Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Moving Dirt to Make Water

The invention of barbed wire brought the need for an easy way to water stock; man-made pools--ponds--stock tanks (whatever you want to call them depends on the region you live in) became necessary. Nowadays, if you need a new pool, the first thing you do is scout out the place by watching where the rainwater flows into a creek or river. The low side is dammed up with a levy built with the dirt from digging the new pond's depth.

Then we call the county agent to test our soil and be certain it even holds water. Some dirt won't if it has no 'clay' element. Next item on the agenda is to locate a good dirt man. He brings out the heavy equipment--dozers, scrapers, track-hoes and the like and goes to moving dirt. The last pool we had dug, it took them about a week to create a four-and-a-half acre mini-lake. BUT . . .

Back in the days of the pioneers, it was a whole different story. The ranchers or farmers used a team of mules to pull a 'scooper' or 'scraper' made of iron that would gather the dirt as it was pulled over the land then dump that dirt out the back. My husband met a man and saw a pool that his grandfather and great-grandfather had spent a whole summer digging.

Each man worked a team of four mules with a scraper six days a week--day in, day out--and managed to move about three yards of dirt every time they made a pass around the hole, then they'd dump it on the new levy they're building on the low side of the soon-to-be pool. A pick-up truck will hold about one yard to give you an idea.

This was a family affair. The wives and children would spread the dirt and pack it as the levy grew. Then once the digging was done, they'd plant trees on the levy to stay any erosion. To this day, that acre-and-a-half pond about thirty feet deep that he saw is still in place with mature oak and cedar whose roots have held the levy all these years.

Praise the Lord for the equipment available today!

Bio: Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and a quick scroll through her novels’ rankings by Christian readers attests to the Father’s faithfulness. She loves writing almost as much as singing the new songs He gives her—look her up on YouTube to hear a few. Her high school sweetheart husband won her heart fifty-one years ago, and now they share four children and seventeen grandsugars. Ron and Caryl live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door. 

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