We Start the Water — Wednesday, April 7, 2021

We had to put out all the siphon tubes

Which was a big, big, back-bending job

Some neighbor up the road a-ways was burning off a field. Scary.

Then it was time to open the headgate.  See that little long chute-like box with the little waterfall.  That is the headgate to our farm.  This is where the water is taken out of the FN Lateral Canal (just our amount) flows into the headgate, where there is a tin dam stopping or letting the water through the long box going off toward the edge of the photo.

That is our allotted water.  The water is measured and monitored by the Uncompahgre Valley Water Ditch Rider assigned to whatever ditch.

Water is expensive, much more so than the taxes for the farm—and it is precious.

This is our fork to clean out the trash which collects in the headgate.


Once we turn the water onto the farm, we have to clean out the trash in the ditches.

The easiest way is to let the water push it into a pile, then take your pitchfork and lift it up and over the side.

We do this all the way through all the cement and

dirt ditches until we get to the end of the farm, where (then) the water flows back into the canal.  Cleaned of trash; moving toward the next farm.

Terry takes the first stand and I take the second stand.  In other words, Terry lifts the most and I pick up the trash that gets away from him as he is flipping the big wad out.

Then back we go to the Upper End, where we cleaned and planted a new pasture.  Here is where we started the first of the irrgation.

Then (as the pastures water started flowing back into the transfer ditch, we laid out the siphon tubes in the Middle Field.

Once the water got to the Middle Field Terry put in dams and we set the tubes

Water!  Gurgling and flowing, shimmering across one of the alfalfa fields.

A whole long day of hard work, but a perfect result!

Thirsty ground, happy plants.


The water will be changed twice a day—just as the sun comes up in the morning and then in the evening before the darkness descends.

Every day from now on out.  And if we have our water cut (which they might) then we change it even more…sometimes even in the night.

I suppose some would say it’s a hard life, but honestly, Terry and I love it.

But you know that, don’t you? 🙂

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,





We Started Getting Ready to Start the Water onto the Farm — Tuesday, April 6, 2021

“Agriculture is the greatest and fundamentally the most important of our industries. Cities are but branches of the tree of National Life, the roots of which go deep into the land. We all flourish or decline with the farmer.”–Bernard Baruch

Terry made the ditches Saturday for the whole farm.

Then we worked on the new section of ditch, which will hold gated pipe.

It took some doing,

But we ‘got’er done’, as my Daddy would have said.

Lots of leveling, lifting, and pushing together.

Whew!  Long day, but it felt good to have everything in place.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,



In the Bright Sunlight of a Beautiful April Day — Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The heartbeat of a farm is


You can ready the ground, plant the seeds, fertilize, manage the weeds

But without water, nothing will happen

Although, we do get rain, in our high mountain desert region the amount of rain we get only sinks in about the width of a shadow

So yesterday in the gentle morning sunlight

The siphon tubes were gathered across each and every ditch, laid along the side with the orange dams and the mental dams; water was started into the pastures at the Upper End, the old Apricot Tree, and the horses’ pastures.

The water gurgling and glittering making tiny splashing noises as it rushed in a small wind to give life to seeds and a drink to thirsty little plants.

Thankfully, but late evening my computer was back in working shape.

Yesterday turned out to be a very good day!

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,



Winter Blowing Chilly Through the Land—-Tuesday, April, 3, 2018

Winter blew in over-night last night.  It’s cold here today.

Our fine spring days washed out in a tide of a swift moving cold front

The wind is sharp enough I have started the wood stove again…

Still no water.  We are getting far behind (but no water in this wind is actually a blessing–just saying 🙂  )  Some of the farmers are finishing up their second round of irrigation and starting on their third…we are still waiting.   Maybe Thursday, now.  Who knows.

Whatever it is we will just have to wait until it comes.  There is no other way around it.


Today I will get some more things ready in the yard…AND… I have help!  Terry is bored so he said he would help me!

