|Montana pastures (photo: John W. Ross)|
|Green in July (photo: John W. Ross)|
Facebook isn't the only instigator of pasture envy. I've recently started trying learn how to use Twitter, and I've followed a couple of fellow shepherds from northern England. Their photos of green summer pastures and stone walls and bridges are spectacular. I hope to visit one day!
|Yorkshire, England (photo: Amanda Owen)|
|The Lake District, England (photo: Herdwick Shepherd)|
Rationally, I know that green grass in summertime always comes with a cost. In our climate, we only have green grass in July if we're able and willing to irrigate it. This time of year, I spend 10-12 hours a week irrigating what little green pastureland we have. In Montana, I suspect, green grass comes at the cost of often brutal winters or summer rainstorms that can ruin a cutting of hay. I'm sure that the shepherds I follow in England are coping with climate-related health and management issues that are entirely outside of my experience.
But pasture envy is not a rational emotion. I look at the photos and think about how nice it would be if Mother Nature did my irrigating! I start to calculate the carrying capacity of the pastures. I can almost hear the sound of my sheep grazing on these lush green fields! Sigh....
|Our wonderful Mediterranean climate in Auburn, CA!|