Drenched

I know many of you have enjoyed the wedding and its stories… and when I get a chance at posting the professional’s photos next week, I’ll return to a few more tales.  Since I was a tad bit busy, I didn’t get to take many more photos than what you’ve seen already and you know I prefer telling stories with illustrations!

Let’s get back to the ranch!
Chores continue as usual, no big break for weddings or visitors or time away!  The guys have remained busy stacking hay, irrigating, repairing the amazing multitude of items that have broken down this summer, and checking on the cattle.
A while back, one of the questions posted was about irrigation methods.  Tonight, since I had to help Brandon, I have illustrations to go with my story!
We have one field that we use a roll line irrigation system on.  No one is real fond of this method, and we’ve battled it since we bought the Mills place.  It has the ability to have multiple problems, and it has produced multiple ones.  The latest is leaks on the bottom of the old rusty pipe that feeds the field.  We thought it was the pump.  Could have been some, as the local mechanic shop did find some problems with it, but sucking air into the line sure didn’t help either.  It forced us to do without water during one of the hottest weeks we’ve had.
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The difference is easy to see in this photo.   What was watered… and was has cooked at 90+ degrees with no water.
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Here’s where the water originates… a cement dam in a ditch creates the “well” where the pump sucks up the water and forces it into the large pipe that runs to the field.
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This end looks pretty good still… we flip the switch, turn off the pump, and hike out into the field.  Notice the wheel part that is elevated… and the other line that lays directly on the ground.  The wheel part actually has a motor on it, so Brandon turns it on and it rolls downhill.  The part that is on the ground is moved by hand.
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The sections that lay on the ground can be added to or subtracted as needed for the varying width of the field.  Here Brandon is separating the sections of pipe.  This end has more grass… less alfalfa… it has turned a disgusting yellow from lack of moisture.
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I move the sections on this end… Brandon has jogged to the other end to do that section.  He’ll do two or three times the amount of moving pipe that I will.  I pretty much can be labeled “pitiful” when it comes to this job.  I’m slow.  But I get the job done.  Here you line up the sections, inserting the one on the left into the one on the right.  The little hook on the left will latch them together.  Make sure they’re latched, once water pressure is there, it’s a wet job to put them back together!  If you can do it… sometimes you have to turn the pump back off to accomplish that.
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Success!
Now, repeat a few more times!
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Turn the pump back on… and check for plugged sprinklers.
Rust can clog the drains… and it can be a soggy job getting them to pop close.  I slung my camera on my back and helped Brandon… and everytime I was hit with water, I couldn’t help but gasp.
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I think I saw a little grin from Brandon when that happened.
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That’s OK.
He was almost as drenched as I was.

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