Summertime on the farm! I tend to disappear for long stretches at this time of year, I know. We’re very busy and way behind, because when the winter finally breaks, everything has to be done at once! I still haven’t planted our garden seeds, but it’s on the docket for this week, along with taking Brenna to the community college to talk about financial aid and fencing off our sinkholes.
Actually, we did the sinkholes this morning.
Do you know about sinkholes?
Here in Kentucky, we have beautiful rolling hills. Limestone hills, apparently, and underground rivers (which have always faschinated me, like there’s a whole other mysterious world just below the one we live in). The rivers wear away that limestone until, eventually, the weight of the soil above collapses into the void below. I’ve lived here long enough to have noticed two things about sinkholes: one, they form in the valleys between the hills, and two, you can look for them after a heavy rain. Heavy rains we have in abundance in April and May! Most of the storms that roll through at this time of year will drop three to five inches in 24 hours or less.
Out in our cow pasture, there has been a squarish depression ever since we moved in. Davey thought it looked like somebody dug it up with a tractor, but I thought it looked like a sinkhole-in-the-making, so I’ve been keeping an eye on it ever since. This spring, the first hole opened up in the very center, about a foot across, and the last rain washed out another small hole near the edge. Being in the bottom of a depression, and so being well watered, the pasture is very nice down there. It’s a favorite spot of the cows. My beloved cows. I can’t have my cows being swallowed up by a sinkhole, now, can I?
The other area is actually an old sinkhole, and it’s on the fence line we share with our neighbors. Neighbor H. is a tile installer and frequently has broken tiles and other miscellanea to dispose of, and that’s what sinkholes are for, right? For tossing things into, never to be seen nor heard from again? That’s what they’re for around here, anyway. 😉 So Neighbor H. was digging out the sinkhole on his side, trying to find out which way it was going, so he could toss more stuff in there. Then a big rain came, and the earth caved in all the way to the edge of the drive. Then another big rain came, and half of the drive disappeared. Then another big rain came, and there is now no way for any conveyance of any sort to use the drive, or the narrow strip of grass on the other side of the drive before his next fenced pasture. And that hole is deep. Very, very deep.
Well, that sinkhole which has eaten his whole driveway is pretty big on our side of the fence, too, but it is old, and there is at least one pickup truck buried in ours. Knowing that the neighbors’ side is active, though, I’ve been keeping an eye ours, as well, and there are several new holes and the old ones are no longer just quietly cradling a pickup truck. They are washing out, too. And my cows, inexplicably, like that area as well, even though there are lots of metal parts sticking out of the ground and the footing has never been particularly stable. And I can’t have my beloved cows being swallowed up by a sinkhole, now, can I?
So I figured we’d get them fenced off now, while the ground is smooshy from all the rain and it’s easy to drive the pickets in.
So now I don’t have to worry about the sinkholes.
Phew. That’s a load off.