Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ditch Digging

No writing news, so here's some more talk about the great outdoors. Specifically, the ditch I dug.

We live on the side of a low hill that slopes down behind our house to a back yard that floods every time it rains. We've got a culvert in the side yard that theoretically carries rainwater from the other side of the street down our side yard to the back yard to the wet-weather creek that runs down into the woods. Until last week, the concrete culvert was silted up at the bottom and the ditch that leads from the bottom of the culvert to the bottom of the yard was nearly filled up with dirt, roots, weeds, and grass. Because the ground stays so boggy around the bottom of the culvert, Mom planted two big clumps of Tennessee water iris there and they've taken off.

Old picture of the water iris at the bottom of the culvert after a rainstorm (we have since moved the chairs, obviously):

Well, after all the rain we had a few weeks ago, the landlord wanted us to move the water iris because he thought it was diverting water toward the house. I decided to try digging out the filled-up ditch and removing a lot of the silt from the culvert, which was a job of work (although the flower gardens have benefited from the excellent rich dirt). Then Mom pointed out that the downspout just visible in the picture above, on the corner of the house, had no drainage and water just came down it and flowed along the side of the house. So I dug another, narrower ditch curving down from the downspout and connecting to the culvert.

And then I waited for it to rain. Which it did, finally, this evening.

So that was why I spent half an hour this evening standing with a flashlight in one hand and an umbrella in the other, watching water flowing down the ditch into the culvert, and watching water flowing freely down the newly dug-out culvert and into the back yard the way it's supposed to, without flooding. It was storming, did I mention? Fortunately I did not get struck by lightning.

While I was out there, Mom opened her bedroom window just above me, and said, "Are you still out there?" Then she said, "I think the iris are safe."

And I said, "If the landlord still wants us to move them, tell him I plan to put in tiny boat docks and bridges and railroad cars and possibly a complicated system of locks made out of Legos instead."

I hope it rains again this weekend.


The Margin Wight said...

Your comment on locks makes me smile, having just finished the book Panama Fever about the digging of canal.

K.C. Shaw said...

Hopefully my locks will not be quite as difficult as the Panama Canal. :)