Will couldn’t resist getting this photo of the tractor going for a cool swim on a hot day as he was helping me adjust Mystery Pond. Our green machine looks like an elephant. Me Mahout or Tarzan? Hmm…
Mystery Pond is named because of the shape like a question mark and because Riddle Pond is up the road, named for the same family our road is named for who lived in the white house at the north end. Hope suspects he might be related to Tom Riddle of Harry Potter fame, he who we shall not otherwise name.
Mystery Pond is more of a puddle than anything else, a place to catch spring and surface water so we can pipe it to other places. The pond is under the trolley line, the kids’ zip line, up by the treehouse.
The reason the tractor is taking a swim with me is that I wanted to put in a new pipe. While I was at it I decided to move the dam a few yards north so it would capture more water running down the ledge. While I was doing that I decided to clean out the accumulated silt. One thing leads to another – that’s the way some projects are. Things get complicated and more gets done although it takes extra time. As Will observed the pond is a bigger, better catch basin now and well worth the little bit of extra work since we were there.
While I was there I also took down a tree that had fallen against the treehouse. Tractors are handy tools and the backhoe makes a good crane. I had never imagined wanting one or all the uses I would put it to until we had to get one for a project.
Line Level String
To get the new pipe continuously headed down hill from the pond we ran a level line. The continuous down hill with no dips is important to prevent sediment from clogging the pipe and ice from blocking it in the winter. This is one of those situations where you can’t see from here to there so we did it in stages. The far end of the line, the start, is at a tree by Mystery Pond. That goes to the farthest tree that can be easily sighted towards our goal. We got that line level with a bubble line level. Then we repeated to the next tree and finally to the side of the cliff by the cottage where I used a stick to get the line high enough to level as there was no handy tree. The trick with line levels is to pull the lines very, very tight.
Putting in this pipe and getting it smoothly running down hill is practice for when we run the 1,000′ pipe from Sugar Mountain through the cut we made last fall. That will start high up at the sap house and sweep down along the folds of the mountain and fields. I like to practice projects as increasing increments.
As I type this I feel like I’m in an wind tunnel. My computer cooling seems to have failed so my PowerBook G4 has been crashing a lot. Perhaps the heat sink has come unglued from the processor. To help it stay cool I have it lifted up off the desk and a fan blowing air under and above it. Loud. Quite loud. After six years of silent faithful service it is quite the change. Brain surgery time. Blah.
Outdoors: 74°F/47°F Sunny, 1.5″ Rain Overnight
Tiny Cottage: 70°F/67°F
Daily Spark: The good fight is the one avoided through finesse.