15 Powerful Photos Of The Texas Drought

Texas photographer Wyman Meinzer documented the devastation in the state following a months-long drought. These images, which he took starting last June, show a scary, near-apocalyptic world of people and animals desperate for a drop of rain. Warning: some of these are graphic.

1.

In hopes that the rains will come, optimistic farmers sow their wheat crop despite the extreme heat and choking dust that follows the tractors and plows.
Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

2.
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In their constant search for food and water, cattle become emaciated in the relentless heat that reaches temperatures over 100 degrees.
Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

3.
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Once a huge body of water and a nesting locale for Great Blue Herons, this stock tank is now bone dry, leaving this abandoned nest as a reminder of better times. Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

4.
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A tiny puddle of water offers a lethal enticement of relief for any large mammal that might pass nearby. Desperate animals who seek to quench their thirst are quickly mired in the near bottomless mud and soon perish in the 112 plus degree weather. Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

5.
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A whitetail buck lies dead and decaying in this last vestige of water on a ranch in Baylor County, Texas. Despite the foul odor and contamination, cattle and other wild creatures flock to this water source to drink. Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

6.
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A Common Nighthawk approaches a shallow dive to scoop water into its bill. Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

7.
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A black-tailed jackrabbit drinks deeply, while remaining alert for predators.

Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

8.
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A Common Roadrunner approaches the waterhole to drink.
“Often, after drinking, these inquisitive birds would walk within a few feet of my position and stop in the shade of my boots, no doubt seeking relief from the burning heat.”
Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

9.
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Coyote pups, only a few weeks of age, come to the dying stock tank to drink from the murky water. These predators stand with their legs splayed apart in order to remain on solid ground to prevent becoming mired in the mud.

Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

10.
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As the sun begins its decent in the west, all species of game and domestic animals share the area around given water sources. Here a whitetail buck waits for the cover of darkness before approaching the water hole.

Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

11.
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In the mud of a stock tank long dry, these distinct tracks hint of an earlier visit from a hunting bobcat no doubt seeking one last drink of water before moving on to another source.

Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

12.

Turtle tracks meander through the remains of dead fish in the mud of a waterless lake bed.
Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

13.
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Once ranchers find cattle that might be mired helplessly in mud, ropes and chains are employed to pull the cattle free. Often many of these animals perish quite soon following their rescue and are dragged to a distant location to be left to the whims of roaming coyotes by nightfall.

Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

14.
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Water holes become deadly quagmires for all living creatures. Here, within a few meters of a desiccated waterhole, the skeletal remains of a Hereford cow lies bleaching in the sun after hungry coyotes consumed all edible flesh from the emaciated carcus.

Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

15.
Via http://www.wymanmeinzer.com

Often cattle succumb to the 112 degree heat as they fight to free themselves from the muddy shackles.

Photograph by Wyman Meinzer

All photos reprinted with permission.

Via wymanmeinzer.com

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