The phone call came through on Friday from the supplier that the new water tank was ready to be picked up.
I couldn’t honestly say that the excavation site at the farm was ready for the new water tank to be installed on. Also, the truth was that when I received the phone call, I was several hundred kilometres (miles) away from the farm mucking around and generally enjoying the late winter sunshine.
Still, I’ve been told that deadlines can be very motivational. So, for some strange reason, I told the supplier that I’d pick up the new water tank on Monday morning and for them to have it ready to go. I’m writing this blog from a position of hindsight and can only state for the record, that this was a serious under estimation of the sheer scope and size of the project.
The funny thing about undertaking these sorts of projects is that I can honestly state that I had no idea how long it would take. I knew what was involved, but a truism keeps popping into my mind: Only when the job is complete shall you know how long it should take and what exactly is involved.
Anyway, I spent a very long day excavating more clay from the water tank site. The day also involved marking out where both of the new water tanks would eventually sit and then ensuring that both sites were flat and free of sharp objects. To add a further complication to the project: each of the three water tanks were of slightly different heights so I had to ensure that all of the overflows were exactly the same height.
The water tanks sit on beds of rock crusher dust which I picked up from the local sand and soil supplier. Rock crusher dust is a very fine granite dust which incidentally is also very good to add to your gardens if you have mineral deficiencies in the soil (apologies, the soil geek in me made me write that!).
The photo below shows the new smaller dark grey water tank installed and being filled from the household water tanks. The large dark circle is the site where the yet to be installed water tank is to sit.
|Additional excavations and new tank site with rock crusher dust|
The crazy hair was because I got up at dawn to start the excavations thinking that it would easily all be done by lunchtime. The photo was taken just before dusk on Sunday.
Monday rolled around and I picked up the new water tank and drove it back here on the trailer. The water tank on the trailer almost dwarfed the trusty old Suzuki.
|New water tank on the back of the trailer|
A hand trolley helped move the water tank around, however it is worth mentioning that the water tanks weighs more than both my lady and I combined. It was not only really heavy but also awkward because polyethylene is one slippery material. It was a bit of a struggle and at one point it almost didn’t fit through the gap between the existing shed and the bushfire sprinkler, taps, rock walls etc.
|The gap was a little smaller than the diameter of the water tank|
Eventually however, with a bit of ingenuity and a whole lot of brute force the new water tank ended up in the correct location and is – and still is at about 8.30pm – being filled by from the house water tanks. All was now well and I could relax and sit back with a good coffee!
|New water tanks installed and being filled from the house storage system|
It wasn’t all about water this week. Have I mentioned that I’m seriously short of rocks for new rock walls? Don’t laugh, but peak rocks is a real problem here. So last week a sudden burst of energy took hold of me I went out and started smashing up some of the few larger rocks in the orchard so that I could then move them into positions on the rock walls. Thanks to that burst of energy, there are now two new very large rocks to move onto the ever expanding rock walls here. After a few hours of rock breaking, I could well understand why it is viewed as a punishment for chain gangs.
In breaking farm news this week, the European honey bees have returned from wherever they over-wintered. It is a pleasure to see them back at the farm, both in numbers and also looking healthy after having absconded from the farm last summer (a story of bee disaster). Still, my gut feel is that the bees know what is best for them and almost certainly know more about their requirements than I do!
|European bee on rosemary|
Big Daddy Roo has also been a frequent visitor here in the past few days. At well over 6 foot he is not to be trifled with. In fact, I believe he has some sort of agreement with the dogs here that they won’t notice him if he doesn’t notice them.
Kangaroos are generally pack animals so it is strange to see a very large lone male roaming the forests here. He occasionally has a small harem, but mostly he is by himself. What may have probably happened to him in the past is that another large male fought him for dominance and won thereby evicting Big Daddy from his mob of kangaroos. Only he will ever know the full story though.
Oh yeah, I mentioned that I’d been travelling last week. Well, back in 1938, someone decided to plant a forest of Californian Redwood trees in one of the wettest parts of the state here. That Redwood forest is just so different from the rest of the state that I thought that it would be worth sharing a short video. Hope you enjoy it as it is a very quiet, peaceful place that is rarely visited.
This past week has been sunny and warm week for late winter and temperatures most days were in the very low 20 degrees Celsius (68’F). Today however whilst installing the new water tank (of course), it has rained for the entire day! The temperature outside here at about 9pm is 5.3 degrees Celsius (41.4’F) and so far this year there has been 561.2mm (22.1 inches) of rainfall which is up from last week’s total of 554.8mm (21.8 inches).
PS: As at 9pm both of the new water tanks are now full with water pumped from the main household water tanks.