Back on the Land—Wednesday, October 2, 2019

(From Pinterest—Julianna Creations Etsy)

We started the water on the alfalfa fields yesterday morning

It felt good to be back out on the land, picking up siphon tubes, setting dams, digging out rows

We’ve had a

tremendous amount of wind the last several days, which also brings with it trash from the harvested pinto bean fields

It truly feels good to be walking, lifting, shoveling, moving, smelling the water as it makes its way down the rows in the field, instead of an echo remembered

All of us were rejoicing/singing as we did our work.

The renters left the fields in good shape.  No complaints there.

Still, it’s okay to send round and tell the neighbors, we are Back on the Land!

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

 

Returned—-Sunday, September 22, 2019

“After reading a good book I have a hard time coping with reality.” Unknown

Early in the morning, Stephan, one of the kids renting the farm, stopped and came in for a visit

He wanted to let us know that the alfalfa fields were ours once more.  Their contract for three cuttings had finished.

So, as the sun warmed the day, and before the winds generously swept across the farm

Terry and I went out to start the irrigation water in the fields.  It is not good to have the alfalfa go into winter dry.  Nor, does Terry try to get a fourth cutting.

This allows fields to put on nice growth.  After which the cows will have grazing and the plants will be healthy come Spring.  Not stressed.

We were pleasantly surprised that Stephan picked up all the siphon tubes in the pinto bean field, readying those fields for harvest, protecting the tubes, and helping us get the farm ready for winter.

Stephan also picked up his tubes so Terry and I had to jocky some around to begin the water in the alfalfa fields.

It was a lovely surprise those gathered siphon tubes. They returned the land as they found it.

Terry and I commented to each other; that it felt really nice to be back out on the land.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

 

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

The heartbeat of a farm is

Water

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,

Linda

 

The Adventures of Boomer on Friday— A Routine Day on the Farm

Mom hollered at me saying: “It’s your turn to write, Boomer.  Today is Friday.”  Then she walked upstairs to turn on the computer.  As soon as I heard her voice I had already scrambled up from my dead sleep ready for action.

I wagged my tail and bounced up the stairs beating her by three steps!  I might be 10 ½, but I’m still fast!

Tee Hee

I waited with Mom while the computer turned on and warmed up.  Then I had to sit down for a spell, because Mom wanted to check out the news and a few things.

“Be thinking about what you want to say, Boom.  I’ll look at the a few blogs, then when you are ready the computer is yours.”

I sat there watching her move the mouse around, click a few things…stop and stare at the screen…I guess I’ll just lay down here and put my head on my paws; looks like she is going to take forever!

Geez, my eye lids are getting heav…y…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

“Okay, Boomer, your turn,” mom announced as she got up from the computer chair.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmph!  Znort! HUH!?  Oh, My turn.

Let’s see-what was I dreaming thinking about?  Oh Yes! What we did yesterday.  Yesterday was a typical day.  A day just like any other day. I like days like that they are FUN!

Done

Mom and I took the finished siphon tubes out to the dirt ditch at the pinto bean field.

Water-and-Corn

We irrigated the corn and the pinto bean field.  We are watering the BIG corn field now…it takes a week to get across to get all the rows wet…I explored while my folks worked.  Sadly I found out that one of the porcupines died over on the sagebrush hill.  It’s always sad when something like that happens.  Mom and Dad had a wee flood from the large cornfield into the little corn field…they were scrambling pretty fast to get the water back into the big corn field’s cement ditch.  I thought it was pretty neat since several mice had to scamper very quickly away from the water.  I didn’t chase them, but I did give some of them a couple of good sniffs.

Then Mom loaded me up…I don’t jump up any more, ever since I tore my knee Mom lifts me up and takes me down.  My knee is better but she doesn’t want “another hurt knee”.

Bloom

Then we moseyed on down past the alfalfa field … Dad says he will cut hay next Wednesday; it’s starting to bloom. To the pinto bean field.  Mom told me to stay that this wasn’t going to take long.

It didn’t…22 set siphon tubes later and we were back on the 4-wheeler heading home. HUH!?  Not home!

Grass

We were going to the Rocky Hill…Dad’s favorite spot on the farm.  Then we rode through the pasture between the Rocky Hill and the Coyote Hill…it’s a good thing I was on the 4-wheeler the grass was over our heads!

We saw three doe deer…Mom told me today she and I are going out to put corn on the ground so the deer won’t eat the new baby corn plants.  COOL!

After that we headed home.   See. Not much happening.  But it sure is fun.

Waiting

Boomer, the Beagle

Moving Forward—Thursday, June 4, 2015

StartWe’ve been making siphon tubes.  Seems like this is something we must do every year.  Although the pvc pipe is really sturdy, it does wear out…cracking or splitting, even just plain breaking off at the end.

Oven

We first heat up a PVC pipe, which has been cut to length, in our handy-dandy oven.  It’s my job to turn the tubes until the heat softens them.

