Flooded Creek

March 27, 2009

Rain Gauge

There seems to be a lot of rain falling all over the country.  We’ve had a bunch here lately, but at least we don’t have to worry about the record level flooding of the Red River like the folks in Fargo, North Dakota, and on into the Manitoba, Canada, area do.

Nevertheless, we still got a lot of rain a little too fast, and by yesterday morning the creek that runs along one side of our property was flooded. 

It backs up a lot when it gets to the culvert/bridge just down the road from us.  There’s just too much water and not enough space for it to run through!  The culvert also gets clogged with debris, and that constricts the water flow even more, and it has to go somewhere.

Flooded creek and pond.

The Farmer decided to check out the flood waters before he left for work and walked down as close as he could get to the bridge, then headed back.

Flood waters over the bridge.

Thankfully, since the bridge is past our driveway, we don’t have to worry about flood waters over the road when we want to drive somewhere.

However, The Farmer was worried about the flood waters getting into his pond.  When it was built, they made a high bank on the side closest to the road, hoping to prevent that.  So far it had worked, but he decided to check it out.

The Farmer looking at the flood waters near the pond.

It almost worked this time, but in a couple of spots there were trickles of water flowing into the pond.

Water flowing into pond.

There wasn’t enough water to worry about, but we’ll just have to see what happens next time we get a lot of heavy rains.

When the creek floods, the water also backs up into our bottom pasture and flows through the adjacent woods.

Flooded field.

As you can see, the water runs over the fence line, which is why we have an electric fence there.  It’s easier to fix when the fast waters tear the wire away from the posts, or the debris just flat out breaks the wires.

The ground was so saturated with water, the earthworms were bailing out everywhere.  The grass was polluted with them, and I could barely walk down the driveway without stepping on one.

Earthworms on driveway.

The guineas chose to stay high in the treetops, even though it rained on them all night. 

Guineas in treetops.

Of course, I wouldn’t accuse guineas of having an excess of intelligence.  They obviously don’t even know enough to come in out of the rain!

All this wet weather makes our Maremma LGD (livestock guardian dog) look pretty ragged since she’s all white.

Muddy Maremma/

She probably looks like a lot of folks in dangerously flooded areas feel – a little rough around the edges.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’re done with the rainy weather, so time to hunker down and wait it out!  I’m just thankful we got the basement water-proofed a couple of years ago, so I no longer have to spend hours and hours with a shop vac trying to drain the rising pool of water in the basement!

I guess there’s a silver lining in every cloud after all.

The Joke’s On Us!

March 1, 2009

After numerous times this winter of hearing the weatherman tell us we might get snow and nothing ever happened, last night we kind of laughed off all predictions of the white stuff.  After all, we got through December, January and February without much more than a few flakes, so the first of March would seem pretty safe, right?

Wrong!  The joke was on us when we got up this morning and there was snow swirling around in gusty winds, and even a layer of snow on the ground.  Amazing!

Church services and other Sunday activities screeched to a halt as closing after closing scrolled by on the tv and computer screens.  The animals hunkered down in their sheds, not sure what to make of so much white stuff carried around in wicked gusts of wind.

The sheep, being the hardy souls they are and protected by a nice layer of insulating wool, were the first to stir out of their shed once the weather cleared a little.

Sheep in Snow.

A few of the guineas also ventured out, though the strong wind made things a little precarious. This guinea was hanging on for dear life while the fence swayed back and forth.

Guinea on Fence

After fixing some blueberry muffins for breakfast, I got on my layers of winter clothing and ventured out into the cold, cruel world.  Once all the animals had feed, hay and water, I figured Toby and I needed to take a walk in the woods while we had an opportunity to take pictures of so much snow.

Going into the woods.

Now I’m sure our northern neighbors are rolling their eyes at my definition of “so much snow”, but remember, it’s all relative!  And to us, this much snow is relatively lots!

We walked back to the creek first thing.

Creek with snowy banks.

From there, I looked across at the neighbors woods.  It was obvious to see which way the wind had been blowing from the snow plastered on the sides of the trees.

Snowy Trees

The snowy creek banks lent a bit of softness to the scene we don’t often see.

Creek and snowy trees.

It didn’t last long however.  It had obviously stopped snowing by the time I went out walking, and by the time Toby and I got out of the woods the sun was shining brightly.  There was a hawk flying high overhead enjoying the better weather.   (At least I suppose it would rather have sunny skies, but maybe it was just looking for dinner.)

Blue skies with hawk flying.

The daffodils in the yard were in the shade and still surrounded by snow.

Daffodils in Snow

Now when I look out the windows, I see bright sunshine, and just a few little patches of snow left behind here and there in the shade.

Mother Nature’s snowy joke didn’t last long!

Looking for Signs of Spring

February 12, 2009

We had a fair amount of wind yesterday, and a few showers.  This morning the weather was lovely, so Toby and I went for a little walk in the woods.

Almost as soon as we got in the woods, we saw new plant growth.  That’s a nice sign spring is on the way!

