Saturday, June 30, 2007


That dreaded word! I've talked about them before but I don't think I've ever shown them. This is what keeps the ranch green and the hay growing. Everyday, rain or shine, the pipes have to be moved. The earlier the better because they get too hot to handle. My niece pretty much takes care of them but once in awhile I'm out there changing them. We might have five or six lines going on different fields at one time, some short and some really, really long lines! I do not like doing them by myself (I think I've mentioned that before, yeah I'm pretty sure I have) and usually Grandma (MIL) is out there doing them with me. It's a great chance for us woman folk to chat and work out a bit too! You turn off the hydrant at the start of the line, move it over, hook up a swing pipe, move the first pipe approximately 24 to 27 paces from the last move, connect it, run back and get the next one, you continue doing this down to the end of the line. We have markers at the bottom of the fields to try and keep everything straight. Part of my job is the "liner upper," after we get the pipe moved I stand at the start of each pipe and tell the person holding the riser at the other end to move until it's in line with the marker. Once lined up, it's a push, I then set the hook or knobbie in place, and then a pull. You do this everyday and either come to the end of the field and start over, or hoist them over a fence and start a new field. Depending on what you are doing you might grab the pipe wagon and haul them someplace else.

This is the horse/cow pasture and it's always eaten down, all the other fields have alfalfa growing on them and you end up soaked right up to your waist! This is the view I see from my living room window. And don't think they don't get done when company is here, I've had everyone out there from my Mom to Aunts and Uncles helping, people from the city just love doing this stuff! And it just looks plain funny to see them in rubbers (gum boots)!!

Some days we have two vehicles and we'll leave one parked at the bottom but usually I run (yeah really, well maybe a fast walk) back up to the top of the field, turn the hydrant on, and grab the vehicle we've got at the top. You always keep a bit of water running while you are connecting the pipes just so everything stays put, when you come to the last pipe you put the plug in and then the line has to be turned on full blast when you're done. For the most part it's just as I described but we have the odd field where it's a triangle shape, or wider at the bottom than the top, or the hydrants are mickey moused, when you come across this you improvise and do the best you can :)

You may have noticed, in the top picture, one of the pipes has a hole in it, eventually it will be fixed or replaced and it really doesn't hurt if the hole is small. Here's a short video clip showing how sometimes the pipes end up broken.


Mom said...

Hi Kansas...
That is one thirsty calf!
Yes I remember wearing the gumboots (a little big for me). Then we all headed out to change pipes dogs and all. I was quite excited to see how this was done. Well I had a fast lesson I went tripping over the pipe flat to the ground (you and MIL thought I looked quite funny) :) but I picked myself up and carried on. I was soaked from head to toe. Then when we were ready to head home I couldn't find my dog in the high alfalpha nor could she find us. :( What a nightmare that was. After what seemed like a long search she finally came out and she found us. I would leave my dog at home next time but I would do it all over again, minus the tripping. I had a lot of fun that morning and also learned something new. :) ....Love ya Mom

Wendy said...

I find your blog to be most interesting and have espeically enjoyed the posts about what you do on the farm. Oh and the ones on the Big Slide. Thanks to you I managed to convince my husband that he couldn't pay me to take that road when we decided to drive threw Lillooet last month. I really, really thank you for that! I hadn't been back in almost 20 years (I grew up there)Facinating about what you guys do on the farm. I love the video of the cow drinking. What caught my eye was the bird in the background. Do you happen to know what kind it is?...It looks like it's carrying a little backpack.

Kansas A. Lillooet BC said...

Hi Wendy
Thanks so much, I'm glad you enjoy my blog! You must have taken the Cache Creek way in then? I know I dread driving through the Big Slide everytime, especially when it's raining! As for the bird, I believe it's a Magpie. They are like crows when it comes to getting into the garbage and can be a real pest at times!

Anonymous said...

I, too, was wondering about the bird in the background. And that is a CALF???

I love reading about what you all do. Funny that the Big Slide was brought up - I was wondering how things were going with that - if anything was going to be done about it.

Your mom's story was cute, too! =)

Gosh - we are looking at places with meadowland and I didn't even THINK about how to water it...I have so much to learn!

Little Old Liz said...

OK Kansas, you win. You are truely the Busiest Mom on the Planet (not just Canada). I'll keep my grumblings to myself from now on, when I think of all the stuff you do on a daily basis that would probably kill this City Slicker from Colorado.
How did you like the no-bake cheesecake pies? We used to do those all summer when I was a kid--you can't muck up the recipe!

Wendy said...

Thank-you for the name of the bird so quickly :) I was thinking about it all day. I should have known! I'm glad I don't have to wonder how the pipes are moved anymore. I've always wanted to know how it's done.
Yes, we did come in threw Cache Creek and out threw Duffy Lake back to Surrey. I don't envy you for having to drive the Big Slide especially in the rain.
Keep up the Awesome posts :)

jackie said...

Thanks for the visuals and description of pipe moving. You have mentioned it before and I was wondering what it was all about.

And who doesn't need a little extra water on a hot day ;-)