Making-T-done

Once soften (they fall down in the oven all warm and pliable), Terry  picks them up quickly and puts them in his hand made siphon tube form.  I showed you this same photo last Friday…Boomer watching.  He is never sure if he should just watch or if we have something for him to do. 🙂

Over and over again we heat, shape and stack. Then when cool and hard  we take them out to the fields…new tubes YAY!  No more packing tubes from one set to another—just pick up a tube, fill with water, set down and done!

We have 30 more to go.  Since we are doing this for ourselves we work at it off and on; a little today maybe some more in a couple of days.  The last set of 30 is sitting out there waiting for us.  Once we get those done we will have all we need for the rest of the farming season.

12The weather is still nice and hot with a rather strong wind in the afternoons, but the weather people are saying this is about to change.  A cold front with heavy moisture is to hit the Four-Corners area this evening then head our way by the week end.  That’s okay…a little cool down is good for the plants and for ME!  🙂

The cold front will be fast moving (unless it stalls) so we should be able to cut the alfalfa next Wednesday.  That’s the plan anyway.

Have a good one everyone…I’m off to mow the lawn!

Your friend on a Western Colorado Farm,

Linda

The Adventures of Boomer on Friday— A Week in the Life of ME!

We have the little kids here, well, really we have Tally; Blade comes off and on.  Then this week-end Hank Puff and his Mom and Dad return and switch kids with us; we will then have Linkin.

Still I thought you would like seeing how my week has gone:

Beagle-Smiles

  • off to work with Dad

Making-T-done

  • making siphon tubes with Mom and Dad

Shovels

  • helping Mom irrigate…

Smells-!

I really don’t irrigate, Fuzzy did, but not I—I am the gatherer of news!

Vrrooom

  • riding with Mom and Tally on the back of the 4-wheeler to GO irrigate

Sniff

  • checking out who has been walking on the roads on the farm

Off-We-Go

  • heading into town, now and again

Then the hard part—

Waiting!

Waiting for someone to come out and play or waiting to be let in the house to sleep, or waiting to go to work

Waiting

Waiting.

Boomer the Beagle

 

The Adventures of Fuzzy and Boomer on Friday — For One Day Only

Last week we had a huge ice storm, then Mom and Dad LEFT!!!

Mom talked to both of us and told us they were going on a little trip, they would be gone three days and two nights, but they WOULD BE BACK!!!

Then she petted us and gave us kisses on the nose and really nice back scratches and asked us to do a good job of taking care of everything while they were gone.

We gave Mom lots of kisses on her hand and arm and said we would.

Three

It was a LONG TIME UNTIL THEY GOT BACK!

Three days is FOREVER!!!!!

Yes, Shannon came up and took us for walks with the our dog cousins, and Misty and the little kids came over and checked on us….

BUT IT JUST WASN’T THE BEST…………..

We needed Mom and Dad!

Then they were here!  Yippee!  Boomer laid all over Dad’s feet and I laid right by Mom’s chair until bedtime, then we both slept in the bedroom with OUR PEOPLE!

While they were gone we had another ‘gully-washer’ so none of us could go out and start putting the farm to bed.

Picking-up-tubes

Gradually the days dried out and then on the warmest day ever (and I do mean HOT) Mom and Boomer and I and DAD all went out to gather in the siphon tubes

Going-to-bed-!

and the roll-out ditches and to pick up all the orange dams.  Then we got the metal dams and stored them also.

Corn-on-the

Dad checked the corn out…still to moist, maybe by Halloween the harvest will start.

Five

Boomer checked out all the raccoon poop and foot prints.

Fuzzy-hot

Me?

MY-FUZ

I stayed with Mom. I always stay right with Mom wherever she is ALWAYS!

That’s my job!

Taking care of Mom!

Hot

It sure was HOT!  Whew!  After all the cold we’ve been having to have a normal temperature day was rather, well…WARM!

Coming back home we all trouped into the house—first Mom, then Boomer and then me.

Watched-pot

Monkey at her normal spot

Then Dad came in and made lots of noise, he dropped something I don’t know what….and

Monkey and the clock

 

SCARED MONKEY!!!

Tee Hee …we all laughed out-loud!

She didn’t think it was funny!

HAHAHAHAH

BUT WE DID!!!

Two

Sure was a good day!

Fuzzy

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The the ‘next impossible happen’!  Terry and I took off a Friday, Friday night and half of Saturday while Misty and Bladen irrigated for us.

Blade is 11 now and getting pretty good at sitting siphon tubes.  Misty is as good as Terry….hold one end of the tube shut with one hand, pump the water into the tube (while walking) and then sit the tube down quickly so the water flows out.  Blade is determined to do it ‘like Mom and Grandpa’.  His hand isn’t quiet large enough to close off the end of the tube but he works at it.  He stands up and then pumps the water into the tube and then put the tube down quickly…sometimes he has enough pressure and sometimes not.  BUT HE IS DETERMINED to do it like the experts….not Grammy :)!

I have to stop walking, bend down and cover the end with my hand, pump the water into the tube and then put in the row.  Sometimes I can’t get a good enough seal so I submerge the tube in the water, cover the end with my hand and then put the tube in the row.  I’m slower (which is why Blade doesn’t want to do it my way) but it works.

