Monday, July 22, 2013

Waterfalls, Floods and Mud

On Sunday we had a rainstorm, and my husband noticed waterfalls pouring down the mountain behind our house.  It was difficult to get good pictures with all the clouds.  We looked at the waterfalls through a telescope and realized just how dangerous it would be to be hiking up there when a rainstorm hits.  The lines from the water look small here, but through a telescope we could see that they were raging torrents.

We went outside to check the height of the flood that runs through the section of arroyo in our back yard, and saw a rescue helicopter to our northwest.  The news said that several people had to be rescued or air lifted from their stranded vehicles after they tried to cross flooded roadways and their cars got stuck or floated away.  One area near several boarding stables was shut down because the road got buried in mud.

Our arroyo was flowing fast, as usual.  One of the reasons why we cut off access to horseback riders in our arroyo was because they were causing erosion and pushing the flood waters closer to our home.  My husband has been doing a lot of work to try to build up the ground on the side closest to our house to push the water further away.  With each flood, we lose a little more of our land because the water wants to follow the trails that the horseback riders create.  When we built our arena, the horseback riders started trying to create new trails in random locations, and they tore away at the lower bank closest to our home.  We ended up having to put up a wire fence to stop them.  I'm sure they didn't understand what they were doing, and it was just too difficult stopping to talk with everyone and explain why they can't continue to ride there.

After erecting the wire fence, they just began riding up the arroyo to the end of the fence and coming up on our neighbor's property to the south.  That neighbor got mad and posted a bunch of No Trespassing signs, all of which got ignored.  So, he piled a bunch of logs and branches on our side of the property line to stop the horseback riders from getting through to his property, and he essentially built a damn so that the flood waters would overflow on our side of the arroyo.

Now the horseback riders have been carving a path right along the property line of our neighbors to the north.  So far they haven't stopped them.  I'm thinking that if the horses continue to erode the bank of the arroyo in that location, they may actually help us for a change, because they will lessen the degree of a curve that the water takes toward our house.

Once the rain stopped, my horses enjoyed cooling off in the wet sand.  Gabbrielle and Rock sleep together now.  Of course, I have to be sneaky to get a picture, because if they hear me coming, they sit up.  At one point Rock nearly had his head in Gabbrielle's lap.


fernvalley01 said...

wow the weather there sure has its extremes but I bet the cool down felt wonderful

Cheryl Ann said...

I saw some news footage of the flooding there where you are. It was pretty bad. Our mountains have had from 1 to 2 inches of rain, which has really helped extinguish the mountain fire (thank goodness)!