Aqueous Onslaught

UPDATE: Two inches at 5:00 o’clock. 1.54 inches of rain since midnight, over two and a half since yesterday – the dam has been breached and my cup runneth over, and more is coming down as we speak (1:00PM).


“It never rains in California…”

“It pours, man it pours…” Another gullywasher, but no thunder or lightning – more snow in the High Country.

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Three inches since yesterday (Tuesday).
FRIDAY UPDATE: Six and a quarter inches since the beginning of the March.

Daylight-Saving Time

The arrival of Daylight-Saving Time reminds us that Winter is not much longer here abouts, and with brilliant days like yesterday and today, surrounded by slatting storms – that the March lion is roaring.
So, given yesterday’s warm weather, we set-to in the yard. Cutting back the overgrown roses, weeding, cleaning up the daffodils, and de-limbing a few low-hanging head-knockers on the big pine tree that argued with its symmetry. You don’t miss them when they are gone. The little chainsaw-on-a-stick works marvelously, but I don’t like to use it alone.

Petition to Create the 51st State of Jefferson!

The Jeffersonians are getting uppity HERE. This is the full text of the petition; they had to reduce the characters to fit on the petition. Go ahead and sign it.

Petition to Create the 51st State of Jefferson!

WHEREAS, The State Legislature with the help and collusion of Governor Brown have violated Article 1 Section 8, clause 4, of the United States Constitution, (which gives Congress the power to enact all uniform rules over Naturalization), The executive and legislative branches of California have declared themselves above the law and have willfully violated their oath of office by passing legislation declaring California a Sanctuary State; and

WHEREAS, the Governor and all of the voting members of the California Legislature, and its Attorney General, are knowingly and willfully in violation of United States Code of Regulations Title 8, Section 1324( iii, iv, v1, v2, v3), for concealing, shielding, harboring, aliens who have illegally entered the United States; and

WHEREAS, the California Legislature and its Governor have conspired to and did in fact conclude climate change agreements with foreign powers in order to diminish and degrade the legitimate foreign policy of the United States and its lawfully elected President. These illegal agreements are violations of Article 1, Section 10, clause 3, of the United States Constitution as well as Article 3, Section 1, and Article 20 (oath of office), of the California Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the State Legislature of California with the collusion and aid of the Governor exempt themselves from laws to which the citizens are subject. The California legislature has exempted itself from “show good cause” provisions of concealed carry regulations. The effect is to disarm its citizens while the government remains armed.

WHEREAS, the California Legislature with the collusion and approval of the Governor has violated the public’s trust by unlawfully burdening our exercise of our Second Amendment rights. They have unlawfully enacted controls on interstate commerce to deny the citizens of California access to firearms and ammunition which are commonly and routinely purchased by the citizens of other states; and

WHEREAS, the Governor, the State’s Attorney General, and the legislature, as well as the governments of all of the large urban cities, have openly declared their full intention to fight and resist the Constitution of the United States in order to further the above mentioned acts.

THEREFORE, the representatives of the 23 Jefferson Counties, in general assembly and by unanimous consent, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name of, and by the authority of the people of the counties of Jefferson, solemnly publish and declare, that these the counties of Jefferson by right of Almighty God ought to be free of tyranny, free to seek our Liberty, and our fortunes as the sovereign state of Jefferson, equal to any other State in the Union. We petition the United States Government, to immediately declare that the State of California is engaged in insurrection and sedition, and further declare under Article 4, Section 3, U.S. that the Counties of Jefferson are now and by right the 51st State, separate and sovereign from the tyranny of California, now and forever.


Today the nearly month long dalliance with Summer-in-Winter that we’ve been enjoying got frosty. The Pacific high pressure zone parked overhead got nudged aside a bit, as an arctic blast swung down from Alaska to dust the Sierras with snow and the Western Slope with cold air.
At the Army-Navy surplus store I got a Carhartt furry-lined vest to stay warm while working outside — not that I am very inclined to work outside much when it is bitter cold, but sometimes these things can’t be avoided so it’s best to accommodate them in some degree of comfort.

Yesterday the weather was fine and digging went well, and as a means of avoiding the black mud sticking to the dumper-wagon I put down a layer of pine-needles in the bottom.

It worked! The loads slid out of the wagon easily, and I made four runs until I got the John Deere’s tires all loaded-up with muck and stuck under the pine tree. After a bit of digging out I got free and decided to call it a day and go hose the machine off. My back was also not too stressed and only required one ibuprofen.

Drain the Swamp!

