Jim Hicks: Getting So Dry In Wyoming, The Rain Gauges Are For Sale

A lot of ranchers get a worried look anytime there is a lightning strike or a puff of smoke over the ridge.

Annaliese Wiederspahn

July 14, 20204 min read

Drought 7 13 20

BUFFALO — You can tell when things get to be to hot and dry in this part of the country.  That’s when the Bench Sitters stop talking about politics, virus and local rumors. Instead they are talking about hot days, dry winds and fire danger.

A lot of ranchers get a worried look anytime there is a lightning strike or a puff of smoke over the ridge. 

Most will point out this is pretty early in the season to have such a drought underway.  The word down at the feed store is about people already looking for extra hay.

Hard to believe it was eight years ago we had some fun with a Kaycee area rancher over weather conditions like this.  

Sagebrush Sven’s column in July of 2012 might be worth re-reading just for fun. 

It read (in part) as follows:

Those “brown spots” in lawns testify to hot dry winds sucking the moisture out of the land. We see hay bailing machines nearly following directly behind the swathers. 

Speaking of dry conditions, one of the Bench Sitters noticed a small classified advertisement in the Wyoming Livestock Reporter a while back.  That ad said:

 FOR SALE: RAIN GAUGE, ALMOST NEW. ONLY USED ONCE, NEVER BEEN EMPTIED!! BEST OFFER. IT’S NAMED “LUCKY.” BOB HARLAN, 307-267-9571. Bob Harlan ranches down Barnum way. Sven just had to drop him a note:

Dear Mr. Harlan:

We live in the northern part of Johnson County, east of Buffalo, and nobody here has ever seen a “rain gauge” up close.

Is there any way to drain “Lucky” other than turning it upside down?  Is there any kind of drain valve on it?

How many moving parts are on this rain gauge you call “Lucky?”  Would we have to grease this thing every spring?  

Before making an offer we really need to know how many feet of rain “Lucky” will measure.

By the way— do you happen to have a smoke gauge, hopper counter or a copy of the book called “Raising Cattle and Sheep on Dust and Ashes?”  

We are headed for Wheatland to pick up a load of wind next week and will call you when we come through Kaycee.

Meanwhile back down on the Main Drag we found out local members of the Procrastinator’s Club were rushing around this week trying to get their annual Income Tax reports done and in the mail. Even with the deadline extended from April 15 . . .

Some of us just never learn. 

And the rest of us are apt to learn the “hard way.”

It’s important to concentrate on what you are doing. Letting your mind wonder when you are doing a task (even a dull one) can have bad results

Many years ago Maudie was cookin’ supper and I noticed her right ear was all red and swollen.

She wouldn’t tell me the reason for quite a while.  But I kept on the subject and by the time we were eating dessert she finally looked a little embarrassed, looked down and said . . . “Well, I was ironing and the phone rang . . .”

And that’s the same reason I don’t swat mosquitoes when I’m sharpening a knife anymore.

Stop and think about this for a minute.  You probably have more than one similar experience.  We know of more than one local who learned about nail guns the hard way.

We hope you stay out of trouble and get a chance to make someone grin a little if you can. In the meantime we’ll keep a safe distance and write again soon.

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Annaliese Wiederspahn

State Political Reporter