But back to Friday…after all the chores were done and the wind started picking up Terry said lets head up to Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado for the night.  Way back in January Kelly and Misty gave us a over-night stay at the Hot Sulpur Springs  Resort and Spa.  We called them, they had room on Friday only…the Memorial Day holiday had them full from Saturday through the rest of the week.

Misty said go…so we did.

We took the long way around (6 hours) through Craig, Steamboat Springs, down to Hot Sulpher Springs.  Then coming back we went through pass to State Bridge and into Edwards on 170 (4 hours)

We were exhausted and water logged…they have 24 hot soaking pools…met some really nice people…and enjoyed ourselves very much.

Linkin did a great job of taking care of the animals and the chickens here (she will be 9 in two weeks).  I do believe it was a good experience for everyone involved.

Seven

I will get around to visiting all of you , who have stopped by today and tomorrow.

I hope you  a really nice Memorial Day!

Linda

Last Day of April

We had 84* yesterday…unheard of for April…that is more like July temps.  By this evening a storm will be here (complete with 40 m.p.h. gusts of wind) and rain showers.  It must be a fast moving storm as by Thursday we will be calm and settled once more.

The other thing with the storm is the temperatures are supposed to drop into the low 60s* and freeze.

We will see freezes from now until the snow is melted off  the point on Grand Mesa….

Any who…I sure am enjoying all of this…the little Robin’s are waking up right after me and singing the day awake –I hear their cheerful little songs starting around 5:15.  Lifts my heart up!

Planting-Corn

Terry is planting corn, in five days he will harrow the rows down so the little stalks can come through, then he will mark it back out and we will start water on it again.  We have to be careful on when to start the water back up, if the seed is in one certain stage and you put water on it  the seed will die and rot away.

Timing is everything.

Walking-water

We go out early, early and irrigate.  We are in a field that has extremely long rows (think half a mile) which requires us to walk the water through…meaning we have to make sure the trash doesn’t plug up the furrow causing the ground to sub over before the water makes it to the end of the row.

We start the tubes and then start walking the water.

Trash

We are doing this three times a day, early light, 1 p.m. and then at 7:00 in the evening.

Cleaning-the-head-gate

As time consuming and tedious this is I actually enjoy it.  Which is a good thing, because I do most of this while Terry goes to the head gate (I’m rather afraid of the head gate) and cleans trash along the way.

Works out for both of us!

Sunset-1

Have a lovely end of April day…tomorrow we will start MAY!

Linda

Step 7- Starting the Irrigation Water

utah-wind

Before we could begin a big wind storm from Utah hit our area bringing with it 45-60 mile an hour wind.   

Step 7 has many, many parts to it:

1.     Call the ditch rider so the water can be turned into your head gate.  This is the amount of water you are allotted per season.  You can NEVER go over this amount, but they can cut you short of your amount because of drought.  You still pay the same, whether you get your full amount or not  (and water here, costs more than the taxes on the farm.)

2.     Gather up all the siphon tubes and lay them out in the correct pattern

picking-up-tubes

 

 3.    Turn the water down the main ditch artery for our place- once it is turned into this ditch, that ditch will always have water in it until the end of the growing season.

4.     Although we cleaned the ditch (by hand-called digging out the ditch) the really messy wind had filled it back up with trash

cleaning-the-ditch1

5.     Set the tubes.  This requires a siphon like action.  I have to put the tubes in the ditch, cover up one end and then hurry and spill it over the side. 

Terry just walks along and covers one hand over the end, pumps two times and drops the tube in the furrow.  I take forever; he is done in a short time.  THEREFORE I set the tubes in the furrow, while he siphons the water into the furrows. We try to have enough tubes that once they are set we don’t have to pack them again. But every year we have to replace tubes as they wear out or get broke.  Some years we just pack the tubes as that is a cheaper way to go. 

Depending on the field there are about 30-40 tubes per field.  It also depends on the amount of water in the ditch.  Sometimes we double tube, but that is later on in the season.

setting-tubes

 

6.     The water is moved after the proper amount of ‘subbing’ has taken place.  And the water has made it to the end of the field.  Usually about a 12 hour set.  But when water is short it is moved every 8 hours, day and night to get it through all the crops.

wind-in-fuzzys-fur1

Fuzzy loves to help, he spends lots of time barking at bubbles, trying to catch sticks and sometimes jumping in and wading. 

 

7.     The irrigator has to follow the water down each row, making sure it doesn’t plug up, sink in a hole, cut over into another row until it gets to the end of the row.  5 acres is a job, 30 acres a pain, and 50 acres horribly hard.  We farm 80+ acres.  The water only has to be walked if the leveling job is not good (that’s why I say it is an art form).   Then we only have to walk until the row is imprinted with the memory of the water, after that it is sealed.  BUT….once Terry cultivates we have to start over again.  Then when the crops get too big to get the tractor through the field the water just has to make what way it can, hopefully the imprint is firm and we don’t have to worry.

Maybe you can see the subbing taking place in the below photo.

 

water-in-the-furrows

There is more, but this gets the water started for the season.