Monday, July 22, 2013

Earth-moving day

It dawned on me after I posted this picture last week of Smooch on coyote watch that something 
was very wrong with it, and I don't mean the focus and color balance. 
That fence used to be 5 feet tall, and Smooch standing on her hind leg tippy toes is 3 feet tall. 
The math didn't add up. The fence didn't shrink and Smooch hadn't grown.
That could only mean one thing: the earth rose. 

Years of wind whipping across the corral had caused a sand dune to form along the fence line. 
The barrier between Smooch and the outside world/coyotes/JohnnyCashCat was suddenly not so formidable.

The earth would have to be lowered.

For once, Smooch's talents were put to good use.
We were making steady progress, and I thought we might be done by noon.
Then I realized both sides of the fence would have to be dug out.

The earth on the coyote side of the fence had risen as much, if not more than, on Smooch's side.
All of it would have to go, save for the cemetery where Rosebud and Snapper were laid to rest.

Smooch was very disappointed when I sent her into the house, but I feared for her safety, 
what with all the commotion of moving the Ranger back and forth, in and out of gates.
Besides, it was getting hotter and more humid and I didn't want to accidentally bury her in my delirium.

The upside to all the earth moving was that there were many beneficial places to move it to;
for example, the base of these fence posts, which used to be covered with dirt.
What the wind giveth, the wind taketh away.

There are days when I love my Ranger more than life itself, and this was one of those days.

When all was said and done, the fence was 5 feet high again. 
The danger of Smooch jumping out or a coyote jumping in had diminished.

The fence posts were buried and the drop-offs from the stalls to the pasture were filled in.
I was sort of exhausted but in a good way.

And I couldn't help but smile when Alan pitched in to tamp down the dirt.


  1. WAOU! you have the eyes of an hawk! and what a good physical work! plus with these benevolent helpers, you are a happy one!

  2. You did all that with A SHOVEL? You need to get a little Bobcat with a plow (or something) attachment. I stand in complete awe of your achievement!

  3. I can't help but think some nice decorative stone on the windy side might help you keep your newly (re)placed soil where you want it. The kind like you put on the cemetery would work great.

  4. good job well done.. and alan always makes me smile.

  5. As cute and helpful as the Ranger is, and as envious as I am, when I start moving dirt today in preparation for my new garage/shop project, I'll be using the bucket of my little New Holland TC30' thank you very much!
    Glad you got the sand dune moved. Hard work, but such a feeling of accomplishment.

  6. Well, that was a project, especially in the heat. I'm sure it felt good to be finished. I laughed at the picture of Smooch helping and she looks totally deflated lying on the bed.

  7. How deep is your fence buried. I would hate for Smooch to be able to dig out now that you have removed so much dirt. This is why I have a Kubota. Water moves my dirt though.

  8. "Sort of" exhausted? Sheesh! I need to go take a nap just from reading about all that earth moving.

  9. Now I want one of those Rangers...and I don't have any dirt to move! ;)

  10. Gosh that was a huge endeavor. Congrats on getting it done. Smooch does look kinda dejected when you saved her from herself. And Alan is such a cute tamper donkey. Oma Linda

  11. I hate to bring bad news, but I've seen coyotes jump a 5 ft fence with ease. Maybe something spikey on top would help. I wouldn't say anything but would hate to see something happen.

  12. What an awesome life you have! A lot of work, but so rewarding. :)

  13. Just as an FYI, I live on a golf course in Phoenix, AZ and regularly have coyotes in my back yard (I have seen them on my patio). When I was caring for my sister's cat who was paralized from his front legs to the end of his tail (car accident), we made a 5-foot high fence around my patio so he could go outside when he wanted to. We were told that the fence needed to be higher - a coyote could easily jump a fence at that height.


  14. P.S. Love your blog!!