Digging Out a Water Spring and the Great Ditch Doesn’t Dig

Saturday, July 5, 2014 Guerneville CA.

I thought I’d start by finishing the great ditch today,…………….but.

I went out once I got it going and tried digging on the great ditch. I only had about thirty feet to go and I thought I’d get it done.

However, the bamboo roots must of sucked up all the water I applied to loosen up the dirt. Between the roots and the dry dirt, it didn’t look like I was going to get it done. I dug up a few shovels full and it was packed bamboo roots, and I didn’t get very far.

Oh well, I put the water soaker back on the ditch and decided to do something else constructive.

Here, I’ve dug some clumpy dirt out and quit and put the water soaker back on it. I need to get it dug to the blue bucket by the gate.ditch

 

I’ll work on digging out an old spring

Ok, I’ll go up and dig out a water spring up on the hillside. I got the gear I needed loaded on my little quad and headed on up the hill, cruising along through some nice country, a redwood forest.

One of the roads I took to get up to the spring I was going to work on today.road2

 

I stopped in this area to check out the other springs I’d been working on, then continued on up to the other spring I wanted to work on today. I had brought up some plastic pipe fitting to finish hooking one of the springs up, but found I had the wrong fittings. I also realized I’d forgotten the shovel, so that limited what I could do here.road

 

I tapped this one years ago

I haven’t messed with this one in a number of years, but now it was plugged up with mud, so I needed to take all the rocks out of it and redo it. I took all the rocks out and piled them at the lower right of the picture. Looking at what was left, I decided this spring is too good to do half ass. I need to make a new filter screen for it and I plan to dig it out a bit more and fill it in with some blue clay to seal it up. Because this spring is just a hole in the hillside, it is a good one to tap and it should be real sanitary after I do that. No bugs or animals should be able to get into it if I do it right.spring3

 

Critters share the water

While I was taking out the rocks and mud, something moved in the water. It was a six inch salamander, which I removed and set in the water below the spring, after I took this picture of it.salamander

 

After I did what I could do with the spring, I headed on down the road to check a spring that feeds my brothers garden.

It’s flowing a little, but not real good. Nothing I can do about that, there is either water or there isn’t.

This is the spot on the road I stopped to check out my brothers spring.uproad

 

A couple plums for a snack

I was thinking I should check out another one of my brother’s springs which I had to turn up a side road for on the way back. But I was day dreaming or something and I found that I had missed the road. I was down at my brother’s garden now though, so I remembered the plums that were almost ripe I saw the other day.

They are riper today, so I had a couple of them.plums

 

Back up the hill

After that refreshing snack, I headed back up the hill to my brother’s spring and checked it out. This is the spring area. There is water here, but it’s spread out and not a good place to do a sanitary tap.spring

 

Nap time

I headed back down to my house and had something to eat and a nap, of course.

Back working on the great ditch project

After I was able to get going again, I went back outside and checked the ditch dirt to see if I could dig it yet. The dirt was a bit easier to dig, but still a lot of work and I could see this was going to take longer than I had expected. I’d dig a bit, then sit in my chair and dig some more as soon as I was able.

As I was sitting in my chair resting, I noticed something moving about twenty feet from me in  a plum tree.

A red squirrel had gotten a plum and was eating it. It was watching me while it was doing it, but didn’t scamper off when I picked up my camera.

As a matter of fact, this red squirrel was sitting still, something I’ve rarely ever seen them do. They seem to mostly always be in motion, likely as it’s safer that way.red7

 

I got up and moved around a bit and it still sat there, even after it finished off the plum.red6

 

I worked on the ditch until almost dark. I made some progress, but it was slow digging around the bamboo roots. I put the soaker hose back on it.ditch2

 

I’ll try to finish it tomorrow.

Nice day working around here getting some things done.

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