Water catchment: phase 4.9

26 07 2021

Do you suppose we’ll get to phase 5 soon!? … I think so. 🙂 Close. We’re SO close!

Those wily BLM’ers – Mike Jensen and new dad Daniel Chavez – hustled out to the basin without alert or fanfare last week and finished attaching the rest of the propanel sheets to the roof structure.

The last time I’d seen it, when Garth Nelson and Jim Cisco were out to attach the gutter and install three of four pipes, the roof covered half the structure. Because of rain in our forecast, they wanted to get the gutter installed so we could start catching SOME water.

Sure is shady under there! And think of that whole span of rain-catching marvelousness!

Just the end tank has to be piped, then the trough installed (the pipe to its destination is already in the ground) and the structure fenced to keep curious ponies from rubbing on tanks and posts and pawing at lids.

And what the heck is this, you ask?! It might be the strangest, most mind-bending pic I’ve ever posted on this blog. That’s a reflection – in WATER – of me gripping tightly my cellphone at the open lid on TOP of one of the water tanks. See it now? Even standing on the valve cover, I couldn’t quite see into the dark depths. Although I turned on the “flashlight” of my phone, I’m not sure it worked very well; you can see what you *can* see only by virtue of a little Photoshope lightening of shadows. But when I looked at my phone, I knew by the “white dot” – the reflection – that there was water TO reflect my phone and the lid and the metal roof above: I knew there was WATER. 🙂

Wow, wowza and zowie Marie. 🙂 That itself was worth a little dance (and it’s a good thing no ponies or humans were around to witness!).

And YES! We got our biggest rain to date later that evening. Perfect timing, guys. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Water catchment: phase 4.75

18 07 2021

Sooner than I thought it would happen, Garth Nelson emailed me early in the morning last week and said he and Jim Cisco were coming out to install the gutter across the front of the catchment structure!

They beat me to the basin, and this was happening when I got there!

The propanel roof sheets are just halfway across, but with rain in this past week’s forecast – for later in the week at the time – Garth decided that it was a priority to get the gutter in place.

The ends of the pipes supporting the whole structure had to be cut a bit to make room for the gutter pieces, which were built/formed/constructed by a local business in Cortez. The guys did NOT bring that cool battery-powered band saw with which they were all completely in love, so Jim (pictured) and Garth had to make do with the ol’ sawzall. It worked; it just took longer (and went through a few blades).

Level says perfect!

Garth put a couple of beads of caulk between each new section of gutter.

Jim and Garth drilled holes at intervals in order to then run long screws to attach the gutters to the steel purlins.

And these little metal cylinders (held by Garth) acted as spacers to keep the gutters a uniform width.

They had to cut the ends of each of the steel pipes (four) to enable the gutter to be flush to the purlins.

And then with their great and amazing strength, they were able to break off the ends. 🙂

In no time (it seemed to me), they were down (up!) to the last gutter piece!

When the gutter pieces were attached all along the front of the catchment, it was time to install the pipes from the gutter to the tanks. Holes had to be drilled above each tank to put the pieces in the gutter to attach the pipes.

A little vertical …

… and a little horizontal! (These pieces actually slope a bit. :))

And it looked like this! These are the first two tanks, piped. Jim is tightening the fitting in the bottom of the gutter.

Here are three of the four tanks piped, and you can see the valve-culvert lids in place.

Then … things got really exciting. Jim drove out to the basin in his weed-spraying rig, which has the 200-gallon water tank on it. When the gutter was in place and the pipes were installed, he pulled up alongside the eastern end of the structure and started pumping water up to the top of the roof.

And this happened:

And you know what I did: I bawled like a happy baby. 🙂

Garth marked a few places that were leaking, to be recaulked.

Overall, it worked well, and I WISH that I could attach a recording of the SOUND of water trickling through the pipes and swirling into the tanks.

This all happened Monday, and early, early Wednesday morning, it rained. Again Wednesday night, it rained. 🙂

Now, we just have to finish the installation of the propanel sheets across the rest of the roof, pipe the fourth tank and install the trough (I think). Our very big project is very nearly complete!





Mohawk’d mudder

17 07 2021

Kwana was still damp from an early morning rain a few days ago when I found him and his band among the trees.

