Welcome to Antler Valley Farm

Antler Springs Farm?

In late March and April of 2017 we had several good rains followed by a couple weather fronts push through the area that brought a lot of really good and much needed rain.  A few inches of rain in just a few short days was a lot of rain though.  We had never seen that much rain since we had owned the property.  So when the rain came, we learned a lot-really fast!  We learned much more about our property than we knew before.  We had suspected that during really heavy rains we would get some runoff since the ground slopes down into a valley at the front of the property.  We expected that.  We thought we had it all figured out.  Nope.  Mother Nature apparently wanted to teach us a thing or two about wet weather springs.

We learned a lot about our property really fast.

We learned that some of the dry creek beds weren’t so dry.  Definitely not as dry as a dinosaur bone as one logger had told us.  Been dry since Noah’s Ark days another logger had said.  Nope, they were a little off.  Maybe more than a little.  Maybe a lot off!  These creek beds were actually more like wet weather creek beds.  We had no idea their were that many springs out there!  We should’ve named the farm Antler Springs Farm.  Or Springs Galore Farm would’ve been appropriate too, I suppose.

Some of the wet weather springs came together to from what looked like an antler.  Ok, at least to me it looked like an antler….  To Jim it looked like springs flowing to the creek.  We are soooo different!  Come on Jim, just humor me and agree that it might look like an antler…if you tilt your head and squint your eyes…maybe?  No?  Hmmm, maybe I need my eyes checked….

We had water everywhere at one point.  I was seriously considering building an ark.  The problem seemed much worse since the grass hadn’t grown enough to slow the water or divert it in any way.  I was really concerned about erosion in the pastures, but at that point it was too late to do much about it.  Thankfully all the rain helped the grass to grow a lot quicker to help prevent the problem in the future.

We discovered a wet weather spring beside the driveway.  Water was just bubbling up out of the ground and running down the ditch beside the driveway.  At first, we thought it was runoff from somewhere but when we followed it up the driveway we discovered it bubbled up out of the ground.  Crystal clear water just bubbling out of the ground.  Ok, no harm done.  In fact, I thought it was great because it was using the ditch beside the driveway.  How considerate!

This spring came up beside the driveway.

I wish you could see the water bubbling up under the leaves in this picture.  I had never seen anything like it.

We found another spring bubbling up down from the Old House and running down through the pasture.   That one was a little more funny.  For days we kept seeing water running down through the pasture.  Jim was convinced it was just a reflection of the dew on the tiny grass sprouts.  Considering he wasn’t wearing his glasses I decided not to argue with him.  I did however convince him to walk down into the field with me to investigate.  We started at the top of the field and it was completely dry.  All the ground around the Old House seemed dry too.  Once we got about 100 feet down into the field, the water just bubbled up and ran down the grass to join the creek at the bottom of the field.  That wet weather spring explained why the trees along that path were so much bigger than the trees around them.  Yep, we learned a lot there.

I wish the pictures of the water bubbling out of the ground had turned out a little better.  It was really pretty cool to see!

Another spring had popped up where we had covered up a ravine.  The logging guy had piled all the old branches and tree waste in there.  We weren’t really ok with that, but we didn’t know about it until it was already done.  Not much we could do about it at that point.  With so many large trees around it that we wanted to save, we knew we couldn’t burn it so we covered it up.  We were told it had always been a dry creekbed.  Well, it’s not dry anymore!!!  The problem was that the water was trying to find a way through all the tree stumps and dirt and couldn’t.  The water followed the path of least resistance which was up.  The water flooded out at the top of the ravine in a low spot.  We had our own small pond!  Well, we had talked about having a pond one day… maybe not in that spot but….we could definitely live with it.  We really had no other ideas on how to fix the problem!  After almost a week of dry weather the ground dried up and our pond was gone.  Good-bye small pond…Just when I was really starting to like the idea too!

This spring was a complete surprise!  Not a bad spot for an impromptu pond.  At one point this water stretched about 15 feet across and was about 2 feet deep.  

After about a week and a half of dry weather, the wet weather streams dried up.  Almost overnight they were gone.  We didn’t know whether to be glad or sad.  At least we knew where they were and what to expect though.

Almost a month later, the rain returned and stayed for a few days bringing us a few more inches of rain.  The wet weather springs returned in full force!  We are still getting to know this farm but I’m guessing that every spring or wet season we will see these streams pop up again.  That’s fine with us.  We would rather have too much water than not enough.  At least that’s our opinion right now.  Droughts and not enough water are really hard on a farm.  However, if a hurricane comes through and drops 10 inches or so of rain on us, we might change our opinion!

When we first bought this property one of the names we all liked was 5 Springs Farm.  We thought we only had 5 springs, so that name worked.  Hmm….maybe it didn’t work though if we actually have more than 5 springs.  5 Springs Farm Except in Really Wet Weather doesn’t make for a good name does it?  Or how about Most of the Time 5 Springs Farm?  Oh, the things that my silly mind ponders on a regular basis!  Anyway, it got me to thinking we could have named it Antler Springs Farm because we may have more springs than antlers at times.  In fact, in times of really wet weather we may have more springs than valley!  We may actually have more springs than we know what to do with at times!  Obviously, we don’t have it all figured out yet.  Nope, still learning….learning a lot!

 

 

 

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