Wanna see up a juniper’s skirt?

Tobie and I went on an unusually long walkie this morning. Beautiful day in a recent series of beautiful days, a little warm for comfort in the afternoon but pleasant in the morning and it seems we’re looking at Monsoon’s back so may as well enjoy. Soon it’ll be woodcutting season, and then – sigh – winter before I know it.


With all that water from the sky, the weeds are chest-high everywhere you leave the road. Kind of annoying, really – I’m not used to pushing through underbrush to get where I’m going, even if I’m not going anywhere in particular.

On our way through the wash I paid more attention to a recently almost-but-not-quite washed-out juniper…


The wash keeps making itself a little wider at this point every time there’s a big flood.


I cut those two branches on the left last winter, if I recall correctly, because they were impinging on the path to Landlady’s. They used to be several feet from the bank. Now the path is gone, and of course so is the bank.


The washed-out roots that faced toward the flood broke off…


…and the ones that faced away from it just went with the flow. This juniper will continue to do just fine until the next big flood or the one after that finishes undermining it, and then the whole thing will go downstream.

Now Tobie and I are on the new bank, across the wash from Ian’s place…


It took me a minute to figure out what that weird concrete thing was…


…till I remembered that in this summer’s first flood some old wooden fenceposts had washed up at this point, concrete ‘foundation’ and all. During the second big flood, apparently this post washed away from its concrete leaving this weird Pompeii cast behind to bother future archeologists.

Speaking of things left in bad places, I don’t think I ever showed you this…


I took that picture in late July, shortly after the (thankfully) last big flood that did such damage to my favorite shady place – washed it right away, actually, and almost did the same to Ian’s old tractor.

The tractor hasn’t run in well over five years. Ian sank a lot of money into the worn-out injector pump but gave up when the poor thing failed again shortly after. But still, if I can figure out how to get it out of there it’s probably salvageable. I’m happy it didn’t wash right away as expected. By now I thought it’d be half-buried in sand a mile downstream. You can kind of see how far it was from the old wash channel: I really didn’t think it was in any danger until it suddenly was.

And speaking of sand…


This is the first time Tobie and I came to this side of the wash since the floods. I kept telling him to stay away from the edge, it’s only loose sand and can’t be trusted. “Tobie,” I kept telling him, “Get away from there. Get away from there! Get…aw, dammit…”

Not the actual event, but that was pretty much the look on his face…


The bank was only about waist high at that point so he wasn’t harmed. Only his pride. He’s not the most graceful of creatures at this point in his development…

And then, having laid an unusually long and strenuous walkie upon him, it was time to go home for baking day.

After morning walkie I can have my second cup. This morning I had to open a new can of my carefully hoarded Trader Joe coffee, and was amused to find that the last one lasted all of three months. I used to go through one of these every five weeks like clockwork, but I’m getting older and don’t drink as much coffee as I used to.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to Wanna see up a juniper’s skirt?

  1. PaulB says:

    Got to have a daily schedule of events. In a place that does not get much water is sure plays havoc with your plans.

  2. Eric says:

    There is a Youtuber by the name of HeavyD who may be able to help.
    Just a thought.

    Eric.

  3. Al says:

    Ya think they want to sell the tractor? I might be interested

  4. Joel says:

    Oh, I know he wants to sell it. Unfortunately he brought the matter up to me on the very evening the tractor landed on its side.

  5. Mike says:

    These are really good photos. The power that flowing water has verses almost any other material, has always amazed me.

  6. Paul Joat says:

    If I lived closer I’d ask how much Ian wanted for that tractor as is where is. It would be an interesting challenge getting it out of there.

To the stake with the heretic!