Monday when it was summer, we worked in short sleeves and high seventy degrees. A south wind attacked the valley the entire day.
The water gardens were deleafed and topped off. The Koi in this and the perch in my other garden will survive the freezing temperatures just fine. I place a board or small post in the ponds to keep an air hole for the ammonia to escape. It also makes it easier to crack the ice without harming the fish. I'm sure there are more leafs today. I will make my rounds with a net and remove as many as I can. The leafs containing tannin will make the water brown and my Koi do not thrive in that.
The boat has been tarped and winterized. It's in the pasture because the barn will be filled with other working machines and the boat shed has been reassigned as the truck garage for winter.
All hands on board for a full clean up. Of course with pecan trees in the yard clean up is an ongoing event.
The chickens and all the animals have fresh deep hay beds. Tools are in their respective spots, mowers winterized, and anti-freeze added to vehicles.
The crew headed to our main spring. This is the source of our home water. Conveniently it is pumped to the houses. We no longer have to carry water like we once did many years ago. The spring needs its last "cleaning" for the winter.
Here Andrew is post hole digging the sand out of the rock "barrel". Placing the sand in the tractor bucket is far easier than carrying it away in a bucket the way we have done it. Through time the sand builds up but the pump is submersed yet suspended above the bottom. We lower the level of the sand so we don't have to do this on a cold day.
The pipe from the barrel to the pump is insulated and covered for winter after all the grass is cut, the water cress removed and the spring is given a general stir up to move clippings etc on down the creek.
When the family first moved here they capped a wooden barrel over the spring source and water would fill up the barrel and fall into the creek. Dad remembered helping his dad build the rock surround when he was very young. One year when I was cleaning the spring I found old barrel staves in the very bottom, a piece of history in my hands.
The right equipment makes the job far easier than it was. Andrew is practicing being a worker by leaning on the handles. The spring is clear and fresh in a short time. The pump is turned on and like magic water is in every faucet again.
In the past a spring cleaning day was an event attended by all members of the family. Mom cooked while we all got down and dirty in the spring branch, pulling cress, cutting grass, moving the sand on down the stream while capturing crawdads for fishing in the evening. Yep, an all day event for six to twelve people is now a four hour job for three. I ran the camera and did some straw bossing, so make that two.