Monday, January 19, 2009

Lake Marie

I took time from digging to give the dam a fine grading and try to flatten the top a little. I was wanting it to rain before I did this, but the rains have not come. My days are sliding together as all I do is focus on the pond. I really was not planning on taking off so much time this early in the year, but the weather is prime for a pond. A tree trimming company has been trimming limbs on the high lines. They came down our street while I was off. Every truck I saw and even the trimmer operator was flagged down by me to ask if they would trim the lines on my property. They trimmed a few, but I have more that they didn't bother with. The boomed trimmer on tracks is an awesome machine. The operator's compartment pivots with the boom, so the operator is always looking straight ahead. The boom itself can stretch up to about 70 feet. I have been hauling so much clay, I have been adding spoils to the pile at a level of about 12 feet. I have one big clay ramp leading up to the pile. I keep forgetting to stop and take a photo of my Mahindra on top of the pile. I am sure it would look awesome. With Christina's help, we surveyed the pond elevation and marked it all around the shoreline every 7 feet with orange paint. Then we lined up the the water hose level to level out and stake the position and elevation of the spillway pipe. It will be a 15 inch diameter culvert running under the dam and my driveway. I will use chicken wire over the inlet until I can get a steel grate made. This should keep the fish in if it floods and fills the pond to capacity.
I posted photos of the water hose level on A bunch of online friends stated the water hose level is a low cost way to find elevations of the pond. Erik, from Kansas asked if I wanted to use his laser level. He sent me a private message to ask for my address. He sent it prepaid by UPS. I tried it out this morning, when I got home from work, but the sun was way to bright. So I went to bed and after spreading topsoil around the pond this afternoon, I got the laser out and started playing with it and learning how to utilize it. I found the max waterline level to the gully (130 feet away) is right at 10 feet difference in elevation. So I now know I can drain the whole pond, if I want to buy and bury 130 feet of pipe. I was planning on a 6 inch drain, but with all the cost of pipe, it may have to be 4 inch pipe. The generous loaning of this laser level is one reason I like the tractor community so much. People bend over backwards to be friendly and lend a hand. Genuine friendliness, going beyond words of encouragement to help out in one way or another. It doesn't matter what color your tractor is either. You can tell you have their respect and attention when you post about some project you did and forget to include photos. That is when someone speaks out by posting...."This Thread Is Totally Worthless Without Pictures".
I went back to work after a week and a half of digging and working on my pond. It has been right at a month since I started my pond. In that one month our area is already behind in rainfall over 3 inches. I know the Lord is holding the rain until I get rye grass seed out and maybe until I get all the piping and valve in. But the first night back at work had me worried. I had been talking with Rebecca that morning. I was worried because she kept repeating herself and talking non stop. She was in the early stages of another bi-polar episode. The last one was way back in 2003 when she was in the first week of her freshman year at the University of Texas. Bless her heart, it caught us all unaware. As the reality set in, it devastated all of us. Luckily back then Rebecca was still on my health insurance. But now she is 23 years old and will hopefully be released from the hospital next week. She will be having weekly appointments with her Doctor that she has seen for the last five years. This Doctor's office visits are $140.00 each. So it looks like I will be forced to work some overtime. Which will cut into finishing the pond and getting seat time on my 6520.
So tomorrow, before I travel back to Austin to visit her, I plan on finish spreading the topsoil and packing it down, then spreading rye grass seed. I bought ten pounds of seed, so I should get enough grass growing to keep erosion in control until I can seed with Bermuda grass seed. We are forecast with rain for Sunday, so I pray it comes and helps the seed germinate. Wish me luck. No, say a few prayers for Rebecca. She will have a difficult time until she gets back on her own and not having one of us parents watching over her. It is very stressful for all of us in that respect. Pray for me that I will get tractor therapy when I need it. Stop back later to see how the grass grows here. Also, check out some of the new photos I uploaded here.
hugs, Brandi

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