I got a video of a Coachwhip Snake (Masticophis flagellum testaceous) swimming in the irrigation ditch. I know a lot of people have trouble with snakes, but they are really quite beautiful. It’s not often I see a Coachwhip Snake taking a swim. After we got back from checking on the owls and walking in the bosque this morning, I wrote a song to go with the video appropriately named Coachwhip Snake. I recorded the song and put it all together in the above video this afternoon. Enjoy!
I went out to see if there was water in the irrigation ditch. There was no water in it, but while I was out, I walked over to the clearwater ditch that runs between the irrigation ditch and the river. While I was checking out the dragonflies and other critters hanging out by the water, a bullfrog popped up to see what I was doing. He was very charming.
This is the week we have water in the irrigation ditch, so I went out at 2:30 am and let the water in. I barely got everything watered before it got taken upstream at 8:30 am. When I went out to check on the water at sunrise, the cottonwoods were casting shadows on the dust hanging over the ditch bank, and the backlighting on the dried Brown Eyed Susans and Harry Lauder Walking Stick was quite nice.
We worked on the property all day yesterday, which included putting in soaker hoses on the rose beds where it’s hard to check the dippers, and to have as backups since we can only get irrigation waster every three weeks now. We finally got all the branches picked up from pruning the fruit trees — I think the branches double when you cut them, I took down the last of the chain-link fence that was now in front of our neighbor’s wood fence, and no longer needed. I pulled up several metal posts we had holding up trellis at one point, but since we are reconfiguring the beds, they needed to come out. I went ahead and set up the swamp cooler, although it might be a little early. Springtime is really difficult on our property because it still freezes almost every night and it was 82 F this afternoon. The new water hose will probably crack a few times before it stops freezing. After I got all the other stuff done, I went down and dug out 75 feet of our main irrigation ditch and built up the bank on the south of the ditch in an attempt to keep the water from running into the access between us and the neighbor. The digging was difficult because there are mostly tree roots under the ditch.
I went out at 3:00 am to check for water. The sliver moon had gone to bed, but there was a ghostly glow from the clouds reflecting the city lights. Not a creature was stirring in the dead silence that was occasionally punctured by the distant sound of a car or truck on I-25. There was water in the irrigation ditch, but the gate was still locked, so the only thing I got out of stumbling out into the pre-dawn hours was a cottonwood silhouetted against the light reflecting off the clouds.
We’ve been reading “Lucky Luke: Les Dalton dans le Blizzard” while we give Stretch his fluids. When we got to page 36, I noticed the kids at the desks had what look like iPads. They are supposed to be slates, but the kids don’t have chalk in their hands, which make them seem even more iPad-like — but since this edition of “Lucky Luke” was first published in 1965, Steve Jobs was himself a mere schoolboy and the iPad only a twinkle in his eyes.
The sky was cloudy most of the day with occasional sunshine slipping through. The temperature got up to 80 F, and our early blooming pear tree popped its first bloom. A few of the red tulips are blooming and a lot more tulips are thinking about it — with the positive signs of spring, I got out my macro lens. I also got the rest of the iris separated and planted this afternoon, and ran drippers and soaker hoses, but I really need to irrigate. I’ll go out at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning to see if there’s water in the irrigation ditch, and if the gate’s unlocked, but I’m not counting on either.