Prairie Archaeology

Saturday I continued to dig with the idea that I would level the bottom of the pit at the height of the “alluvial gravels” from whence I believed the spring to sprung.

As I made another wagon-load of dirt, I came upon a large and heavy rock. Interesting, let’s keep going. A few more large nails and then the remains of a ceramic a light socket.

All kinds of weird things fall into the well, I thought to myself…

Down in the middle of the gravels was a fist-size rock that was wet on the bottom when I pulled it out.

Then I hit a larger object that was not of natural origin, and more gravel, and then more and more as I chased my way to the bottom of it and revealed an old terra-cotta pipe.


Was this an early attempt to harvest the spring water? And so I kept digging, leaving myself a ledge about eighteen inches down so I could step-up.

It’s easy to dig yourself into a hole that’s had to exit, and I was already throwing shovel-dirt at shoulder height.

Deciding to err on the side of caution and Science, I got out of the hole and went back up to the garage to get my Marshalltown archaeology trowel and continue what had now become an excavation.

What was revealed was a short length of four-inch clay pipe, and another larger one coming into it that was about eight inches, and a third four-inch pipe at right angles.

I managed to get the short length of 4″ pipe out intact, and it was about half-full with gravel.

Above the short section where the rest of it continued, you can see a layer of fine gravel packed on top, then dirt and sod at the surface level.

The larger eight-inch section one broke apart lifting it out, and it was heavy with sediment.

It appears my “spring” is really an old drain of some sort, going from a large diameter down to a smaller – and with a side-pipe going off into the distance.

It’s coming from who-knows-where and going to who-knows-what – but with the break in the old joints and the pipes silted-up, water arises forth still.

What is (still) feeding it, or rather how is it still getting moisture to it? When did they stop using clay pipe for this sport of thing, back in the 40’s?

Still have to finish this off somehow, so the circle of block might become a little taller, and maybe I’ll just fill-in the hole with medium-sized rock then a foot or so of gravel on top, so it can still bubble up water and keep the birds and wildlife happy.

About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

10 thoughts on “Prairie Archaeology

    • Could be that, but a four-inch leach? Talking to a local guy, nobody up here bothered to build foundations for houses until more recently. But then they didn’t bother with septic systems either, they still had out-houses!


  1. Same thing with the “Air Quality” agencies. They did a great job in cleaning up the really dirty air here in SoCal. Now they’re going after the last .5%, and that has enormous costs attached to it. In the name of “air quality”, you CANNOT get good quality urethane wood finish any more. It’s water-based junk, and peels easily regardless of how carefully you follow the instructions. Smog controls on lawnmowers, garden tractors, and small portable generators do NOTHING to clean the air, and raise costs and lower operating efficiencies.

    They even regulating back yard gas grills!

    All done by faceless unelected bureaucrats at agencies that have done their original function, and should be disbanded.

    You know as well as I do that government agencies are self-perpetuating, and write new unnecessary regulations to justify their existence, budget, and personnel.

    Once you create one it continues forever…..

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    • The way the idiots in the Stupidslature write the brainless dumbass regulations, they are forced to chase the Unicorn: the diminishing last .5% becomes the .05% then .005% – adinfinitum – it’s the total insanity.
      And bizzarro-world paint laws means you cut down more forests – which is fine NOW because California is forced to import it from Georgia and Carolina etc. where wood is recognised as a cheap renewable given their rainfall, while here on the other hand it’s some kind of exotic thing that must be “persevered for future generations.” Good Grief!! At least up here in Gold Country we actually don’t give a flying f*k what happens in Sacatomatos. Plus we cut-down trees and burn them. The bark-beetle infestation has felled a lot of pine – too bad it sucks as a heat or timber source because it makes the wood lousy to use, and the heat generated is poor compared to oak.
      Good luck on your home-sale and the move! In fact if you re-list at slightly a higher price, you might really benefit because you as you go up a $-tier, you draw-in buyers who had a cutoff-level in their search, and were not expecting quality at an affordable rate. Counter-intuitive, but folks competing at a certain level will actually bid it up once you bring it into their awareness level, which can a real advantage to you, because they may want to close quickly.
      We did our sale with a complete “no contingencies” thing on our side, so there were no impediments to sale on that end, and no interest in people who demanded weird financial shit – just get ‘er done!


    • Yeah, I think he set the listing price a bit low, hoping the “low end” bidders would drive it up. My wife wants $525k, which is what the appraisal is, and the only offer we’ve had so far was at the listing price. That buyer only wanted to put down $2k, which is less than one-half percent!

      They said they couldn’t afford more than $510k, and their “down payment” kind of reinforces that.


  2. That sounds like about the right timeline for what I’ve observed here in SoCal. I moved out here in 1982, and we had a couple of VERY wet winters. Right around 2007 or so I remember snow in the local (visual) mountains in May. Then 10 years of drought, and now the winters are wetter again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And the planned construction of more reservoirs has been throttled by Eco-Weenies under a mountain of regulatory red-tape, AND cross-competing State “agencies” and “commissions” with overlapping boundaries and further layers of authority, run by unelected bureaucrats secure in their unassailable jobs…


  3. I saw a lot of this in Illinois where I grew up. As they’d dig up “old” corn fields to plant new houses, they were always coming across clay pipe like that. My Dad said it had been put in to drain the fields so they wouldn’t flood too badly when the heavy spring and summer rains came.

    Are you on “old” farm land?

    Liked by 1 person

    • More like on old Ranch land, but it does get a lot of rain – except for the recent drought-years. California gets to enjoy the Pacific Decadal Oscillation as a result of the neighboring Pacific Ocean all down the coast, which is a 27-year heating/cooling cycle, with various sub-cycle drought/rain periods that typically stretch out five to eight years (but the last one was longer), followed by a couple years of liquid inundation. The cooling period of the 50’s and 60’s lead to the sky-is-falling “Ice Age” scenario, while the recent warming trend of the 90’s lead to the “Global Warming” panic currently popular among alarmists and useful to politicians and bureaucrats as a means to extort money based on incomprehensible “climate science”.


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