Now THAT is a good thing!

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,


The Growing Season has Begun!—Tuesday, April, 2017

We got the ditches all cleaned and then

Turned in the water!

We started small…20 tubes, so we could manage the setting and the digging out of the ends

Gradually we added more water, more rows, and more tubes

Nothing like the smell of the dry earth, as the water soaks into it.

Terry dug out the ends and I started the tubes. In a wee break I stopped and looked at Terry, who had a huge grin on his face.

“You are sure happy” I commented.

“Yes!” he replied.  “Being out here, doing this, makes me happy!”

“Me thinks”, I smiled at him….”You love being a farmer.”

“I think so too.” he stated.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,




The Adventures of Boomer on Friday—Out on the Ditch Bank



Mom had to go help Dad over at the other place.  She went on the tractor so I didn’t get to go!  😦

Mom and Dad won’t let me run alongside either, they say I’m too old (I’m eleven now) and it would be way too long of a run so I get—“No, Boomer!  NO!  You stay here”!  Then Mom gives me a hug and a very stern look and off she goes.

BUT!  I always meet Mom when she comes home!  ALWAYS!  I meet Dad, also, but I don’t run down the road as far. 🙂

The fox are coming into the yard.  One had Sammy cornered.  Mom heard the racket and came running out of the house just in time to see the fox and Sammy in a standoff at the grain ben.  I chased the fox all the way to the upper end.  Whew!  Boy was I ever hot and tired when I got back.  Mom gave me a big bowl of cold water and a dog cookie.  I gobbled up the water and the cookie and took a Loooong nap.  I sure needed it.  (I might be old(er), but I can still do my job!)


Last night we scared Momma Deer and her Princess out of the corn field when we went up to change the water.  (Dad was a little disgusted, but at the same time we ALL liked seeing the little baby!)  Mom told me that today we will just take up more of the shelled corn and put it closer to where the deer are bedding down.


Everyone had a big laugh when I chased a mouse out of one of the siphon tubes.  It ran toward me and I sorta jumped.  BUT!!! No one jumped as much as Mom did when she put a siphon tube into the water and a vole rushed out of the end of the tube and over her hand!

Mom didn’t scream but she sure did lose the siphon tube in the ditch and run backwards for a short spell!!! 🙂

Early this morning we were just stirring around when the fox came back INTO THE yard and ran right by the kitchen window.  Monkey started growling low in her voice, Sam jumped up on the window sill, Mom and I hurried out the back door and Mom said “Get!” to the fox.  Which it did.

I didn’t chase the fox this time, he/she was going so fast there was no reason to give chase.


Well, there is my week. Doesn’t seem like much, but it sure is fun!

Listen—Sunday, June 28, 2015

Set-4The heat is ferocious–late July and early August heat.  Bearing down and smashing one into the ground.  Still I’ll take it any day over the long, dark, cold, and dreary days of winter.


Scotch-BluebonnetsYears ago I saw these beautiful flowers growing in my Mother-in-law’s yard.  She was ripping them out and tossing them in the trash heap.

“Oh, what are those beautiful plants”?  I asked her.

“Scotch Bluebonnets”, she replied.  “You don’t want them, they spread like weeds.”

“Oh, but I do! May I have a couple of shovel fulls to plant in me yard?”  I replied with shinning eyes!

“Honestly you will NOT want these things” she said in disgust,  as she put two shovel full of starts in a cardboard box for me.

I hugged the box to my chest and placed it very carefully in the trunk of the car.  “Thank you!” I cried.  “I’m sure I will love them.”

“Don’t thank me”, she very tiredly replied.  “I guarantee you will not like them, in the long run.”

I can assure you, many, many, years later…SHE WAS RIGHT!  I do NOT want these invasive weeds masquerading as flowers.  Horrid plants!  Just HORRID!  They are everywhere in my yard, in the grass on the lawn, in every flowerbed, along side the ditches—-ugh!

