Friday, April 24, 2015

Barn lot ditch crossing

Barn lot crossing going in.

Water snake hiding under rock.
Yesterday I spent the day working on the barn lot crossing.  I spent five hours on the tractor moving dirt.  I got the culvert into place then braced it with rocks at the base and then slowly started piling dirt up from the right side.  Every few loads of dirt I would drive the tractor out onto the pile and compact it down.  I had to keep getting off the tractor and piling up rocks on the side to keep the dirt in the correct spot.  I eventually ran out of rocks to pile next to the dirt.  I did managed to finally get enough dirt into the middle that I could drive to the other side!  I need to put on my rubber boots and wade out into the water and get those rocks upstream.  I also have a few loose rocks over in my sheep compost pile that can go over here.  After that I will have to go onto the back hillside and start picking rocks.  I figure another three days just to get this finished.  Once it is done I will dig out the stream and add some gravel to the bank to fill in the low spot.  We will be able to drive across the culvert and avoid all water crossings.  It will make the stream that much better.  I found a few friends as I was relocating rocks. 

The horses are going to love it as they will not have to get their feet wet to cross the stream any more.  I had another chicken die, a teenage buff orpington.  I do not know why that breed and why that age group is dying off.  It makes no sense. 
I called around today looking for used railroad ties to make the new cow corral.  There are none to be had in Pendleton.  I found some in Hermiston at Payless lumber for $16/each, an entire semi truck load.  I am going over on Tuesday to pickup at least 30.  I need 30 for the corral and about 15 more for fencing.  It is painful but if I don't do it know I might not get another shot at it till the end of summer.  I am also looking into renting a backhoe for a day to finish the irrigation pond.  I broke the earthen dam and flooded the pit I was working on so there is no other recourse. 

Salamanders hiding under rock.