Friday, July 05, 2013


I have been learning a fair amount about erosion as we try to dig out from this crazy rainstorm.  Let me not make it sound too bad:  we weren't hurt bad at all, some gravel went down into one ditch, killing some grass, and some mud slid in another one, partially blocking up a pipe.

But it's interesting to observe what's happened. I moved a bunch of rocks out of random places in the back yard (I have written about this epic effort before).  This has meant a couple of things:

  1. In the massive rain (5 inches in 3 hours, for those of you out of the Triangle who didn't experience it), leaves washed down the rain and stopped against the wall, which apparently created a little dam of sorts.  The water ran down the dam till it found a low spot, then it went over.  This created a hugely concentrated flow of water down the backyard, completely wiping it free of leaves (exposing mud) and pushing years of leaves that we had pushed down to the steeper part of our yard (which goes down to a creek maybe 50 vertical feet below).  Just scoured it.  On the one hand, it protected some stuff Mary had recently planted.
  2. On the other, removing rocks from where nature and earlier farming and construction projects over however long people have lived and cultivated this hill actually encouraged erosion.  Which it took down the hill, to Booker Creek, and eventually out to Jordan Lake.
Moral to the story, once more:  you can't win in densely populated areas. Mother nature is deucedly clever.  All you can do is try to lose more slowly.

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