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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Oh hail the rain gods!

The oasis got an inch of rain this afternoon so the pressure is off for awhile. I still need rain in Aug or September or later to make it through until next rainy season, but I can look forward to dragonflies and butterflies this summer. Last summer the rain didn't come until mid-August and by then it was too late for a good dragonfly showing.

I wasn't really expecting a good rain. Maybe a little shower if lucky. So my little pump was down in the big tank. It's a chore to take it in and out. But I knew once it started pouring there was a possibility the arroyo would run and the tank might fill up. But I couldn't go into the tank to retrieve the pump in the pouring rain and lightning. I sat there patiently waiting for the rain to end. When it did I hurried into the tank and grabbed the pump. There was a window of about 3 minutes to do it in, as water was already overflowing the spillway when I went in.

The Western Soapberry thicket has to be very happy.

It seems when the first big rain of the year comes everything that can go wrong does. For starters I got stuck in the mud and had to walk to the house to call my sisters to help get me out. Then a connection that I needed to hook up in the lower dirt tank was suddenly too long and no way could I curve the line into place.* With the help of a strong man it could've been done. I cut the pipe that had been the right length last year but wasn't strong enough to get it in place. Finally got it angled in enough that I could put screws in it to hopefully hold it. By then I was so sore and exhausted, going on sheer will-power. The connection held and about 30 minutes before I was through pumping no water was coming through the line. Too fatigued and sick feeling to deal with it. Just turned off the pump. I've never had that happen before. Couldn't find a break in the line or debris blocking the inlet. But since there's just a foot of water left in the dirt tank, it's probably not enough to get the pump primed again. Will have to wait until the next rain to deal with it. I'm not too concerned with losing the water since it'll surely rain again this summer and I have plenty of water in the meantime.

If you're wondering why I didn't already have the connection hooked up, it's because I don't know ahead of time which hook up I'll need. One I need if both dirt tanks fill up and the other I need if only the upper tank fills. Had we known we were going to build two dirt tanks in the beginning it could have been plumbed better. Too late now. Most of the line is buried deep under the dike. Just gotta persevere and work with what I have.

* That 3" fast line is great stuff but it's notorious for getting longer or shorter, and when you bury it, it invariably works itself out of the ground. Other than that I love it and have lots of it. It was given to my late husband.


  1. Very glad to hear about the rain!!

  2. Good early Monsoon. I follow the Circle Ranch West Texas website. They have lots of kool ideas about structuring their land to capture and slow rain to a crawl and reversing dry areas to lush vegetative useful regions.


    Oddly enough they are right there in your neighborhood of Texas.