Continuing with country life...
D is for dams...
Fifty years ago, a sunny, summer afternoon might find my four sisters, three brothers and me engrossed in a HUGE project. We liked to dam the crick (creek). That was possibly the only time we all voluntarily pitched in to work on something together. Wait, I take that back. Making homemade icecream was a group chore we never avoided either. I digress.
Back to the creek. We'd take the shovels out of the barrel in dad's shed, and then set to work, cutting sod from the creek bank to widen the pond, and stacking it up in the narrow part of the crick, and then backing it with rocks we'd carried one at a time out of the pastures.
Our cooperation level eventually broke down, and sometimes it spiraled into mud flinging, or a perfectly timed "placing" of a lump of sod into the water next to the dam-breast to get the biggest muddy splash out of it that we could. Oh there was the crayfish terror, too. Catching a crayfish--and holding it inches from someones face who just didn't care to be that close to the thing.
Of note* When we built a dam, out lofty goal was to have the water depth
at least up to our thighs--and that included the half foot of mud at the
bottom that we mucked through. Most times, I admit, we fell short of our goals, and made it knee deep.
We had a few favorite spots in the stream.; some places were better than others--places where the little creek narrowed after a naturally wide spot. We thought we had it figured out--considered ourselves
nearly dam engineers. Farm kids trying to cool off is what we were; dam engineers we were not.
Even with all of the planning, and proclaiming before each new dam was
built that "This one will last!" None of them did; every time we had a gully-washer come
through, the dam was gone.
We did manage to have a dam last through a winter, long enough to get to skate on it. But for the most part, the joy of building a dam wasn't ever really in having a pond; it was in the actual building of the dam.
Country D memories: Daisy bouquets accented with deptford pinks, yarrow and evening primrose. Prettier than anything you'll ever buy at a florist shop. And June evenings walking along the farm lane, the scent of dog roses hanging heavy on the air. And, caught off guard before sundown, walking though a dew drenched hayfield soaked to our waists--drinking in the scents of clover and alfalfa from the damp air, the timothy tall enough to tickle our chins.
Country life...a good life. Is it a thing of the past?