How deep is your l’eau?

More than ankle deep in the stuff!

More than ankle deep in the stuff!

We are bilingual in Canada, or so the theory goes. I don’t claim to be, at least not in our  two official languages. However, I do remember a few words from my elementary school days, or what my mother affectionately calls my ‘cereal box french’:  ‘l’eau’ for water, ‘fenetre’ for window, ‘Ouvre la fenetre’ (Open the window), and ‘un bois de l’eau s’il vous plais’ (a glass of water if you please). (I’m certain I don’t remember the correct spelling, so please bear with me while I prove the exception to the theory.)

Today, the view from my ‘fenetre’ is less than appealing, thanks to the amount of l’eau I see in every direction: it has been raining since June. OK, so that is a bit of an overstatement, but only just. It has, in all honesty, rained for most of October, all of November and, apart from a short ‘breather’ of about half a day, all of December as well. Add to this misery the fact that 0ur ‘daylight hours’ stretch all the way from 8 am to 4 pm; although, unlike most of the valley, we have two ‘cuts’ in the southern mountain range which afford us half an hour of sun a day, when the sun is not shining, it matters not.

Water running almost all the way to the turkey and chicken barns.

Water running almost all the way to the turkey and chicken barns.

If I had one (and I probably should, being Canadian and all), I could almost canoe from the front porch to the animals pens. If it weren’t for the trenches I dug between the house and the garden (where the pink gates are and to the left), beyond the garden and before the new chicken barn, and between the chicken barn and the turkey pen, a canoe would be the only way to get around our property now.

It has rained about 5 inches overnight.

It has rained about 5 inches overnight.

Must be 4 or 5 inches of rain.

Must be 4 or 5 inches of rain.

It is weather fit only for ducks. The goats refuse to leave the barn in the morning on days like this. When I try to shoo them out, there is a plaintive chorus of: “N-o-o-o…I-i-i-t-t’s a-a-a-a-a-a-a g-0-0-0-0 ba-a-a-ack to b-ed day!” as I open their door and shove them out into the paddock. I have spent most of November digging trenches around the property to try to funnel the water away from the animal–and our–housing. I have also spent a lot of time wheel-barrowing gravel and sawdust around the property in an attempt to raise the ground level and gain decent footing. This kind of rain wreaks havoc with our soft land, turning it from spongy grassland into a mucky, slippery mess.

A few brave chickens face the weather in search of tasty morsels.

A few brave chickens face the weather in search of tasty morsels.

Usually the chickens brave the weather. Unlike the goats, the chickens are amazingly hearty and not much keeps them down. However, today there were very few to be found in the paddock and around the place. Instead, I found the bulk of them huddling quietly in their barn keeping dry. I guess they heard and took the goats’ advice; I know I’d like to go back to bed and not face this weather.

chickens huddling indoors during the day.

An uncommon sight: chickens huddling indoors during the day.

It is dark at the best of times this time of year in Bella Coola, but on days like this it is overwhelmingly dismal. The narrow east-west valley makes days like this seem like it is early evening from the time you get up till the time you retire. We have several sky-lights in our home so it is not often during the day that I have to turn on lights, but these days are the exception to the rule; I have on nearly every light we own, inside and out!

I try to see the positive side. Our Christmas lights look so cheery against the gloom, hung up on the barn and in the cherry trees. And a sudden drop in temperature would rid me of all this slush… but… here’s hoping it doesn’t freeze overnight and leave me with a skating rink rather than water-front property tomorrow morning.

Normally a small pond, the duck paddock is now completely submerged.

Normally a small pond, the duck paddock is now completely submerged.

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6 Comments

Filed under Chickens, Ducks, Goats, Sustainable Farming, Turkeys

6 responses to “How deep is your l’eau?

  1. And I thought my place got wet! I do hope it drains away soon.

    I’ve only been in France for coming up to 2 years but from April to now this year we’ve had 200mm more rain than April to end Dec last year, and more rain promised over the next few days.

    I’ve been trying to put up fencing but only succeeded in pulling out posts while wire straining the ground is just liquid mud.

    All I can think of is that maybe next year it will be ‘normal’, whatever that may be.

    I also have to say I think your chicken house is superb.

    Wishing you dryer weather,
    Deborah

  2. Good golly … that’s a lot of water. We’ll be thinking of you and sending thoughts for dry days your way! Is it freezing at all? I don’t know whether that would be better or worse.

  3. El

    Okay, is the title of your post a pun on a bad BeeGees song?

    I’ve got water issues here too. I ended up digging a lot of trenches and burying a lot of perforated plastic drain tile. It’s actually really helped: the garden isn’t in a low spot so much as it’s on its way to one so I had to divert the water all the way around the thing. That’s over 250′ of trench in heavy clay, not fun, but…it’s helped! (here’s a link if you’re curious about what I mean with the pipe
    http://fastgrowtheweeds.com/2008/04/29/on-sweating/

    Ack, December’s darkness is bad enough but…I wish you SNOW!

  4. Sorry to hear about your weather woes. But if it makes you feel better it was -18C last night here.

  5. Yuk, it’s horrible, isn’t it?

    It rained pretty much constantly all day here yesterday – heavy, driving, relentless rain; & wasd away another big stretch of the surface of our driveway, I’ve pretty much given up trying to repair it for now as it’s just so soul-destroying.

    Then just before midnight the alarm (which is VERY loud) tripped on our irrigation system; by the look of it the sheer volume of rain had overflowed the tank & the irrigator just couldn’t keep up. I had to go out in the pitch darkness of the storm & try to work out how to switch the darn thing off.

    And when I came back indoors & headed to the Rayburn (kitchen stove) to warm up a bit, I discovered that the kitchen was flooded – which is quite a feat when you consider we don’t have a back door….! By the looks of things water has leaked underneath the Rayburn via the oil pipe which feeds it. I slogged outside again & found that the back of the house was like a river; & there was nothing I could do about it other than just try to mop up the kitchen floor.

    To top it all when I went out this morning I discovered the poultry barn had completely flooded – so, yet more unwanted work. And the door to the caravan had somehow blown open & everything inside was soaking wet & will probably end up having to be scrapped & replaced.

    I’m really beginning to loathe this weather; when oh when, will it end……?

  6. Jo–ours has finally ended, I now own a skating rink!

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