Water catchment 2: Phase 1, day 2

15 06 2022

We had a huge relief from the smoke yesterday, and the gale-force winds dropped to merely breezes … which gave the gnats license to descend. (Note Mike’s hand at his neck, below his ear. Gnats are no joke, folks, and they are out. I highly recommend head nets.)

Daniel had to help his wife with their sick baby, so Garth brought out two more water tanks, and Mike and I delivered two more that Garth had brought a week ago to a site nearby for easier transport (the flatbed carries two at a time). They’ll bring the fifth today. This year, the catchment will be built with five 2,500-gallon tanks, compared with the four 3,500-gallon tanks we used last year. These are a bit thicker-walled, and they’re shorter (8 feet tall compared with 10 feet tall), meaning the hole for them doesn’t have to be as deep.

In the pic above, Garth is checking for uniform depth across the bottom of the hole with a laser level so the tanks will have a level base. As before, the tanks, with a roof to be built over their tops, are on high ground, and water will run downhill with gravity to the trough, to be maintained with a float.

Note Mike, still brushing at gnats. 🙂 This time, Garth dug one big hole to accommodate both the tanks and the plumbing (instead of doing one hole for the tanks and then a parallel trench for the pipe to connect the pipes from each tank, as they did for the first catchment of this design, last year). Again, the tanks will be buried about half deep to prevent the water inside from freezing during the winter months.

This catchment is in the far northwestern corner of Spring Creek Basin, which boasts a tremendous and far-reaching view.

Digging and leveling and digging and leveling were the big missions of the day.

For the fine work of filling here and digging there, Mike wielded the shovel while Garth manned the mini excavator.

For those of you wondering just how Garth was going to get that machine out of that hole, there’s a little bit of a ramp that he left under the digger (bucket?). 🙂 Here, he was extending it a bit after we measured the length of the hole to ensure it would hold the five tanks. Two tanks are on the ground behind him, and before we left for the day, we unloaded the two from the flatbed.

More to come!

Wind and smoke and dust and … road work

14 06 2022

Good night, America.

Some people cuss. The above from me passes for a fairly mild epithet. It means that, like most everyone else, I’m worn down by these conditions … and then we got smoke. It never means much in practical terms, but prayers are with folks near Flagstaff, Arizona, who are dealing with the current Pipeline Fire – and two other nearby fires – which is the source of the smoke in the above pic.

And then there’s this little tidbit about the start of the fire, which makes actual bad words come to mind (after one has gotten over the idea that there really aren’t any words appropriate. I mean … good NIGHT!?).

And did I mention the wind? Gosh, when *haven’t* we had wind this year … this whole year?!

But did any of that stop our intrepid BLM expert equipment operator and all-around good guy Daniel from fixing the road to the next new water-catchment site so he and Mike and Garth can get equipment there tomorrow?

No. No, it did not. 🙂

There *were* some who didn’t necessarily appreciate the equipment transfer into Spring Creek Basin:

They’ll be glad of it, though, in the long run when we have another source of clean water for them. 🙂

Turn up the heat

13 06 2022

If this image of Terra seems to imply searing heat, mission accomplished (though it wasn’t quite that hot when it was taken). Pretty toasty out there … out here … all around the Southwest.

So it’s a good thing that our next water-catchment project starts today! Think cool thoughts for our BLM guys, Mike, Garth and Daniel! We’re gonna need it!


McKenna Peak is obvious. Not so obvious is the sliver of Temple Butte at back left.

The almost-full strawberry moon of June – which will be a supermoon when it IS full Tuesday (appearing full Sunday night through Wednesday; pic taken last night) – is the perfect topper. 🙂

Not quite happy

12 06 2022

Sometimes boys have disagreements, even among friends. … And then life goes on. 🙂

Into the sunset

11 06 2022

Oh, I adore thee, wild thing upon the Earth.

If you say so

10 06 2022

Raven and the band move away from their stallion … in a way she and they didn’t necessarily want to go?

Sidelit side-eye

9 06 2022

You really haven’t lived until you’ve traded looks with a glorious mustang stallion giving you *the eyeball* through a long, wonderful forelock. Just to make sure you are where he thinks you are, don’tcha know.

Gleam in her eye

8 06 2022

A similar photo of Reya ran on the blog not long ago. That one was horizontal, and I liked this one, too … so I decided to run it, too!

The view above

7 06 2022

Flash may have had only a brief period of stardom on this blog, but he’s worthy of highlight at least every now and then … even if he’s more interested in grazing than in posing. 😉 We’re grateful to HAVE grass.


6 06 2022

Nothing breaks my heart – and heals it, repeatedly – quite like they do, these amazing mestenos of our American West.