With all the snow that accumulated in the winter, Spring 2011 saw flooding on the Milk River. The river flows 300 yards from our house, a few hundred feet from our barn and corrals. The original landowners were wise to flooding and the house and buildings are on ground a bit higher than the surrounding area. Plus, we have the new house built up on a 5 foot foundation/mounded dirt. We are, after all, in a flood plain. And this year, we stayed dry.... at least the house and the ranch shop. Other areas of the ranch yard were under water. About half of our fields lying close to the river and in the bends were underwater for months, drowning out the forage crops.
This first photo, taken mid June, is looking down our road toward our buildings. The corrals and pastures close to the barn were under water, so we turned my milk cows loose to graze along the road.
Below, John is filling the fuel tank in the back of his pickup... to fill the tractor he was using to seed wheat.
The wheat fields are about 20 miles north, out of the Milk River valley and dry!
If you look closely, you will see a tow strap hanging over the tailgate of the pickup. John has lived here all of his 50 years, and he has experienced floods before. He hooked the tow strap to the underside of the rear of his pickup, so that if he could not back away from the bulk fuel tanks, he could hook up a tractor to pull him out. He said in the past he has gone 'underwater' to hook a strap to a vehicle stuck in food waters, and he was going to be 'smart first'!