Turns out it was a buried irrigation line, not electric. So I started pulling it up in one direction, then the other. It’s empty and just gurgles. Don’t know where it could possibly have been feeding-from, but I got about twenty-feet pulled-up before I decided not to risk my back further and turned my attention to the swamp and began to cut watery turf. Just me and my shovel.
After about an hour and a couple bottles of water, I had nearly doubled the size of the mud-pit and banked-up turf in various low-spots, as well as filling-in about half of the rocky brown-patch.
There’s a couple dumper-wagon loads of mud to take up and fill-in the old burn-pile ditch, but with this fine weather it’s hard not to just keep at it making hay while the sun shines.
It’s fun to see progress being made, bit by bit, but now I’d better throw a couple mosquito “dunks” into that mess where there’s standing water…

Digging Out Step-1

On Thursday amid the sustained good weather under this umbrella of a high-pressure zone, with bright skies and temps in the low 709’s, I went and fetched the shovel to do a little more digging. From one angle looking towards the fence, and then across the ditch to the other side towards the fence, with lens and Photoshop distortion. It was a good two-hour workout, and still more to do.

From one view you can see what might become an island, as the water percolating down out of the field runs around it. Instead of a really large “pond” area (dry in the summer, of course), that might be where I place the center of the bridge span, so the mower can get across.
Afterwards my Wranglers and t-shirt needed a little washing-up.

Also I discovered a black pipe running along the direction of the fence-line, about where the water drains into my neighbor’s cow-watering hole. I have no idea what-for, but it’s soft like irrigation drip-line, and that size. At some point it’s coming up and then we’ll find out what it is, and whether it might be/contain wiring for an electric fence? There’s nothing out there to water anyhow.


Started-in on the main rocky patch off crap-dirt where not much grows. In the summer when the rest of the grass is a foot high, this ten-foot square area is just a bumpy, scrubby, dust-bowl and the mower kicks-up rocks and dulls the blade. Kicking up rocks around here can also spark a fire, so leveling it out is another safety precaution.
There’s another similar-sized patch off to the left, but this one is close to the drainage cut I’m making, and anyhow there’s always more work to be done if you look for it! I wish there was a contraption I could pull behind the mower that would gather up rocks and gravel while leaving the nice soil behind, but I’m not aware of such a thing – even for a big tractor. If there was it might justify buying a tractor to do this job, but since there is not it’s just me and the shovel. When I finished with the shovel I spread a lawn-patch mixture of seed and fertilizer on it, in case I don’t get around to filling it with turf cut out of the drainage channel.
Up in the corner of the property, underneath the old pine tree and by the fence, is a kind of junk ditch that may have been the old burn pile. Anyhow that’s where the rocky crap-soil is destined. The small mower couldn’t make it up the hill because of the clearance, the slippery pine needles, and the scrub oaks, so the big John Deere (with locking differential) was called out. I made about six runs with the dumper wagon half-full (because of the weight), and there’s always more to do but at least it’s a start.
You can’t really see the wide ditch from the picture because of the combination of angles, hillside, and lighting, but it’s about as wide as the fresh dirt and rocks. Six half-loads was a pretty good job, but it’s all soft and there is room for more.
Rain possible today at 3:30, so maybe a bit more work is in order while I have the cool pleasure of an overcast day.
UPDATE: Got outside where the temperature has already peaked at 51 and dropping as the storm comes in bearing Sierra snow. I bent over to move some rocks by the fence and my back called-up to remind me of my current age and decrepitude. Between shoveling and bouncing around on the John Deere yesterday I probably should have worm my motocross kidney belt, but it doesn’t match the yellow and green color scheme. Anyhow there will be more time for more stuff after the rain blows through.

Playing in the mud

After the morning frost dissipated and the sun rose up high enough to make a good temperature difference – which was around 10:00AM – I put on my muck-boots and advanced into the wet pasture to begin channel-making.
At first I was just going to spray weed-killer on the Broadleaf Dock, the nasty-soupy carrot-rooted plant that infests and traps brackish water, then sends up a stalk of ten-thousand seeds to propagate itself – the stuff of which I had pulled-up over fifty bags last year. Meh.
The small channel that I had gouged with my boot-heel before the last rain was moving water off the field rather well, so I decided to go back and get the shovel and do some drainage improvements. Also the pre-emergent that I spread in the Fall combined with Scott’s turf-builder “Weed and Feed” meant that I had a lot of actual grass growing instead of just prairie-crap like the Dock (and Thistles and Sedge). Now I had/have an opportunity to cut out whole rooted grass chunks and build-up low-lying areas, so I began that too over by the fence line, carrying shovels-full of grass that dripped shovels-full of water at the same time.
Large patches are still pretty squishy where still-water is standing, and there is much more to do – but on a fine and mild day like this I had to make mud while the sun shined! Rain is forecast for tonight and part of tomorrow, then Tuesday is supposed to be clear before another storm blows in Wednesday.