Town and Country: Trusted grubber redirects creek

What were you doing before breakfast on Wednesday? Maybe you were making your lunch, or listening to the news before getting up. Maybe you were reading the paper. Me? I was up in the paddock with a grubber, directing a creek back into its channel.

As I arrived home in the pouring rain on Tuesday, after negotiating at least eight flooded sections of road and being fascinated by the fountains that had sprung up where drain covers used to be, I noticed a new creek. It ran right down the middle of one of the paddocks and out into the shared gravel driveway, where it happily scoured a path for itself all the way down to the ditch at the roadside.

Springs bubble up on our hillside whenever there is much rain, but they are usually in the same place each time. This seemed to be quite new. So when the rain had stopped, but before the "creek" dried up again, I went to investigate.

It turned out that one of the under-runners that criss-cross the paddocks had collapsed into a hole and become blocked. Instead of carrying on down the natural watercourse, water was running down the paddock making the new creek.

My trusty grubber and I soon sorted that out. I took a moment when I'd finished to lean on the grubber and admire the way the water rushed down the gully where it belonged.

As I worked, the sheep and their lambs came down to watch me hopefully, remembering that I sometimes give them sheep nuts. And since I was there, I opened the yards for them to eat some nice new grass, a treat I had been saving for the weekend.

I didn't have time to do anything about the scoured-out bits of the driveway, but I could have loaded the trailer at the bottom of the dirt road with all the gravel that had washed on to the tarsealed section of road. There was plenty there to mend our wee drive.

That night I drove home to be met by half the flock running loose at the top of the drive. Someone had left a gate open in the yards and the sheep had grabbed the opportunity to graze far and wide. Luckily they are like Little Bo Peep's flock - leave them alone and they will come home - so we had them back under control in no time. And the drain still works.



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