Water levels, close to home

When I headed out this morning, there were a lot of areas to check during my morning rounds!

Things are actually pretty good.

The storage house pretty much has a moat right now. It doesn’t go quite all the way around, but pretty close!

That’s a lot of water for the cats to get through. It looks like it goes all the way to the opening they use here, to get under the storage house. The only other way for them to get in and out is through a broken window at the back, which also has an old bench under it, so there is at least that access to one of their primary shelters.

This is the area by the feeding station, where a lane had been made for the septic truck. There is a lot spot near where the pile of poplar wood is that always gets water when the snow melts, but this is the first time I’ve seen the water extend to far towards the gate in the chain link fence!

Before and after pictures of the area in front of the house that we would normally drive up to, when loading and unloading the van. Though the pictures were taken a week apart, there had been another snowfall, so there was actually more snow there, just a couple of days ago.

The water in front of the outhouse and behind the garage is the deepest, and most wide spread, I’ve ever seen it. I don’t know if any critters are using those two old dog houses near the outhouse, but I think that might be where Potato Beetle came from, to get so wet and have straw stuck to him. I’m not sure where the burs would have come from, though.

As deep as it is here, the usual lake that forms at the driveway to the garage isn’t particularly large. It looks like the water is actually being absorbed, since it doesn’t look like it’s draining anywhere.

The driveway itself isn’t draining very well. We can still drive through, but I wouldn’t want to unless we absolutely had to, as we’d be just causing more damage.

I took the route outside the fence to get to the sign cam, pausing to check the state of things as best I could. You can see where the rows of corn had been planted, and further back, where there had been a pile of pulled up plants from the garden that were meant to be buried in new plots. The deer had dug them up and eaten most of them, which is why that spot is melted away a bit faster.

Much of the garden area has about a foot of snow still on it, with a few bare patches exposed here and there.

There was a new sign near the sign cam…

The road hasn’t been closed, but drivers are forewarned!

I decided to check the status of the road after this. I’ll share those photos in my next post. 🙂

When my daughters went out later on, they checked things in directions I did not go. They were able to get to the shed that has all my parents’ stuff stored in it, and check out the field our septic ejector drains into. There’s water there, of course, but all looks well.

At this rate, we might even be able to get to the barn again, soon! 😀

While talking about the state of things with the girls, one of my daughters commented on what a good thing it was, that we were able to do the big shopping trip to the city when we did! We may not have gotten everything, but we’re easily good for a couple of weeks, and even then, the only thing we’d be running out of is the dry cat kibble.

All in all, we’re doing pretty good. Even the water seeping into the basement isn’t too bad.

Hopefully, all is well with our neighbours, too.

The Re-Farmer

We’re clear!!

I am just so thrilled right now!

I was literally about to get my boots on to go outside and see if I could do some snow blowing, when I glanced at the live feed for the garage cam, and saw a lane down our driveway.

Our driveway was being cleared!

The renters, God Bless them, had sent someone over to do our driveway for us.

I came out and watched for awhile, as he piled more and more snow over the big branch pile that needs to be chipped. I knew it would be a lot of work to clear the driveway with our little electric snowblower, and we would have been able to clear just enough to drive through. Seeing how much snow he was pushing made me realize we probably could not have done it. Little Spewie could not have handled that much snow. Oh, we probably could have made a few passes, but would probably have been tripping the power bar the extension cord is plugged into, repeatedly. It’s something that happens when the snow it too much for it. Chances are, we would have burned the little thing out, if we pushed to get the job done.

After clearing the snow, he pushed a lane over to where I was standing by the gate, and we chatted a bit. Of course, I thanked him profusely.

That was just so incredibly thoughtful of them. And they would have had no idea how much it meant for us. It means that, for sure, I will be able to drive my mother out to meet her new great-grandson, on Easter.

That is a LOT of snow!

And yet, it’s warm enough that there’s still water in that low spot along the fence line.

He even turned around and cleared as close as he could to the garage doors. All I needed to do was get that last bit out.

