Ditch Digging

Spring appears to be here, with summer just around the corner. Time to get the backyard ready and get grass growing. Thankfully the previous owners had grass growing and working sprinklers. What I need is a modular and scalable sprinkler system, since I plan have more than one source of water and many more things to water. I will need to dig up the current system and redo the primary control system.

IMG_7443.JPGThe problem with New Mexico soil is it’s a layer of sand on a layer of clay. When thats been covered up with rock and plastic for many years, with no water to soften it up, you end up trying to dig through cement. The best method for digging is to dig a small hole, fill it with water, let it soak, then dig a little more out. Plus the previous owners surrounded the control valves with cement, making it even harder to get in there.

IMG_7444.JPGToday I managed to dig about 30 inches where the control valves are. Why they hell they are that deep I have no idea. In New Mexico you only need about 18 inches deep for the valves. It’s just insane and I’m going to have to remove some of the concrete to get to to the valves. Something I was hoping to avoid.

IMG_7445.JPGI also forgot to mention the other valve. Once valve controls the sprinklers and the other controls… something else. I have no idea. It goes out to the yard but there’s no other obvious sprinkler heads. All I know is it’s busted and was making a nice little spring in the yard. I managed to dig that pipe up to find a huge crack. Once I replace it I should be able to tell where it ends up.

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Praying Mantises Having Sex In The Garden

I found these two getting it on in the green bean vines the other day. My hope was to catch on video the final moments when the female eventually eats the male (something my Girlfriend, who was really pissed at her ex at the time, wanted to see).

Unfortunately they were at this for hours. I even set up my video camera on a tripod and left it out there. In a hour I would come back, they would be in the same position, I would rewind the tape and do it over. I couldn’t find any info on how long they take. It was getting dark and the sprinklers were scheduled to come on so I gave up on them.