The Rocky Mountains, Fog, and The Brazos River

Sitting out on the porch this morning, I looked up at the sky, and there was Orion, where the Milky Way had been the night before. I went in to build coffee, and returning to the porch the fog was so thick I could no longer see the stars. That fog reminded me of what a pivotal role water plays in our lives. The reason we can exist on this planet is that here we can have water in all three forms, or states, of matter, solid, liquid and vapor. For example, the snow and ice of the Rocky Mountains melts into the streams that cross two or more states to reach the sea, in our case, the Gulf of Mexico. Then finally, as in this morning, we have fog, or in the worst case, on a hot summer day we have ninety percent humidity.

The Brazos River, which runs between our county and Brazos County, starts in New Mexico, a little north of Clovis, where we once lived, in an arroyo called Running Water Draw. That’s a misnomer, as I never saw water in it running OR standing. But it’s the headwaters of the meandering Brazos River which also accepts a contribution from the creek called Second creek that runs through our ranch and waters our grass. This year, thanks to legendary rainfall amounts, Second Creek has been running almost continuously. Today we had fog, which left a heavy dew on our grass. In a few weeks that same moisture will become frost, as the fall temperatures drop into the 30s. Another form of solid water, hail, has claimed crop damage to our north, and in the spring the floods wiped out homes in the flats of Fort Bend county on the lower Brazos to our south.Great delays in spring planting have been the subject of many conversations at our local watering hole, the Caldwell coffee shop called DK’s. The coffee, even, is made with water, though cowboys say, “damn little water.” So cut me off a slice of cowboy coffee, please.

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