The Adventures of TLC Cai-Cai on Friday —Step Two, Friday, April 22, 2022

Mom and Dad lift up all the siphon tubes out of the ditches, fork out all the trash

Before 7:00 in the morning, Dad calls the Uncompaghre Valley Water Users ditch rider.  Our ditch rider rides for the FN Lateral.  That is the canal from which we get the water that goes to our place.

Our headgate has its own number and everything.  And our farm, just like every farm within the Uncompaghre Valley Water Users area, has its own share of water.  This water was decided way back in 1902 — every farm gets its number of shares forever and ever and ever.  And that farmer (owner of the farm) must pay for the shares…they are not a freebie.  Just so you know, Mom and Dad say the cost of the water for each farm is more than the taxes on each farm.  Water is an expensive part of farming.

Once at the headgate he lifts up the dam stopping the water from going into our farm.

After Dad talks to the ditch rider, he heads up to the headgate, opens the dam the amount the ditch rider says he can have (yes, sometimes you don’t get the 100% you pay for, sometimes you only get a percentage—it all depends on the snowmelt.)

The amount of water Dad can have, leaves the canal and heads onto the place—at that point Mom and Dad scoop trash out the ditches, so the trash cleaners don’t get over-whelmed.

Then they move to the first field they are starting the water on.

This goes on from the first day in April when the headgate is first opened until the last day in September when Dad decides the crops are finished taking in water.

Twice or more times a day…

Mom and Dad go out, check the trash,

check the furrows to make sure they are not trashed up,

and move the water to the next furrows on and on and on.

Step Three will tell you more. In detail. I think.

TLC Cai-Cai

What We Have Been Doing, Part One, —- Thursday, April 22, 2021

We spent all day Monday…from 9:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening (after irrigation and before irrigation)

Moving dirt.

You see our canal water is so full of dirt that settling ponds have to be dug; allowed to have the water flow into the pond, and the dirt to settle out, then the pond is dug out in the Spring.

Not to waste the dirt, or let it blow away in the ever-present wind

We load and haul the dirt to different spots on our farm.  Putting the dirt back into the SOIL of the ground.

A long day sandwiched in between the other stuff.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,


Wee Post about Dams —- Wednesday, April 22, 2020

For those who are interested, and have asked to know more; to understand our irrigation system

This is a wee blog post about the dams…see those straight lines in the cement ditch.  Those are wedge-shaped dams…blocking up the murmuring water so the siphon tubes can be dipped into the water and quickly flung over the side (going downhill) to start sucking out the water and into the fields.

Terry does a complicated sort-of insert on some of the dams (see the one closest to us) half tipped up straight, one side down crooked.  This allows the water to fill up and spill over so the next set of tubes has enough water to siphon.

As you can see we haven’t set the tubes closest to us yet.  We are waiting for the water to fill back up to the ‘wet’ line.  Then we will set the tubes

Here is the very last dam…we are allowing the aggressive water to flow over in a mini-waterfall

so the next field can have enough water we can set tubes in it.  You can see the dam way, way down there.  It will stop the water and start it to back up and start filling up the cement ditch

Once it gets full enough (and before it spills over the side) we will set the siphon tubes. The cornfields require two tubes per furrow, skipping a furrow,

while in the alfalfa we set one tube in each and every furrow

Each furrow must have the top dug out by hand so the tube can set in the perfect little slot and the water rushing and tumbling down the furrows STAYS IN the FURROW it’s supposed to be in.

Here you see the result—goals accomplished—in one of the corn fields. Water making it all the way to end and subbing across so everything is nice and wet.  Once this ground dries out to the proper moisture…Terry will plant corn.

There you have it… a tiny wee blog post about dams (and water, and furrows, and siphon tubes); the heartbeat of farming in the high mountain desert of western Colorado :)!

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,





Listen to the Moon —- Monday, April 22, 2019

April’s full moon is the Pink Moon

And for a spell, it did look pink.

Friday evening the moon sang a song of light to the trees

It quickly rose as if a gust of wind was pushing it

Gradually it was free from the last branch flying high into the sky

But the most amazing thing about the moonlight, as it rose higher and higher, then through the living room window the shafts of moonlight sang a song; to which my heart cried out in wonder.

From my world to your heart,



Towers of Metal Against a Pale Sky of Blue—Sunday, April 22, 2018

We loaded lots and lots of stuff onto our trailer and headed up to Montrose where a company buys metal of all types

Bales it up and sends it….somewhere to be recycled into something else

I always find this yard fascinating. The amount of metal arriving and being baled is stunning.

Yet there is a symphony of work going on here

And amazing skill these operators of gigantic machines show

Here he is lifting off JUST the old air conditioner WITHOUT disturbing anything else on our trailer.—Amazing!

I stood outside (just like the men) and watched the movement of each and every piece of heavy equipment.  My eyes and mind filled with awe!

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,