This drought has gone from being a nuisance to being deadly to our wildlife. A buddy of mine recently sent me a photo of a nice buck. It was, unfortunately, dead – mired in the mud of an all but dry stock tank. It had been desperately wading through the mud, trying to find the last few drops of muddy, urine and feces filled water, when it had become mired in the gooey quagmire and simply run out of energy and the will to live. It gave up, lay down, and died.
This friend is a well-known photographer and he is astounded at the actions of the animals around the few remaining waterholes. He tells me that they are acting for all the world like the animals of Africa act during the dry season. Around the water they studiously ignore each other. The deer, coyotes, and hogs, inhabit the same tanks, drinking, sometimes, side by side, as if a truce had been called until the life giving rains return, if they ever do.
In my part of the country the small animals are equally desperate. The rats, field mice, cottontails, and other small animals of the brush are nibbling the soft bark of the huajilla to gain what small bit of moisture and nourishment is available from the only green plant in the pasture.
In the last 12 months we have had 3 inches of rain on my little place here in Kinney County. That is about average for the area. If you pray, I suggest that you pray for rain, because this drought has gone beyond anything within living memory.