New plant growth.

There were also signs of wind damage, with a smaller tree blown down across the creek.

Tree Fallen Over Creek.

It will probably be swept away the next time we have enough rain for some high water.

On the way back towards the house, I noticed lots of patches of bright green grass, already growing 4 or 5 inches tall.

New Grass

Hey, I know it’s just grass, but it’s green, and it’s growing! That sure looks like a sign of spring to me.

Speaking of things that are growing…

Llama Lady.

Looks like to me that our lovely llama diva has a more rotund mid-section than usual. Sure hope this isn’t just wishful thinking and there’s a little cria growing in there! Her due date is April 1st, and I would love to see a healthy little one arrive on time.

That would be a GREAT sign spring was here!

Continued Cold in The South – That’s My World!

January 19, 2009

Mother Nature seems to have forgotten an important premise… it’s supposed to be relatively warm in the south.  Yes, it gets pretty cold in the winter sometimes, but it’s usually brief, and usually not much below freezing.

Lately, we’ve had much colder weather lasting for longer periods of time.  In fact, according to our local weatherman, we’ve had the coldest temperatures there’s been here in 6 years.  Me, I hope it’s at least another 6 years before it’s this cold again!

When I walk out to the mailbox, there is ice on the pond beside our driveway.  A little ice around the edges happens now and there most winters, but this much ice is too much!

There are lots of cardinals here that must brave the cold, cruel world for food and water. Here was one in the tree beside the birdbath.

However, the heater in the bird bath can’t keep up with the continued cold weather and let some ice form.

Even the birds can’t believe all this ice everywhere, and look in disdain at the icy water in the birdbath.

What’s with this?

When I walk out the back door and see the tub on our back porch – said porch having solid walls on two sides I might mention! – I see even the tub garden has a skim of ice on it.  I’ve never seen ice in this tub before.

There’s even a little iceberg forming where the water hits the surface.

After I’ve been out and done chores, I often go for a walk in the woods.  Even there, things are weird.  For instance, the creek has crusts of ice here and there along the sides.  With the swiftly running water, there usually isn’t any ice on the creek.

The shallower water in some of the sloughs is totally frozen.

And strangest of all, the ground is crunchy. That’s right, when I walk through the woods, my steps make crunching sounds.

That’s just wrong. The ground in the south is supposed to be dry and hard, or maybe wet and sloppy, but it is NOT supposed to be frozen and crunchy.

Just take a close-up look of our crunchy ground.

Ice, my world is full of ice, and that just isn’t right!

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2008

I gave myself and Toby a Christmas present this morning, and went for a walk back through the woods. We hadn’t been back there since before The Farmer’s knee surgery, so it’s probably been about 3 weeks.

While The Farmer was in the hospital we had a lot of rain. Over a foot of rain in fact. It filled up the pond and flooded the bottom pasture and across the road below our driveway.

I looked to see if the flood waters had moved the tree that fell in the creek a month or two ago, and sure enough, it’s disappeared. And I do mean disappeared. I have no idea where it ended up! I couldn’t see it anywhere. I thought it would get caught in one of the bends of the creek, but the water was so high, there’s no telling where it floated off to.

At first, I thought this tree might be it…

However, when I got to looking closer, I noticed it has a line of barbed wire connecting the fallen tree to the upright tree beside it, so obviously it wasn’t the previously fallen tree from further up the creek.

This one isn’t actually in the creek, but just has part of the tree hanging out over it.

It rained so hard you can’t see where the tree broke off except for a patch of smooth, bare dirt.

There’s always a lot of trash that washes down the creek when it floods.

I thought it was interesting to see this plastic crate caught in some tree roots along the creek bank.

The water was much higher than usual, and muddy. That didn’t deter Toby from splashing out into the middle of the creek and goofing off.

“Aren’t you coming?”

I declined to follow him into the creek today. Considering I wasn’t wearing boots and how deep and fast the water was running, it would have been a very cold and very wet adventure!

On the way back home, we walked through a different area of woods than our usual route.  I noticed a lot of persimmons on the ground.

I was rather surprised to see so many.  The persimmon trees I’d seen earlier were already pretty bare of fruit.  However, when I looked around and spotted the persimmon tree nearby, I could see there was still fruit WAY UP in the top of the tree.

 That’s the trouble with fruit trees in the middle of a wooded area.  The trees grow way tall, and there’s no way you can get to the fruit.  I guess the birds and squirrels and raccoons and whatever other critters like such stuff can enjoy it however.

There’s certainly a good bit left for them to munch on!  With persimmons, hickory nuts, walnuts and acorns, there ought to be plenty of food available for wildlife able to reach it.

I was pretty tired by the time Toby and I made it back out.  Guess sitting around in the hospital with The Farmer kind of blew any conditioning I had.  We’ll have to get back in the habit of walking after chores each morning so I build up a little more stamina.

Walking in the woods is a pleasant way to get a little exercise!