The-end-of-the-dayEvery morning the earth, the sky, and the air seem so fresh and alive. If one stands still surrounded by the chirps and chitters of all the birds; stands outside and is very still.  Still in the mind, not just the body, still so your soul can hear—the voice of the earth will speak loud and clear.

It seems that the rocks and the trees and even the soil underneath your feet is waking refreshed and eager to start the day.


As the day ends and night creeps along our mesa; lengthening it’s way toward the west;  I can sometimes feel the sweet song of bedtime flowing down deep within the earth.

Today is Sunday. Today we only do those things that MUST be done…today we rest and enjoy the fruits of the past week, preparing for the new week.

I hope each and everyone of you have a good Sunday, my friends!

Your friend on a western Colorado Farm



Sunday, April 7, 2013

The water fights have begun…not with the farmers but the subdivision people and the ditch company.  I am so thankful I am not a ditch rider (although, there was a time I would have enjoyed being a ditch rider.)

So many people don’t understand what ‘priority rights’ mean—nor do they want too.  They also don’t understand that the water levels are way, way, way below normal in Taylor and Blue Mesa Reservoir.  Drinking water and farm water comes first.

Sort of sad really.

The water is still three miles from us.  It will be that way until sometime next week.  There are so many canals, laterals, and ditches that have to be cleaned and flushed before the water gets to us — we are close to last on our mesa before the water heads into the river.

Since the water is not as close as we thought we have been able to slow down the pace some and get caught up.  A nice little gift of time.

Terry is calling Monday to see when they think the water will get here.  Once it’s here and the head gate is unlocked (and locked back at 50%) we will hit the ground running.


Nothing like the life of a cat, is there?


Water—-The Lifeblood of Life

We received notice yesterday by the Ditch Company that the irrigation water is to be shut off early this year and (depending on the snow levels over winter) to start later next year.

Although, we have turned our water off, there are those who have planted winter wheat and also those who have just cut their hay and will need to water the alfalfa field one more time before going into winter.

“Due to drought conditions and the heavy usage of stored water this summer, the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association –UVWUA- will be shutting the Gunnison Tunnel off two and a half weeks early this year. The shut-off date will be October 15th. This decision has been made to conserve Taylor Reservoir water for next year. Growers planting winter grains should plan accordingly. Pending the type of winter we have this year, there is a possibility water will be turned on later than normal next spring.  For questions or comments call the UVWUA.”


You are looking upon our head gate for the irrigation water to our place.  Our share of this canal (the Ironstone) is taken out at this point.  It goes back in at the end of our farm.

We were watching the Rural Farm News (yes, we do things like that) and the report on there was this drought is the largest drought in years, and years, and years, encompassing most of the United States clear into Canada.

As much as I dislike snow and ice and the dark and cold of winter….I’m sure there isn’t a person out there that doesn’t want a lot of moisture this winter.

Finger crossed and toes crossed for moisture for drought stricken regions everywhere!!!!



We were lucky, the weather held until we got the hay in.  Terry stacked it in a whole other spot so it won’t get mixed up in the really good hay. 

Since we only had the irrigation to do and Terry needed a part for one of the tractors we took off for Rocky Ford, Colorado.  (The home of the wonderful cantalope—–and great tractor and combine salvage yards).

Blue Mesa Dam was beautiful

This is where we get our irrigation water, so seeing if full is wonderful!

It was fuller than we’ve seen in a long, long time.

The shopping center was full of all sorts of goodies

So much to chose from

In the end the perfect part was there.  And for a really nice price.

Home again.

Along the way I was given  a gift also

Pretty Cool.

We got back to a couple of really big, fast moving rain storms.  Everything is rich and green, including the weeds.

So I guess you know what I’ll be doing today. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments.  I plan on getting around to everyone’s blog soon and hope to get all my comments answered today!


Anniversary of Delta County 1883-1958- The Fair