Ravine Project, a year later

A bit over year ago, I built a small dam across the ravine’s stream bed to reduce erosion.

The dam, failed.

And now, I have figured out why. It was pretty simple to figure out, and just involved standing around a bit in heavy rain. The water coming from the side (up where the house and barn out) is actually one of the largest sources of water, and it was flowing around the berm I built and right onto the top of the dam in a small stream. It was never designed to have that amount of water flooding it across the top, and thus the failure.

My dad helps winch the cable tight for the handle cable.

Since building a dam was a huge amount of work that I don’t feel like repeating (besides, the bank reinforcements of the old dam are still functional, so that should help with the erosion control). I decided to put a bridge across instead. A rope bridge would be easy enough, but not as long as lasting as I would like, nor as safe. A log bridge was the original plan, but I ultimately went with the simpler and safest option of a 24 foot scaffolding plank. That cost about $500, but hey, it might actually be useful for my parents on their next painting project at the farm.

I already had the posts in the place and all the equipment I needed to run a cable across, so now that is finished. Viola, functional trail and bridge across the ravine. Since the cable is rather high, I’ve got a climbing quickdraw coming to clip onto the railing should any of our neighbor’s young kids climb across it and need an extension.

In related news, the rye I planted around the neighbor’s new pond is doing quite well. That’s the featured cover image for this post! In less good news, the prairie section by the barn had to be mown down, it was all weeds. Luckily I did two comparison plots under the solar panels and so I know why: the 365 Roundup we (accidentally) used. It lasted in the ground quite a long time as advertised, and while it killed the weeds, they apparently have some resistance and came up more quickly. So no prairie plants at all, just lots of weeds. By comparison, the one plot without any Roundup looks pretty good!

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