Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Big Holes

Now that we are finished with the farmer's market for six months, we can get a few jobs done that have been waiting in the wings to be finished.  Because we are rural, we have a septic tank.  That said, we are on 'city' water though, so no well and pump to have to worry about.  When we bought this place in 1986, (wow, that's a long time ago), a new septic field was being installed.  We were good at getting the tank pumped out for the first while, and then it kind of got forgotten about.  I pushed Larry to dig the lid clear so we could get it pumped out this summer.  We did add to the height of the lawn in this area when we added on to the house.   

Anyway, Larry had a pretty good idea where it was, and did manage to hit concrete without digging a lot of useless holes.  I was shocked though, at how deep it now was, and how big the lid was, and how faulty my memory of it all was. I thought the top of the tank was much closer to the surface, an the lid much smaller!  The hole was about 20 inches deep and 30 inches square.  That was a lot of dirt to dig out, as seen by the three wheelbarrows full.  And then the job came to a halt.  We are both very good at letting things slide, and just ignoring the 'elephant' on the lawn, so to speak.  I think I finally nagged again and the tank was pumped out.  The Pumper Guy, yep that was what the company was called, told Larry that we could get a riser and lid to save ourselves all the digging the next time.  We decided to do it ourselves to save a few dollars, and the 'elephant' was there even longer.  Finally, yesterday, after much discussion over the size of the riser, exchanging the one Larry had first bought, overthinking the whole job, etc etc, we heaved the heavy concrete lid off for the last time, and installed the riser.  

So much fun, working over an open, full septic tank.  Yuk.  The base was sealed to the concrete around the hole, the first riser was screwed to the base, the second riser screwed to the first, and the lid screwed on top.  Happy to say that no tools or screws were dropped into the septic tank.  That was a miracle in itself.   At this point the hole still has to be partially filled in.  Of course not all the dirt in the wheelbarrows will be used.  I think the tires on two are flat, so we will have to bring the little compresser around to blow them up to move the heavy wheelbarrows, that are now filled up with rainwater.  The lawnmower may have to be brought out to cut the grass that had grown up under the wheelbarrows.  The lid will be pretty well level with the lawn, maybe a bit lower on one side.  In a few years it will be much easier to get the tank pumped again.

It was a relief to get out up to ground level and straighten up.  And I looked up, and wow, the sky was so cool looking.

It was already getting to that feeling that dusk was coming, so we got the dogs into the car and headed down to the dyke.  It was a beautiful evening with partially clear skies.  Down at the bottom of the hill I noticed these clouds, although I didn't take the picture until we had gone a mile and a half west to the dyke.  These are called Fallstreak Holes.  Here's an explanation.

The nearly full moon was rising to the east

I love taking pictures of sky and clouds.  It wasn't as dark as it seems, it was just the camera adjusting to the sky and making the trees appear dark.  Looking south.

Looking east southeast. Mt. Baker is just visible above the tree tops in the right quarter.

The holes are falling apart, but another one is starting to form.

Looking southwest.  I love reflections too!


Lovely sunset

Ground fog rolling in.  Time to head home, shower the funky septic smell away, and get ready for square dancing.



  1. I just can't believe what rich dark soil you have. You should see the orange clumps of clay soil that we have to dig. The big clumps stick to the shovel and have to be scraped off. Terrible digging! Your sky pictures are beautiful. First time I've seen or heard of Fallstreak Holes. Lucky you, getting to square dance.

  2. Well you got the job done! We have our system pumped ever other year, it saves lots of hassle if it is done regularily! Beautiful sky that looks way warmer than ours I love clouds too but see few here on account of all the trees:)

  3. I love the pictures of clouds, cloud holes, ground fog...all quite lovely to look at. As opposed to a septic tank but those are necessary evils. That's done now and you can forget about it for a couple of years.

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