Spring always results in a revisit of the land, traveling about to see the land anew. Water pouring along a ditch has everyone’s attention, so with shearing done and nothing immediately pressing, we take some time to tour. A beaver dam located along the edge of our pasture let loose and the resulting damage indicates the volume of water that the wetlands are holding this year.
|At the beaver dam the day after it let loose|
I am thankful there is a thick stand of grass residue to staunch the flow, and years worth of roots to hold together the earth underneath. The flow of water spreads out as it travels across the hay field rather than cutting a trench.
The water travels a mile before it reaches a terminal wetland in the corner of our pasture. This wetland has held runoff for the last three-four wet years we have had, not spilling its banks until this week. We were here the day before and it was still holding with a foot of rise to go before it spilled. We didn’t think it would but the next day we saw that we were mistaken. The water rose that foot and is pouring onward, now threatening the nearby roadway. I can not get the entire body of water in one photograph. (This is the same land I ride to with the dogs, where we were cut off on an earlier hike).
|Parcels of grassland are not accessible|
Over at Bill’s (Allen’s Dad) place the same situation is even more severe. Yep, another beaver dam let loose.
We are getting around fine with the Ranger and are fortunate to be in hilly country. The ewes have plenty of dry ground to travel on although they must be doubling the miles they would regularly cover just by way of going around all the extra full wetlands they encounter. They will be in good shape for lambing next month.