Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Twelve Days of Christmas: The Ninth Day

There are a series of storms lined up to move, one by one, into California over the next week or so.  A fair amount of rain is forecast (three cheers for that), which gave us the push needed to tackle a project that we've put off for far too long

Several years I had the idea to place a large flat rock to serve as a bridge over the drainage ditch that leads to the pond.  At the same time, I had the less-bright idea to put in two 12" metal culvert pipes for the water to go through.  I don't remember why I thought this was necessary.  But the worst idea of all was planting willow cuttings all up and down the banks.

The willows loved their new home and each year have taken over more and more of the ditch.  I tried to keep up with the pruning, but let it slip by me last year.  Blame it on the drought.  This winter we discovered that willow roots had almost completely clogged both pipes under our stone bridge.

With rain on it's way, it was time to remove the pipes so that the water wouldn't flow over the road

It took us the better part of the day to get those pipes out of there.  Bruce used the Kabota tractor to do the heavy lifting and pulling, but we also attacked the pipes with shovels, log rollers, loppers (to cut willow roots), and even a small serrated trowel.

We finally managed to drag the stone bridge out of the way, get both pipes lifted out and the stone moved back.   It was almost dark by then, so clean-up must wait.  But now the runoff from next week's rains will run under the bridge.

Tomorrow I put on my teacher hat again.  Lesson plans are finished and, while not as ready as I'd like to be (I rarely am), I'm ready enough.  

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