An Unexpected Wealth of Resources

By , December 4, 2019

Monday, while walking past the corner of the cabin, Aly heard a strange hissing sound. Exploring, she discovered that one of our water hoses had sprung a leak. High pressure water sprayed out of a small crack in the hose under the cabin.

A hose that had been drained for the winter.

snow on the Zeiger family homsestead

Five inches and falling. I’ll explain below (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

We switched from the summer water tank to the winter water tank on November 9th. As usual, we drained the tank and all the hoses attached to it, so that nothing would freeze with water in it. So, the leak Aly found came as a surprise.

We opened that hose, and the hose that serves the compost bins. Both of them gushed gallons of water, as if we’d never drained the system before!

Aly and I hiked up to check on the situation. We found the summer water tank full to within a foot of the top! When we went over to the feeder creek, we found out why.

The creek, which generally runs dry by midsummer, gushed water! The intake bucket, into which we feed a hose from a dam above it in the creek bed, flooded freely, even though the intake hose had been removed, and the wooden lid that sits on the bucket remained firmly in place. We’ve had a lot of rain lately, but we had no idea we had this much! (For photos of the intake and creek, see Reviving the Summer Water Intake).

That same day, we got some big wind, enough to fully charge our battery, which, mostly reliant on our solar array, hasn’t gotten much electricity lately.

The storm, which is fairly common in the northwest U.S. this time of year, topped off our electricity, and overfed our water system. We suddenly found ourselves with an embarrassing wealth of resources.

snow on the Zeiger Family Homestead

This is not what I expected to see this morning! But, ’tis the season… (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

On the other hand, we shudder to think what might have happened to our system had Aly not heard that leak! The whole system would likely have frozen up and probably  burst the lines, requiring us to re-lay the pipe system. That’s got to be at least 1000 yards of pipes!

A couple of notes: Tuesday, I went up and got some great photos of the overflowing bucket and creek. They somehow didn’t transfer to the computer, so I lost them. “No matter,” I thought, listening to last night’s rain, “I’ll go back up tomorrow and take some new ones, and they’ll be even better” (the creek level had dropped since Aly discovered the leak). But, we now have 5 inches of snow on the ground, as you can see in the photos.

Also, today is First View, the day we celebrate the anniversary of our first visit to the property 15 years ago (see First View: A Homestead-Made Holiday).

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy