Getting ‘round in the muck in spring.
Well not just spring, autumn and winter as well. Not even just autumn, winter and spring but the first and last months of summer. Okay, maybe that is a bit of exaggeration, but only barely.
It is hard living on soft soil at the head waters of a creek, with beavers for neighbors, in the lowlands of the Puget Sound basin and not have a lot of mud to contend with.
Especially in walkways that cross a run off from big fir and cedar trees.
Like this walkway. This is a common walkway, leading from the barn you see in the back ground out to the back pastures and the wood lot. It can get pretty heavy traffic at certain times of the year and always receives regular twice daily human traffic. The heaviest time is also one of the wettest times, lambing season. The picture above is what it would look like right about lambing time.
Something had to be done.
Last fall Dirt removed one of our extremely ailing fences, I built up the walkway and made a culvert that Dirt built a bridge over.
All along the walkway, up to the main service gate, I scraped all the manure-shaving-old hay-weed filled top layer off with the bucket of my tractor and leveled it a bit with a slope to the pond.
Then I brought rock in from a borrow pit out back, put a nice firm layer down, still sloping to the pond and then from a pond digging project in the Market Garden I hauled, dumped smashed down in the rock many many loads of clay. Smoothing and pushing down and smoothing and pushing down until driving over it with the tractor barely left any imprints.
Then Dirt put up a nice new fence. What an improvement.
The rain has poured, and not poured, and poured again. All free roaming animals were exiled from the area – including my old horse. The walkway has held up okay, not perfect by any means, as in: don’t do chores in pretty boots. But at least when we walk across here we don’t get a boot sucked off our foot.
There was a bit of a debate, as the rain sogged a bit into the pathway, what to surface it with before the heavy traffic of ewes and lambs began?
Bet and I have really always wanted to build a corduroy after reading Freckles, or was that Girl of Limberlost, one or both books spoke of a roadway into swampy logging areas using a corduroy of logs laid down across the road as a way of getting through the muck.
But as usual, we chickened out on the idea. No one really knew what to do, gravel seems so not right, hard to maintain with the manure that will eventually get there. Chips work but then when it is time to start again there is so much to remove. Ah, indecision strikes the Vick family again. And the rainy season was upon us. The water seemed to only cause surface slime. Lambing season has come and nearly went and it hasn’t been too bad not having anything down.
So on to other projects.