She was a former barn cat. Kitten, really, she was born on Christmas Eve eighteen years ago at my parents' horse barn. So she had a good run and I'm not sad, except that I've lost three pets in less than two years now, and that's tough.
Not as tough as watching Toddler cope with it, though. I didn't have her with me at the vet's office to do the deed, even though Daddy was at work. My angel of a sister-in-law stepped in and spared my kiddo the direct experience. The cat was in pain and it couldn't wait till Daddy got home, and he couldn't even take an hour off work to take care of kiddo or go to the vet's, because Lawrence was slammed with house fires yesterday.
So he didn't get to tell Kitty good-bye.
At any rate. I have had more conversations about cover crops this fall than I have any other ag topic. Actually, as with all ag conversations, I tend to listen more than I talk - because let's be honest, I'm a princess. I don't farm, I couldn't even survive on a farm any more if I had to because I turned out to be surprisingly breakable. No hard labor for this girl. So, really, it behooves me just to Shut Up and Listen.
|Photo credit: Michael Thompson, image from Agriculture.com.|
Cover crops. This is a rotten link, but go to screen five of that presentation, and click on the "See the slideshow". It leads you to a photo essay of two winter wheat fields planted side by side during this dry, dry fall - one with conventional till, and the other with cover crops and no-till.
Yeah. Startling difference. One field green, the other barren and brown, all exposed and blowing topsoil. Shades of the Dust Bowl on one side; shades of adaptation and survival on the other. The winter wheat isn't in fantastic shape on the no-till side, but at least it's there.
As we sat on the floor of the examining room, positioning IV's and whatnot, we talked about drought. He was the one who brought up the Dust Bowl, not me (I don't lead witnesses. I also never bring up climate change, despite what everyone thinks. Rather, people always bring it up to me. Seriously.)
I told him about another local guy I'd talked to - he'd had to put tile drainage in last fall, because of the weirdly wet spring in 2011, then he got hit by all the drought this year.
"All the extremes," my vet said. "Maril, how do I plan for these extremes? I don't know how to cope with that. I just don't."
And I didn't say the phrase climate change - more and more, you don't need to. Everyone knows.
And no one knows. No one knows for sure how to cope with it.
Cover crops are great, but I have a feeling they're only a place to start.