Sunday, August 17, 2008

Why Was I Plopped At The Bottom Of A Hole ...

Why, oh why was Fantastic Fabiola plopped at the bottom of a hole in a field instead of gracefully perching on her ottoman chatting about bailing twine? In farm world, tile blow-outs trump bailing twine stories. Hard to believe, I know, but true.
Of course you know this, about 3 or 4 feet under many fields, farmers or drainage contractors have placed (depending on when it was done, oldest to newest darlings) fired clay, concrete, or plastic field tile. <-wonderful wikipedia talks about field tile in detail. In short, lowering the water table in wetish fields keeps plants from being lazy. Corn and beans and wheat that don't have to bother growing roots spend all their time sitting around watching reruns of Green Acres on the Tee-Vee.
Where was I? Plopped at the bottom of a hole, yes. Sigh. Yesterday while gracefully walking through that field, watching for summer wildflowers, instead Fantastic Fabiola spotted a monster hole. Damn. (Not that Fantastic Fabiola ever curses.) A section of a twenty-four inch diameter clay tile had clearly had enough and had caved in during the last heavy rain. Now, one of the things with tile blow-outs is that they always get bigger, so they have to be fixed. In order to fix them the old bits of broken tile and excess dirt have to come out of the hole, dirt surrounding either end of the good sections (still in the ground) has to be removed so that a new piece of lovely plastic field tile with sleeves attached can be fitted over either end. A backhoe can do most of the work but the removing dirt from around the ends of good tile has to be done by hand. Well, shovel or in Fantastic Fabiola's case a sturdy concrete trowell. That activity requires that someone jump into the hole, so why Mary was digging, Fabiola took photos from an interesting vantage point. The tile got fixed, Fantastic Fabiola got some lovely photos from a fairly unique vantage point, and Mary got dirty. One good, one wonderful, one typical -- oh don't worry about Mary, she doesn't particularly like getting all filthy, but she is washable, so it is all good.
Fantastic Fabiola promises that she will talk about bailing twine later today. I, Fantastic Fabiola, know that you can hardly wait.

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