Cluttered Culverts

April 30, 2009

Whenever there’s a heavy rain, our bottom pasture floods because the creek gets out of bounds.  It probably wouldn’t do it so much if it weren’t for the fact the creek goes under a road right past our bottom pasture. 

There are two culverts under that road, and they collect debris.  After the last hard rain, I decided to go down and take a peek.  The neighbors living past the bridge have a pack of dogs.  Three of them watched me approach.

Dogs On Bridge

Toby as usual, totally ignored them.  He seems to think they are beneath his notice, and he doesn’t even bother looking at them, let alone barking at them.

Once we got on the bridge, I looked down the creek flowing alongside our bottom pasture.

Creek flowing beside our bottom pasture.

It had been a while since it rained, so the water was almost totally clear again.  I walked past the bridge and went down alongside the creek to see what kind of debris was clogging up the culverts upstream.

Debris In Culverts

It doesn’t look too bad until you look a little closer.  Here’s a close-up of the culvert on the left:

Log blocking culvert.

And here’s a close-up of the culvert on the right:

Logs blocking culvert.

After seeing what kind of debris was clogging up the culvert upstream, I went to the other side to see what it looked like from the downstream side, which is the part bordering our bottom pasture.

Water coming out the downstream side of the culverts.

From a ways off, it really doesn’t look like there’s much of a problem, does it?  But when I got down to where I could take pictures a little closer-up, you can see how the water flow is restricted.

Here’s the culvert that had the single log across it on the upstream side:

Log blocking water flow through culvert.

As you can see, it was a bit deceiving seeing just that one log across the mouth of the culvert on the other side.  There’s a whole lot more debris underneath it that is also blocking the flow of water.

I couldn’t get a straight-through shot of the other culvert, but you can see it has some pretty big tree parts in it!

Large tree parts blocking flow of water through culvert.

It’s no wonder when the rain is heavy, the stream overflows because the culverts are blocked, and goes over the top of the road.

Flood waters over road.

And of course, when the creek backs up and floods over the road, it also backs up into our bottom pasture:

Flood waters in bottom pasture.

We have electric fencing around that pasture, and every time it floods, it needs repaired.  However, since we’ve downsized and don’t have so many animals, we don’t have to worry about it because we’re not using it for grazing space.

Instead, we’re letting it grow up wild again.  When we first moved here, there were all kinds of wildflowers like Joe Pye Weed and Cardinal Flower in that area, along with Button Bushes and other good habitat for wildlife.

Hopefully, there will be lots of flowers grow there this summer, and we’ll see lots of butterflies!

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.

Tree In Creek

October 8, 2008

Please note, that’s a tree IN the creek, not BY the creek.

A few weeks ago we had some windy days.  Apparently one of the trees by the creek gave it up and fell in the water.  We first noticed it when The Farmer was out making the path in the woods.

 I figured it couldn’t have happened too long before we found it, since the leaves were all still green.

When I was out walking this past Monday, I took another picture of the tree.  By then the leaves were pretty well all dying and brown.

The Farmer and I have been wondering what would happen when we got a hard rain. If the tree stayed put, it would catch a lot of debris and water would back up behind it and flood over the road.  It’s not unusual for water to flood over the road, because the county put in two smaller culverts instead of one big one, and the debris catches there and water backs up.

Fortunately for us, that part of the road is past our driveway, so we aren’t really affected.

It started raining yesterday, and by mid-morning today we had 3 1/4 inches of rain in the gauge. When it finally stopped raining long enough for me to go out and do chores (hey! the animals weren’t out of their sheds either!), I took a walk back to see what had happened with the tree.

Obviously, the tree wasn’t heavy enough to withstand the pressure of all that water pushing at it, and gave way.  I thought it might since it wasn’t buried into the ground to help anchor it in place.

And by the way, if you compare the tree stump on the bank in the first picture to this last picture, you can see how high the creek water was!

Of high water and a fallen tree…

February 7, 2008

Yesterday morning we awoke to the sound of flood waters. It had rained over an inch for the second day in a row, and the creek along side our property had flooded over its’ banks.

Sometime during the night it got up over the road, though by the time I went out and took pictures, it had already mostly went back down.

picture of water over country road

There was more water over the road between our place and the neighbors on past us. This is where the creek actually passes through a culvert under the road.

02-07-08 water-over-road

Then there’s the culvert. . .

Debris usually blocks some of the culvert and the swollen creek waters cannot pass through, so the creek overflows the banks. You can see and hear the water rushing and roaring as it comes out of the culvert.

This morning the creek has subsided a great deal. Here it is rushing over a fallen log.
Still, the water is running pretty fast, as you can see the way it is rushing over this limb dipping in the water.
image of limb in creek
I also noticed earlier this week, with the rain and strong winds we’ve been having, a tree has fallen along the edge of the woods by the bottom pasture.
02-07-08 tree
Fortunately, we didn’t get the tornadoes people in other partsof the state had, so we really didn’t have much else but a few branches down.
A creek running high with excess water beats drought conditions any day!