He might be experiencing a bit of humidity frizz. 🙂





Special update

14 07 2021

This screen capture from my Kindle showing the rain all over our wonderful (and parched) Southwest Colorado region stands alone and is worthy in itself of relief and rejoicing. 🙂 But, even as the post immediately below this one claimed to be updated as to the new catchment project, as of Monday afternoon (I drafted and scheduled it on Sunday), it was already outdated again. 🙂

So – spoiler alert – Garth Nelson and Jim Cisco came Monday and installed the gutter pieces all across the front of the new catchment and installed pipes to three of the four tanks, AND tested it with 200 gallons of water pumped up and sprayed over the roof (which now covers more than half the structure). Daniel Chavez and his wife, Destiny, had their baby (!), and Mike Jensen is engaged in less interesting but also important office work, and Garth wanted to get the gutter in place to start catching water and storing it before he heads north for a couple of weeks on a fire detail. … !!! Can you say perfect timing?!

So this morning, when I awoke to the musical and wonderful and what-the-heck-is-that-strange-noise sound of rain on my firewood box roof (also propanel, interestingly enough), I. Was. STOKED! 🙂 I’ve already cried to see the water flowing into the gutter from the water Garth and Jim sprayed up on the roof – and you’ll see it, too, when I can get the post composed – and this … well, let me just say there might have been some more moisture this morning, flowing inside the house. 🙂

Huge thanks again to all our BLM folks, for the roles they’ve played in every step of this process … to catch rainwater for our mustangs. 🙂 And thanks, of course, to Mother Nature, for the RAIN. Such a blessed relief!

(P.S. Spring Creek Basin is a bit eastish of the pin in the map above. And at 7:38 a.m. Colorado time, the sprinkles are only now slowing. It’s been raining since well before light.)





We. Have. PONDS!

31 08 2020

Storm helps illustrate the fact that at least three ponds in Spring Creek Basin now have water for the first time in months (and months and months). A very small portion of the pond behind him is reflecting the fiery sky, but the pond is much larger than that little reflection point.

Saturday’s drenching didn’t cover all of Spring Creek Basin, but it hit a good portion of the eastern region, from the east pocket in the north to the southern tip.

At least four bands are taking advantage of two of the ponds, and I’m pretty sure a fourth pond also has water. … I ran out of time to hike back to check it because I was having too much fun hanging out with ponies – and that was before the giant, heart-leaping thrill when I saw the first of the three ponds with water. (I might have yelled and screamed and hollered really, really loudly.)

Thanks to all for your hopes, prayers, wishes and dances! 🙂





Rain, actually

30 08 2020

By the time I took this pic of lovely Chipeta, in the southern part of Spring Creek Basin, we were stomping through soupy mud (!). Another wave had briefly washed over us … and yet another little wave was on its way. Even the littlest arroyos were running – RUNNING – with actual, honest-to-goodness (and very muddy) WATER.

When I got back to lower Disappointment Valley on the road, the road and ground along it was dry. When I drove around and into the western part of the basin, my Jeep was leaving yet another trail of dreaded dust.

I’m not even kidding.

But at least part of the basin got rain, which seems to have been a bit of a toad gagger. 🙂





Comin’ c’mon!

29 08 2020

The rain was coming.

C’mon, rain!





The green that cures

24 08 2020

It’s not even lying (much!)! We’ll take any little dribble.





Green = good

22 07 2020

That looks lovely, right?! That’s nearly all of San Miguel County – McKenna Peak is outside the basin’s eastern boundary – under wonderful green, which in radar terms, of course, means RAIN.

Except that it wasn’t actually raining when I took this screenshot (around quarter after 8 a.m.). The heavens had leaked a little a little while earlier, but someone fixed (!) the leak. (Note to someone: We’re really OK with that kind of leak … and it could rip right open … really!)

We are so hopeful, and we need it BADLY – GOODLY? … We need the goodness of it in a really bad way ’cause it’s really kinda bad dry out there.





Gold from the sky

12 05 2020

051120rainbowoverFillyPeak1

We did get some sprinkles yesterday in a couple of light waves, mostly in the evening.

It’s all welcome, and we’re grateful for even the smallest amount of moisture.