Dreamy golden hour

The hour before sunset is referred to by photographers as the golden hour. On June 22, it was spectacular.

Every time I've been out in our pastures this year, I look to the heavens and ask God to please bless it with some moisture. "Lord, we’re so dry. Can you please send us some rain?"

Our cattle need grass, and things are tight. We don't want to feed hay until this winter. Any amount of rain in this part of the world is a blessing when we receive it.

If you haven't noticed I write a lot about the weather. A post could be about getting a lot of rain or not enough. Or it snowed and it's cold, and oh how I hate wintertime. My phone and computer is filled with images of pretty clouds, amazing sunsets and just about any scene I can capture.

This past weekend we were due for some rain. Not the most ideal time as wheat harvest is just getting started around here, but our pastures were starting to get parched. Things were starting to dry up and our environment needed a drink.

All week I silently watched the weather forecast hoping the rain would come. Hoping that by ignoring it out loud, it would come to fruition. Friday morning it finally did. I was awoken by rain and thunder. It was such a glorious sound. Saturday the rains came again, this time with hurricane force winds and hail.

My nephew decided to stay over with my boys Saturday night, and on the way to pickup pizza in town, they all made plans to fish the creek in the pasture by the house later that evening. The sky was nearly black to the north when we arrived home, so I nixed the fishing plans. I sent them to bed at 10:30 p.m., and it didn't take long for the rain and hail pounding the roof to keep me awake. Needless to say it was quite the storm. There's really no way to record how much rain we’d gotten because of the winds.

The next morning it was pretty evident how much rain did come because all the water gaps in our pasture were out. The one on the west side was completely washed out. Somewhere a former cornfield is without all its residue. We even found some corncobs and a turtle stuck in the mess. The gaps to the north were all out, and my husband helped the neighbors get them all fixed.

While my husband was out fixing gaps, I went to put cattle back in. He said there was a calf out in the CRP on the other side of our fence. I found the culprit, a cow, not a calf, resting near the gate. Got her back in and started riding fence to make sure there were no more out. Found where they got out and rode the rest of the pasture to make sure there were no more holes. We went back later to fix it all.

Finally, I was able to ride through the cows and calves to get a count to make sure everyone was there. Luckily they were. When I got back to the house and unsaddled the horse, I checked the weather, because I knew there was more severe weather predicted for Sunday afternoon. Sure enough, it was supposed to start after 3 p.m. The weather forecasters sure had this one pegged right. It blew as hard as they said it would, and rained pretty hard.

At one point the weatherman on the ABC affiliate said watch out for the outflow winds. I was at the backdoor and got a photo of what appeared to be the outflow because of the look of the clouds over my house. A few minutes later my oldest son and I watched out the patio door, hoping our shed (that desperately needs tore down) wouldn't all blow away. It wavered a few times, but managed to stay standing.

I was doubly thankful for the rain and the shed stayed in tact. I was thankful the good Lord finally answered my prayer for rain. Hopefully, the rain comes more often now, and I won’t waiver in my faith of him like I do the weather forecast.

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