Saturday, February 17, 2007

And life goes on after the fire

My wife and I will try to get up to Zamora today to watch some of the sheep dog trials at the Slaven ranch.Photo from Deo Ferrer/Daily Democrat

The scars of the devastating fire that swept through the rolling hills of Zamora and into the Hungry Hollow area are hard to spot now. The blackened fence posts are silent reminders of how the country looked last fall. The burnt grass has given way to a lush carpet of green. The last few weeks of rain and warmer weather came just in time for many in the livestock industry. For ranchers like the Slavens the effect of the fire is most evident by what you cannot see, sheep.

The rolling green hills should be offset by the bright white of newborn lambs. The lambs should be running and playing in the warm sunshine under the watchful eye of the ewes. That cycle has been cut short by the fire. There are only a few dozen lambs on the ranch this year. The Slavens will have to purchase new ewes to replenish their herd. Ranching is hard enough without starting over again from scratch.

It is easy to forget about the past on a day like today. Spring is on it's way, the grass will grow and the land will rejuvenate itself. The Slavens are great hosts for the dog trials, especially with the hard year they have had. Good people are hard to keep down too.

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