Drought has been called a “creeping disaster” because, unlike a hurricane or an earthquake, it happens in slow motion. I traveled all over Central Texas for this Austin American-Statesman photo essay, but two of my favorite photos were taken in Garfield, just east of Austin. I witnessed a cow mired in the mud at the bottom of a dried-up stock pond. The cow was rescued, but two weeks later she got stuck again and died. Later, I met Terry Hash, a farmer who had planted 800 acres of cotton, corn, wheat and sorghum. Almost his entire crop was destroyed by the drought. Hash has insurance, but he still worries about how he’s going to pay his farm loans and borrow more money for next season’s crops. “You lay in bed wondering what the hell you’re going to do,” he said.
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