The average high for our area is around 70 degrees for the month of May, and the average rainfall is less than half an inch.
The last two weeks would like to spit in the face of those averages! It has done nothing but rain and be chilly. I’d say our highs have been closer to 60ish, and I have no idea how much rain we’ve gotten, but we’re saturated. Today is the first day in over two weeks where no rain is forecasted and the temps are actually supposed to be above normal. It’s really nice outside, but I haven’t seen the sun in so long that I have an almost vampire-ish reaction to the sunlight. (HIIIIISSSSSSSS)
So, what’s this got to do with JHR? Drainage, of course! Jeremy mapped out where our abundance of water is coming from. We basically have two streams coming down from either side of a mountain behind the house. One empties into the existing stream bed, and the other empties into our side yard and goes down the driveway (slowly destroying both in the process). I raised the question “Why didn’t the previous owners do anything about this second stream?” which Jeremy answered with “They most likely didn’t get the same amount of rain we’ve been getting these last few years.” You know, because global warming and stuff.
So, enter our recent ditch digging efforts. Jeremy has cleared out a good sized ditch near the bottom of the driveway that empties into (one of the) streams where it meets the road. I’ve been working on digging around the house. We haven’t been able to really test our work until the rains started, and even then, we needed enough rain for the streams to start running again. We finally got our chance this weekend. The results: we’re on the right track!
We woke Friday morning to a steady rain that finally tapered off. My ditch near the house wasn’t quite far enough to direct the water towards the back, so it wasn’t doing a whole lot of good at that time. I grabbed a shovel and decided that I was going to create some sort of path for the water or die trying. Even though I had to fight the mud and rocks, it was pretty easy to get a small waterway carved and get the water moving.
Now the water can go into the stream bed or around the back. Obviously it isn’t near done, but I got more done in those 30 mins of digging in the mud than in hours of digging dry dirt. I need to widen and deepen the ditch and I plan to line it with rocks. Maybe I should just go dig some more when it rains again…
Jeremy’s big ditch was also helpful, but we had to do a bit of emergency water directing a bit uphill from it. Here’s hoping we can keep the water from spilling over into the driveway again. He plans to fix the grading and to add a small trench right down the middle.
That’s the new ditch on the left, and the stream it empties into on the right. Unfortunately, there is no culvert under the main road here, so in the past this stream has done quite a bit of damage to the road. They just added lots of road base and the main road is super nice now, and I’d hate for it to be damaged again. We were informed that there were plans to add culverts, and hopefully fix/improve existing culverts. No ETA on that yet.
We need to get our drainage issues squared away so we can finally fix the driveway, and more importantly, start work on an awesome yard! Yay! More dirt moving in my future! Can’t wait!
Oh! And here’s a shot of Jackalope Creek roaring away! You can’t beat the sound of a running stream!