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Friday, April 3, 2020

Ditch Digging

This is just a small part of a willow tree.
Illustrationfriday seems to have been hijacked for someone's personal self promotion so I don't have weekly words anymore.  The Covid 19 pandemic has upset me beyond the forced imprisonment at home.  I had decided to get a dog.  All the shelters are closed.  World events and political idiocy gets me down.  Sympathy for all the people who are or will be suffering is a bigger issue than I can fix. With all this going on I just haven't had the heart for blogging lately.  I've attacked my yard instead.  And my neighbors' yards.

The main duck pond with the tributary ditches I've dug.
I call this the upper duck pond.  If left alone,
I'm pretty sure it would join the other pond.
You see, several years ago Mr. Next Door Neighbor (NDN1) had a dead willow tree on his property.  The city made him cut it down.  Mr. NDN1 had a bad attitude about this and dropped the giant tree into the drainage ditch.  Water has been backing up in all the yards as a result, and the pond of stagnant water that formed in his yard invited ducks and swarms of malarial mosquitoes.  I can't even scream at this jerk because he died.  As I've complained previously, Mrs. NDN1 never does yard work.  The neighbor 2 doors down (2DD) and I have been cutting her grass for years without a thank you or a contribution for gas.  She's certainly not motivated to fix the ditch.

2DD and I discussed burning the willow tree but we agreed the city would probably have an issue with our plan.  I also suggested dynamite.  2DD is aging and can't do ditch digging.  The neighbor on my other side (NDN2) is old and housebound.  He can't do ditch digging either.  I decided to take my housebound frustrations out on hydro-engineering and manual labor.  I've been at this for weeks, ever since Ohio decided I need to shelter in place.

I've been whittling away at this tree root with a hatchet and hammer. 
It may be a life-long project.
The willow tree is no longer the problem.  The current issue is all the other trees and their roots which have grown in the ditch since the jerk started this mess.  I got water to run in the ditch again and dirt and debris blocked it up again.  I dug it out again.  It got clogged again.  3 weeks of this and the ditch is still getting clogged up.  As the water level drops, more roots are exposed which block the water.  Water from uphill poured down.   It rained.  It rained again.  It kept F-ing raining.  I found it hard to offer sympathy to a friend who is living through a drought.

This is how I've been managing my sequestration.  Part of me moans about my sore muscles and many minor injuries and the other part of me is thankful I have a yard unlike people stuck in city apartments.  I look at my birds, threaten my groundhog with my hoe, and toss things in the deer's nest.  I'm determined to have a mosquito-free summer if I'm going to be stuck at home this year. 

Here's some photos of my efforts.  This doesn't even show the whole length of the ditches!

Looking North
Looking South
Looking East -- and yes, that is a lot of directions!
What have you been doing?  Stay well!


  1. Wow Lynda what a situation from one idiots action. I'm so sorry to see this. I hope all your digging pays off and you can get this sorted. We are still in lockdown here in the UK and it is hitting hard. My doctor daughter has had her annual leave cancelled and working under so much stress. Our NHS are doing heroic work as the peak of the wave arrives. It is so surreal and very frightening Stay safe xx

    1. Thanks Jane. I hope it all gets sorted too! I keep wishing the US had national health care. I think the fact that we don't is going to mean it's worse here. I feel for your daughter and hope she doesn't get sick. Maybe some day she'll get extra vacation time eventually with the thanks of many recovered people.

  2. This whole lock down has been hard for everyone. We have been going on walks daily, I have been reading, discovered adult coloring and doing yoga dvd. I have even found a new hobby, planting herbs in my home. Something, that I have always wanted to do, so now is a good time..Stay safe and be well.

  3. Those all sound like great activities. I've thought about yoga for a long time. Maybe I'll try it after the ditch is drained. Wishing you to stay safe and be well too!

  4. Well, here's a project that should last! I hope it's helping you work out the frustrations of lockdown. We can't pick our neighbors...
    I guess illustration Friday is no more?

  5. I guess it isn't. Let me know if you know of another site like IF. I thought about doing the Inktober prompts but all my energy was spent in the ditch. The lockdown has actually expanded my range since I'm all over my neighbors' yards :)

  6. You have put in some tough work there. I can understand it's hard to be joyful in these days. On the other hand it's good to keep busy, even when it's work you'd probably rather not do. Stay safe, Linda.

  7. you are so kind with your neighbor...
    Hope, everything goes well with your yard soon...

    # Happy Easter

    1. Thanks Tanza. I think the yard may be a long project but it looks like I'll have time to work on it.

  8. I haven't been doing much, other than indoor creativity. And a little outdoor diversions. Yesterday's highlight was a painted rock hunt.

    1. Painted rocks sounds like a great activity. I'll look forward to seeing them :)