Sunday, January 09, 2005


You catch any weather this morning?

By Julie Carter

The elections are over, holidays have come and gone and the bleakness of winter is still in front of us. The main topic of daily conversation across “ag land” has returned to the weather.

Will it snow, will it rain or how cold did it get? In this part of New Mexico dialogue is “the wind is blowing or the wind is blowing harder.”

Ranchers and farmers have a fascination for meteorologists. They hang on their every word, not believing any of what they are told and finding much satisfaction in Mother Nature proving them wrong.

“Where did this come from? That guy never said anything about it snowing today.”

The day starts early with said weather watcher turning on the television to get the early weather reports, the ones he doesn’t believe anyway.

With the advent of satellite TV and remote controls, they will often watch the reports on as many as three stations and have comments for all three meteorologists, who fortunately, can’t hear them.

Once that is done, they will get on the phone, dial up a neighbor and start the conversation with, you guessed it, the weather.

“Mornin’. How’s everything goin’?

“Ah heck, just couldn’t be any better.”

“You catch any weather this morning?”

“I watched it. They are all sayin’ the same thing, we are supposed to get a little snow. But ya’ never know, they are rarely ever right on.”

“Have you got any snow up your way? Sure is colder than a well diggers back pockets here.”

“No, didn’t snow a flake but if it don’t beat all for January, it tried to rain. Never seen the likes of it. So much for the weather forcast.”

“We used to have the right kind of weather before they invented that El Nino thing. And then they came up with the big blue H that parks on top of us all summer and never lets it rain. I turn on the TV and see that weather map with that blue H and just shut it back off.”

“Well I better let ya go. I need to get some things done around here today so I can be back in the house in time to catch the weather.”

Farmers and ranchers profess to be advocates for minding their own business, but I can tell you they do a fair amount of observing their neighbor business as they drive by and it only starts with the weather.

Under the auspices of concern, they will even phone the guy up and say, “I was driving by your outfit today and notice ya’all sure didn’t get much rain this year. You found any pasture for your cattle yet or are you feedin’ them through the drought?”

Sometimes there is the appearance of favor from above with an often filled rain gauge and grass that seems to grow in spite of the weatherman.

They will tell you tales of the outfits that never seem to get rain while the ranch next door gets it all and how that barbwire fence between them is rusty on one side and shiny new on the other, where it never rains.

Rumors abound of the guy on the north side that had so much rain he is raising alligators instead of cattle.

So meanwhile back at the remote control, they tune in to watch the weather. You know, listen to that guy that lies to them all the time but that they continue hoping will bring them the weather they need to survive.

©2005 Julie Carter

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