Friday, August 14, 2015

Pump work done ready for test.


irrigation pond is getting mossed out.
Since the clippers are broken and the parts are on order it was time to get back to making the irrigation pump work.  I had my nephew climb into the pond and clean out the moss and green growing things out of the pond.  I worked on the pump.  I installed a new 1.5 inch valve on the prime line side and cleaned out the pressure switch enclosure.  I had to spray some more hornets as they were nesting on the bottom of the pump housing.  I had to take off the foot valve and clean it out.  I broke a collar used to hold the inlet pipe onto the pump.  Since this is the second thing I have over tightened in a week, Annmarie has pointed out that I need to start moderating my strength. Not a problem I have had in the past. All the dead thistles were cleaned out and I took the tractor and spread out the now dried mud pile from the new irrigation pond.  I did put a cover over the hole in an attempt to fill the pond so I can test the pump.  It needed to be straightened out slightly so I used the back of a very large pipe wrench as a hammer and the concrete weir as an anvil.  I got it mostly straightened but there is a 1/4 inch gap on one side.  I don't know if the pond will fill with this small leak.  I am thinking about splitting an old hose lengthwise and putting it around the edge of the metal cover to act like a gasket.  I will check on the pond in a few days.  If the water were running faster the small leak would not matter.  There is hardly any water running at this point.

 We stopped for lunch and I checked the outside temperature, 98 degrees in the shade.  We cannot shear the alpaca and the pump pond needs some filling time so it was on to another project.

North side of barn lot culvert crossing.
The barn lot culvert crossing still needed to be finished.  Heath had moved rocks over near the crossing last month.  So we went out into the heat at 1:00 pm.  Heath brought a gallon jug of water 2/3 full and I brought a little 16 oz plastic bottle half full.  The first thing I did was toss my water into the front creek to keep it cold.  I took the north side of the project and Heath took the south side.  After every layer of rocks were placed I would pile up dirt with the tractor and then spread it out and drive back and forth to compact it down.  After my water ran out I went upstream of the culvert, cleaned out a small spot of rocks and moss and started filling my container from the spring.  It was amazing!  Nice and cold and fresh from the source.  I did get a little dirt but not enough to make me think I was drinking cowboy coffee.  Heath was not having any of it and did not partake of the thirst quenching goodness emanating from the ground.  Annmarie has been telling me for years the spring is safe to drink from and just this last two years I have come to believe her.  I have been drinking from the front creek several times this year and have never been sick.

 We just kept after going, it was hot and nasty.  The rocks just kept getting heavier and heavier.  I know Heath was seriously considering whether it was worth the wage he was making.  He was tired when we were done!  I went inside after completion and added salt to my entire meal, then after a few bites doubled down on more salt.  After dinner I asked Annmarie to pop some popcorn.  She insisted she salt it.  Normally, it is so salty most people don't like it.  I got my own pile and doubled down on the salt again.  About 2/3 of the way through the popcorn I started to taste the salt.  It made me gag.  We should have quit moving rocks in the sun two hours into the project.  It was 102 degrees when we came into the house 4.5 hours later.  Eventually, I may learn to slow down and take things easier but I am not quite there.  The crossing looks great and now I can pull a trailer straight across and not have to drive through the spring.  The animals love it.  This fall after it starts to rain some I will put a layer of gravel over the crossing.  It is so dry and dusty now I am afraid the gravel will just disappear without doing any good. 
South side of barn lot culvert crossing.

Trumpet vine outside the house, covered in honey bees.