Which I did right away.

What didn’t get done was clearing a path to the burn barrel. My daughters did the cat litter and dumped the sawdust litter into the burn barrel while I was clearing snow. They had a hard time getting to the barrel!

After I cleaned the doors and made sure I could open the swing doors all the way, I checked on the van, because I could see garbage under the door. We never made it to the dump, and I had to take the bags out of the van to run errands, leaving them on top of things to keep them up off the ground.

Unfortunately, critters still got to them. Pretty much ever single garbage bag was pulled down and torn to shreds, with garbage strewn all on the one side of the garage, and under the van.

*sigh*

In the time it took me to clean up the mess, using a garden hoe to pull as much as I could see/reach out from under the van – then moving the van to get what I missed – the ground I’d cleared in front of the garage had started to thaw! It’s -7C/19F with a wind chill of -16C/3F out there, but the winds are from the north right now, and the south facing garage was quite warm. In fact, when my daughters came outside with the litter, or to bring things I needed, they didn’t even bother putting on coats.

The next couple of days are supposed to be just below freezing, then for the rest of the week it’s supposed to be just above freezing, with even possible light rain at the end of the week, before things start o warm up again. It’s going to be that slow melt that we need, in order to keep all this wonderful moisture right here, instead of flooding and washing out all the way to the lake.

I’m just so happy right now! We have such wonderful neighbours.

The Re-Farmer

Cleared!

Oh, it was so nice to see how the driveway looked in daylight!

There is more than enough room to back out of the garage and turn around – and even room for other cars to pull in and park. So awesome!

Though we do still have a bit of clearing to do in front of the garage. It’s just a small job, now!

This picture is taken from the road. Even the cats are loving the lovely, snow free driveway!

The road has been partially plowed. It looks like someone went through with a plow attachment on their truck or something similar. When the municipal plows come through, the clear from ditch to ditch, and there’s room enough for 2 vehicles to pass each other.

Notice the pole of snow pushed into the ditch? Because he cleared so far on that side of the driveway, when the plow does go by, we won’t have a ridge running across the end of our driveway!

I was able to make my way to this fallen branch. You can see where it broke off, above. I was not able to move it. Not only is it really heavy, but it’s frozen to the ground!

While making my way to switch out memory cards on the trail cams, I cold see where the deer are passing through, too.

As expected, there wasn’t much on the trail cams. It was funny to see some of the files from the camera by the new sign. The snow covered the camera lens before the motion sensor covered it, so they were basically just out of focus snow.

Though there is more shoveling to do, especially in the inner yard, I think I’m going to have to leave it to the girls today. My body is definitely telling me I need to take a break! Time to pain killer up and go for a nap!

The Re-Farmer

An amazing Christmas gift just happened!

We had a very surreal moment this afternoon.

Someone knocked at the door.

That just doesn’t happen. Especially with a locked gate and snowed in driveway!

It was the renter’s farm hand. He had been driving by with their tractor and noticed we’d cleared a few paths in the snow, so he stopped, climbed the gate, and offered to clear the driveway for us! Last year, he happened by while I was out with the electric snow blower, working on the driveway. The gate was open, so he drove right in and cleared it for me! He did in a few minutes, what would have taken me hours.

What an absolute sweetheart!

I quickly got coat and boots on and unlocked the gate for him.

What a beautiful sight!

The picture looks blurry because the window I was taking it through was frosting up faster than I could clear it and get my phone ready to take a picture!

I had started to lock the gate up when I figured I should take a picture from the road. He even widened the sides of the driveway at the road before he left!

Isn’t that amazing?!!

So now we just need to do the part inside the yard. He saved us so many hours of work!

We have some wonderful neighbours. What a fantastic Christmas present, too!

The Re-Farmer

I have the power! See; there it is.

You know how you decide to do a thing that should be pretty straightforward? Then you start the thing and it ends up being more complicated than you thought?

