What Used to be the Big Pond


The Midwest’s drought has been all over the news lately. The effect it has had on the soil. The fact that Hurricane Sandy and the resulting storm helped very little. The specter of higher grocery prices. I’ve seen the effects of it, too. Here in Kansas City, I’ve grumbled with my co-workers and friends about having to water my bushes more than normal and how my garden’s tomatoes just didn’t last in the summer heat.

But I don’t think anyone has felt the effects of the drought more than those in agriculture. My parent’s bison ranch is no exception. With little rain, the pastures are sparse. This year’s hay crop wasn’t nearly as big as in the past. And there’s the constant worry of water in the ponds. Is there enough water for the herd, or will we have to haul in water in tanks?

You can see the toll it has taken in these photos of the “Big Pond” at my parent’s ranch.    


My childhood activities often revolved around the Big Pond. While the “town kids” were hanging out at the city swimming pool, my friends and I were diving off of the pond’s dock, in our own private haven. It was there that I learned to fish and spent countless hours with my family, swimming and trolling for fish in the john boat. We explored the banks, finding salamanders, turtles and mussels. When it got cold enough in the winter, we went ice fishing or donned ice skates and pretended to be Olympians. We won’t be enjoying any of those activities on the Big Pond anytime soon. It’s at least 20 feet low, almost completely dry.

We’ll continue to pray for rain for everyone who needs it. And think about all of the things we’ll be able to do, for fun and for food. If it rains…

Posted by Abby.



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