Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mother Nature Rules.

Mother nature certainly has the last say. Around here she keeps us on our toes. Last weekend we got 159 mls over 4 days most of it on 2 days.  Last night with the edge of Cyclone Wilma we got another 152 mls. That's a foot of rain in the last 10 days. I won't complain because north of us they really got hammered hard with landslips and  flooding. ( this is not of Australian proportions )
    On our property we have 2 usually small streams.( creeks ) They both have a large catchment area of the hills and the quarry park so when it rain hard as it did last night we know from bitter experience that we have to be on drain unblocking  ( culverts ) duty at first light.
 Sure enough first thing this morning water is running across block 1 kiwifruit block taking a detour from it's prescribed path. (This is the front creek. ) It drains into our property from the road and quarry above.
This is how it looked by 10 am after clearing. The water rushes down a concrete chute. Across the bottom is a metal grill to stop debris blocking the then underground waterway. It comes down this chute into a big round pipe, hits the side and takes a right hand turn into an underground piped waterway  which run underneath  the paddock and reemerges as a shallow creek which is piped under our driveway and then directly out of our property. It all used to be just an open stream but the erosion it was causing  made it unsafe to drive tractors or vehicle around this Kiwifruit block We had to threaten to sue the Local Council to get then to fix the erosion  and concrete the whole area. They did. Some years after that we then paid to have it all piped underground. ( we were scared a tractor would end up making the bank cave in ) Good move on our part.

This is the metal grill at the bottom of the concrete chute. It is to STOP Debris  ( branches, bark, small rocks,  old boots,  rubbish ) from the park behind us getting into and blocking the underground stream.

This is early this morning. The grill is partially blocked so the excess water starts coming across the paddock above  ground and under the kiwifruit to the right in this photo. It re enters the creek where ever it can.( anywhere around this garden area  or further down under the cherry trees.)

Here is R trying to unblock the grill. If it is a gentle flow the grill may be pulled upwards releasing anything in it . Here the water is too swift and dangerous.( there was swearing and of course when almost finished he got a gumboot full.)

This is looking down into the  big pipe when the grill ( top left )is still blocked.. This is where one would end up if the grill wasn't in place....... then you would be sucked under ground for about 75 metres. (certainly one would drown )

These are the flowering cherry trees beside the driveway. This shows water draining from the kiwifruit block and down a small drain under the driveway. Not the main drain.
This is why we have to listen to weather forecasts; heed warnings and NEVER leave our property without someone being in charge of drain unblocking if there is heavy rain. On my own I would struggle to cope but have done in the past. I know when to call for help of strong male friends. Neighbours are useless and cannot be left to mind it for us, because they are not generally speaking farmers or country folk who have some know how. ( townies )
Right that is the little story of the front small creek. Next post I will tell about the bigger back creek the one that used to flow into our dam ( pond, little lake ) before the landslide almost 2 years ago. 
I think orbweb spider might have drowned last night he is missing this morning.


Jennifer said...

Work on a farm is never-ending, isn't it? Although I have no farming background I have a lot of sympathy for those who grow our fruit and veg, and meat and grains.

Leanne said...

That does look a not nice task. Would be a worry if not kept cleared I am sure.
Love Leanne

julieQ said...

I feel so bad, watching all these floods...I certainly hope you and your farm remain safe.