We had a glorious storm Monday night through early Tuesday morning and another round of severe weather later in the afternoon. The smell yesterday and the peaceful wonder that every animal on the ranch had last night was truly beautiful.
Two Australian researchers coined the term, petrichor, to describe the smell when rain falls after a prolonged dry spell. It is actually the result of a pair of chemical reactions.
The moisture in no way ends the drought we are in, but will help immensely. Our ranch is experiencing a severe drought affecting much of South and North Dakota. We are located in northern Hand County, just on the southern edge of the D2 area. Pastures are greatly stunted, crops are not growing (we put up 80 acres out of our normal 800 acres of hay). We are facing tough decisions to start thinning the cow herd to ensure we have enough feed to get them through the summer as well as next winter–decisions many area farmers and ranchers are also facing.
Regardless of the science behind it, I’m sure we weren’t the only area ranchers enjoying the sight and smell of fresh rain last night.
[A side note to keep my dear rancher happy—we don’t have as much water as it appears in the photos. I snapped them at a good angle. This morning, the water puddle had diminished about 75% and is really just a muddy spot in the middle of the lot now.]