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Draining the Rain

29 Jun

My nephew and I went out to fix the fence that washed out and then we proceeded to get another four inches of pouring rain overnight (the rain I shared with you yesterday).  I waited a day and then went back out to finish the one last bit–I had to add a piece of cattle panel to cover a hole that had been ripped in the wire netting.  Unfortunately, because all the cornstalks and old debris from the field had washed with the last pounding rain, this time, it was silt washing from the fields.  Even in my no-till field, there was quite a bit of silt.

The Ranger made it through, but when I got to where I needed to fix fence, it was quite a little pond.

The tile intake was buried except for that tiny bit sticking out, and it was completely covered in water.

While I looked around to find something to push the silt away from the drain, I heard water running.  I followed the sound, and I found a small hole where the water was going down.  Some poor critter seems to have been flooded out of their home, but it was really helping get the water down to the tile.

I continued scavenging and found an old pole.  It had been used to fasten the gate shut before we put the new gates in, and it was still attached to the woven wire.  Luckily, I had brought bolt cutters to cut my piece of cattle panel, so I cut it from the wire and used it to push the silt away from the intake.  Then we really started draining some water!  Video linked below.

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It doesn’t take long to drain when the water can actually get to the drain.

Just about the time I got done pulling silt away from the intake, a frog jumped over to say “hi.”

I finally had enough water drained to go fix the fence.

arrow pointing to the hole

I just put a chunk of cattle panel behind the hole and wired it in place.

I was still standing in water, but it was already a lot less than when I got there.

Before I opened the drain, that big flat shelf of rich topsoil (not to mention all the yellow intake) had been under water.

I figured I better go check the other two tile intakes in the Back Forty.  The first one was fine.  Again, you can see the ledge of topsoil that was just deposited along the running water.

The last tile intake was open too.  I had to use the pole to move the grass so I could see it though.

Hopefully, we get a break from the rain.  And I think the fence is ready for me to let the animals back out there as soon as the kids can keep up with their moms in pasture.

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Updates

26 Jun

I thought I’d share some updates on things.  First–Antigone.  Remember she became a unicorn after getting her head stuck.  She’s doing amazingly well.  After just a day or so in the garage, she was back to her usual naughty self.

Antigone

Unfortunatley, she’s still afraid to let me touch her now.  I can’t say that I blame her.  In the picture above, she is standing on the tree they kept falling from on the wrong side of the fence.  My nephew and dad came out with a chain saw, and trimmed it back farther.

Daisy in the tree; Penny by the fence

That helped a lot–except for Daisy.  She fell or jumped over one more time.

I worked on fastening the fence better, and we haven’t had anyone out since then.

Penny, Casey with his head through

Hopefully, that pattern continues. Speaking of fences, Cutie seems to have figured out she can no longer put her head through a fence and get it back out.  Yay for Cutie!  Sadly, Hera needs to figure it out now.  Hopefully, she’s smart enough to figure it out soon.

Hera

Our rainy weather is continuing.  By the time I can get into my garden, I’ll have a hard time getting all the weeds out of it.  (If you look closely and click to make it larger, you can see the rain in the image below.)

robin

You’ll also notice I got my cattle panels put across to protect the garden from Sky.

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Rain, Fence, Tree, and Goats

23 Jun

I shared that our big five inch rain on the 13th washed out the fence between my Back Forty and the neighbor’s field.  Since then, it really hasn’t quit raining.  We’ve had probably 12 inches of rain since then (including that five inches; I’m writing this draft on the 21st).  That means, we really haven’t been able to get back there to fix it.

from 5 inches on the 13th

No problem!  I want Tony to get used to Fionn and Xerxes and the other goats, so when we cooled down, I shut the three of them in the small paddock.

Tony, Fionn, and Xerxes

By the way, Tony ditched his halter, so I’m out there looking for it a lot too.  I’m not too mad because I knew it was loose and was too lazy to switch it.

It will also let Tony get closer to the whole herd of goats and other llamas if they are on the front pasture too.

Tony watching goats

So I let the rest of the llamas and goats onto the front pasture.

Aurora and Odie

It’s certainly got enough for them to eat for quite a while.

Haley, Cinnamon and Haley’s kids, Calliope jumping over Orpheus

I did forget one minor thing though–the horizontal oak tree.

The goats love it!

Hermes in the tree; Aphrodite and Giselle (?) above

Unfortunately, when it was cut and the fence pulled up, it was done to hold in cows, not goats.  You can see Caroline and Daisy clear out over the ditch.

Athena and Daisy accidentally landed on the ditch side of the fence.  I had to haul Athena kicking and screaming back to the barnyard.  When I was getting ready to go try and bribe Daisy in, she figured out she was on the wrong side and panicked.  I called to her, and I swear to you, she came on a dead run around the corner straight for the gate.  If I had been standing in the way, she’d have run me over.

Betty Lou and Athena on opposite sides of the fence and Daisy about to be on the wrong side of the fence

Well, it’s still raining, so we haven’t had time to even bring the chain saw and trim the tree.  At least the rain kept them away for a day, but today (again the 21st), they were all playing on the tree again.

You’ll notice Daisy is headed back up down the tree so she isn’t on the wrong side again.

Caroline, Daisy, and Zeus

However, Caroline fell off on the wrong side.  It didn’t phase her.  She just kept eating.

I did have to drag Caroline her back to the barnyard.

Seriously, why can’t you just walk?

“Why am I in jail?” -Caroline

Then Zeus was up there trying to eat. (Video link below)  He got carried back to the barnyard.  At least that was a little easier.

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Zeus (Yes, that’s Caroline right behind him, but she did turn back around.)

We finally goat a break in the rain so we could trim the tree to keep the goats in!  Who knows how long it will be before it’s dry enough to take equipment to the Back Forty to fix the fence (or make hay for that matter).

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