Yeah. You know what I’m talking about, I’m sure! 😀

That was how it turned out for the job I just finished.

Since we only have the riding mower, when I do the driveway, I’ve only done the driveway inside the gate and as close to the gate and fence lines as I can. I didn’t go outside the gate at all because I wasn’t sure how clear it was. Plus, I don’t usually carry the gate key with me when I’m doing yard work.

Today, after mowing the areas by the storage shed and to the other driveway that I wasn’t able to do earlier, I decided to grab the weed trimmer and an extension cord and clear by the gate, and the driveway outside the gate. The grass there was starting to encroach into the gravel a fair bit. There is a heavy duty power line running from the side shed of the garage, where I park the mower, to the gate. It’s for some Christmas lights that are on the fence line.

Now, I’ve seen where the cord ends by the gate, and I could see where the Christmas lights started at the gate end, so I figured the plug was somewhere hidden in the bushes there. With that in mind, I grabbed the 30ft extension cord for the weed trimmer, instead of lugging one of the 100ft cords. 30ft should have been enough to do the areas I wanted to. Maybe a bit tight on the south side, though.

Over I go with the weed trimmer and cord, plug the power cord in at the garage, open the gate, then go to where I knew the Christmas lights started to plug it in. I was impressed to see the lights were actually working, too!

That’s when I discovered I wasn’t looking at the start of the Christmas lights.

I was looking at the end.

Hmm. Okay. I’ll just follow the lines. Both the string of Christmas lights and the power cord were woven along the top wire of the fence, wrapped around posts or tree branches along the way, until… there it was! I found the plug in!

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This picture was taken after I moved the outlet box, which was carefully set facing downwards, so no moisture could get into the plugins. (Yes, I did remember to put it back that way when I was done!)

What you can’t see is the broken light bulb, right by the plug in. I’m sure there are plenty more of those along the two strings of lights!

This was about 30 feet away from the gate.

Well, now.

Back I go to the house, where I know there’s another extension cord that’s 50ft long. I also grab gloves, saw and pruning shears, because there were things that needed to be cleared before I could start.

First, I cut away some dead stems from a bush by the gate. Then some little trees that had seeded themselves along the driveway that were big enough to mess with the trimmer line. Then I cut away a poplar that was growing outside the fence line and was half blocking access to the power. You can see part of it to the left of the plug ins in the photo. I had to move some just to get the picture.

Then I could finally plug in my extension cords (I used both) and start trimming.

This is the first area I finished.

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This is the south side of the gate. The old barbed wire gate was still there and, after finding the loose barbed wire with the weed trimmer, I wrenched it all out and over the fence.

Those orange things? I’m pretty sure they are to mark where the culvert is on either side of the drive way in the winter, but they would fit over pre-existing posts. Which I don’t see anywhere.

Then I started clearing the north side.

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When mowing on this side, I don’t try to go all the way to the fence line with the mower at all, because it is very rough and I don’t want to break the mower. So I trimmed by the gate to match the mowing line.

While clearing between the gate post and the wagon wheel, my trimmer found this.

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The black pieces are the remains of some kind of bungee cord type thing. It has a hook at only one end; I’m guessing at least half the cord itself is simply gone. Someone just hung it there, rather than throwing it away. The ball of twine was completely hidden by the tall grass. The wire was partly hanging on the bottom wire of the fence, its other end buried in the grass for me to find when it got tangled in the trimmer line. :-/

Finding stuff like this is why I don’t want to use the mower out there until I am sure it’s clear!

Here is how the outer part of the driveway looks now. First on the south side;

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And here’s the North side.

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The eventual goal is to clear the fence line of trees completely. When I get to working on the spruce grove, I want to open it up enough that we can see the gate from the house, so we know if anyone is there and needing us to open it.

That will probably not be started until next year.

Before then, though, I am think it would be nice to replace the strings of Christmas lights. I’m thinking some LED lights all in one colour, and then using them all year. 🙂

Now that we have the power. 😉

The Re-Farmer