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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sadness on the Farm. See Last Post.

While down in the large hole with the septic tanks (see last post), Tom slipped, cracked a rib, and had to be lifted out of the pit in the Caterpillar bucket. He has been properly medicated and is doing reasonably well, though still a bit ginger with the sudden movements.

We also lost our longhorn's beautiful newborn calf, cause of death unclear. Like her last baby, this one was strikingly white, with dark brown patches along the side, and she moped disconsolately around the pasture for the next few days. All other herd members are healthy and well--

Our final small loss: our aged but brilliant--think a tiny gem of carmine, cobalt, and yellow-green, with vivid violet thrown in--Gouldian finch was found toes up in his cage. He must have been at least twelve years old, maybe older, and his cheerful pointless chirping wove a pleasant backdrop to our kitchen days.

A couple of weeks ago, I laughed all day long about the sign I found that morning on his cage: one of the potluck kids, dismayed that the bird was nameless, had christened him "FALCOR". Maybe the burden was just too much.

Tanks. But No Tanks.

You might have been wondering what the gigantic concrete boxes in the front pasture are--they have been sitting there for weeks. Short answer: septic tanks.

And now for the rest of the story.

After months of dinnertable consultation with Devender (who, in his defense, is a water engineer), Kabir (engineer of some kind), Zach (master's in heavy equipment wizarding), Keith (architect), Jeff (the Barefoot Guy), and whoever else came along (DiAnne, George, Ellen, Joe, EricTheFarmer) about a suitable design for water storage--something that would be cheap, hold lots of water, and work on the property--Tom and his minions came up with this: dig a really really big hole in the ground and bury six really big really cheap septic tanks, all hooked up to each other, a pump from the creek, and a pump out into the pasture.

And so, eventually, by fits and starts, it came to pass. The heart of the hole has been there for a long time. These last two weekends we also had a giant Caterpillar digging machine, and Kabir dug out the hole, smoothed it down, and slowly lowered each 13,000 pound tank into place, with Tom, Devender, and Keith assisting.

Guys driving by in pickup trucks stopped to admire the whole works, and I was dispatched at the end of the day to the Lewis Country Store's Beer Cellar for refreshments.

I think that PeeWee the Oaxacan soccer player, is going to help with patching leaks and carving holes in the concrete to put in the connecting pipes, and, at some point, we will have an underground reservoir for those blistering and rainless days in August.