"Of droughts and flooding rains"

There is no doubt that Dorothea Mackellar summed this country up perfectly in her poem "A Sunburnt Country". This time last year the land was burnt to a crisp. We had already had many days in the mid to high thirties, all the dams creeks and rivers were dry and we looked for every sign of rain with bated breath. Around here there has been a drought for almost ten years. the rain promised last Christmas never arrived here and we had to endure the January from hell before the rain started to fall at the end of that month. We had some lovely rain up until the middle of the year and since August it seems to have rained more  often than not. Our dams and tanks are full and many if the major catchments are full or over half full. To give you a context our total rainfall for this year is up to 797.5 mls, the average for this area is about 650 mls and our worst year was around 260 mls. So it is just beautiful. Except if you are a farmer. After ten years of drought, crops shrivelling in the paddock  and livestock dying from lack of feed  the lucerne is as high as the fences and the wheat and tritecale heavy with grain. Much of the hay has been cut and is waiting to be baled and harvest started in the middle of last week. Crops were already a bit pinched by a late frost and knocked about by some heavy winds. Saturday night the rain started and it doesn't look like stopping anytime soon. Every day is rains the crops deteriorate and the eventual harvest is down graded. I cant imagine the disappointment of those who are farmers. My dad was a farmer and when we were children every year when the harvest was looking good, he would say our ship was coming in this year. I guess the ship is not coming in to the Central West this year for the farmers. On the other hand if you are raising fat lambs and still have some sheep it just might make it into the harbour.
I sit here at my desk in jeans and a cardigan at the end of November and look out to this lovely misty morning, things could not be more different than this time last year. I know the farmers will be sad and disappointed but I am filled with optimism for the land and our own little piece of it.
The old horses are enjoying grazing the soft new grass!     



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