. Most of them were quickly captured at train and bus stations. The commanding officer hid out just above the camp for a month or so and gave himself up when he realized he had no good means of escape and could die of thirst. A couple, noticing the blue line on a map, made it down to the Gila River, planning to steal a boat. They gave themselves up after discovering there was no water in the Gila! True story!


Just down the valley from us, Whitewater Draw “flows” into Mexico. Only it hasn’t run water since the 1930s when the railroad and towns changed the way water runs off into the valley floor. Nevertheless, the blue line on the map is still there.


If the Environmental Protection Agency continues to act on it’s own “Guidance” document, rather than under Congress and the Clean Water Act, those blue lines on the map become permitted waters – with no water.


Please contact your legislators. Urge them to “Stop the Flood of Regulation” and rein in the EPAs strong-arm tactics.


Lightning Show

Thunderheads, massive and billowing, build up over the mountain tops. The air hangs heavy with the promise of rain. Lightning crackles and lights up the night sky some 40 miles distant.

Will it come? Will it go around? Will the thirsty ground get watered?
The wind picks up and rain begins to fall. Oh, Praise God!

A friend,visiting from Pennsylvania, exclaims “I love it! You can’t watch storms come in where I live! It’s exciting and at the same time makes you feel insignificant!”

The words of the hymn say it best: “I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy pow’r thru-out the universe displayed, then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee, How great thou art, How great thou art!” (Hine, 1953)

We shut off the lights, listen to the drumming of rain on the roof, and sit in the dark watching the fireworks. I go to bed smiling, and fall asleep listening to the sound of rain.