Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dark Hole Again

Last weekend we pumped out the spring repeatedly in an effort to remove as much of the sludge that I allowed to wash down into it. The recent heavy rains had the underground springs moving swiftly which helped tremendously. The spring would recover quickly each time we pumped it down, in fact, the pump could never quite overtake it, so it kept all that muck stirred up good and allowed it to get sucked up and out. I was quite fascinated to see the bottom of the spring. The photo is not very clear but maybe you can make out something about it. The spring consists of a vertical shaft that goes down about 10 feet. There it meets a horizontal shaft of about the same diameter that flows into and out of this vertical shaft. They both appear to be lined with big boulders of sandstone. There are 2 other separate horizontal shafts up closer to the surface that allow water to flow out a little bit down the hill. This is partially where my little spring creek comes from.
You can kind of see how muddy the water was as it came out. In this photo, the rate of flow had slowed down somewhat due to the line clogging some. At times it spewed water 2-3 feet in the air as it left this hose. We emptied the spring many, many times over the course of the day, sometimes letting it recover for an hour or 2. We removed a lot of sand and muck and also leaves and roots. During one of the sessions I saw an enormous crawfish running around in the bottom! He was probably wondering what the hell was going on... there had been water here a minute ago!!
I was ecstatic to see how fast the water flowed into the spring at the bottom. It would refill in just a matter of minutes. Of course, I know it slows down at times, depending on how dry it has been but I think this is a very good source of water. Anyway, I think it did a lot of good. I have been checking the spring on and off this week and it is getting clearer and clearer. In fact, you can see clearly 16" or so down into the water. I think I may do one more good cleaning session maybe next weekend, before we reconnect the supply lines. The alternative spring is working fine; the water is very clear and the filter has been able to clean itself properly with this clear water. I set it to purge itself once a day for about a week to get all that sediment out from when the water was bad and it seems to have cleared up. So, things are looking up. Knock on wood.
This 3 day weekend has been great and we have just about finished with the deck handrails. Tomorrow I need to finish up the rebar at the entrance and apply a coat of linseed oil to the whole deck and it will be done! Time to start bringing out the potted plants and such. I will post some photos of the finished product a little later.
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend if you celebrate Easter and even if you don't! The weather here lately has been a beautiful celebration of spring itself. Lots of things budding and blooming and sprouting. My tomato seeds that karl sent me have sprouted and I am very excited about that. I shared a couple of the varieties with the Switchman, as he is an avid gardener also, and he reported to me the other day that all of his had come up. He seemed quite happy about it. I can't wait to taste these new varieties.

*Cowboy Junkies/from album "Open"


hillbilly2be said...

That's amazing, Annie. It would be really cool to observe a live spring so closely. We do not have any on our land, but there are lots of huge ones nearby that we have visited. Still, I think a little one would be more fun, in some ways, to see up close the water refilling and the little crawdad running around.


Woody said...

Annie...Ya'll have a wonderful Easter too..