Kevin is not one to let a hurricane warning to get in his way -- Hurricane Otto was expected to hit the Caribbean shores late Wednesday or early Thursday morning. This system was bringing heavey wind and rain. Based on the national weather report, the whole central valley was supposed to be affected. It turns out that Otto travelled north of the country and towards Nicaragua. Although there was devastation in some areas, we only experienced a light drizzle. Thank goodness for that! Hurricanes don't usually hit this region, but Mother Nature has all kinds of tricks up her sleeve. Oh and the earthquake from El Salvador rippled down, but we didn't feel a thing. -- As I was saying, the impending hurricane didn't deter Kevin one bit. So he and Martin continued to work on the link between the two ponds. They still had a lot to do.
First, Kevin made sure the bottom was level and ready for the cement...
Once that was done, Martin mixed the cement and started pouring...
After several hours, it started to take shape. Once the cement was dry, Kevin filled the pond with water to try it out... take a look at this!
It's all very muddy at the moment, but Kevin has spread some grass seed and everything will look lush and green in no time. Kevin will also cut oak boards to lay across the top of the tank when it's not in use. There will be a gate on the pond side of the tank and another gate at the pipe side.
The overflow water from the chicken pond will constantly be spilling into the big pond. Kevin has temporarily put corrugated steel to protect the hillside from eroding and making the big pond dirty. Part 3 of this project will consist of creating a canal (directly after the exposed pipe) with rocks and cement, then digging out a hole at the bottom for the hillside to create a pool for the fish to land safely in. More pictures to come next week!
We hosted our first B&B guests of the season this past week. They stayed for one night. They had to get to a horseback riding tour north of San Jose so couldn't stay longer. Lovely couple. You can read their guestbook comment here.
We will be getting ready to welcome another guest on Friday for four nights.
Teased with beautiful sunny and dry days the previous week, Kevin and Martin decided to dig a trench to install concrete pipes between the chicken pond and the big pond. We never understood why the original builder decided not to connect these two ponds. At the moment, we have to catch the fish with a net, put them in buckets and quickly walk down to the big pond and empty the buckets one by one. It's a lot of hard work. Heavy work.
So, now into our fifth season, Kevin thought it would be a good idea to finally connect the two ponds. The new conduit will allow us to open a gate from the chicken pond, and let the fish flow through the pipes into the big pond. Easy... until Kevin and Martin hit rock. We now understand why the original owner left the two ponds separate.
If anyone knows my dear husband, they know he is a tenacious man and not easily deterred: he won't back down from a challenge. He took a few hours to think about how to solve this issue and he came up with a new and improved plan. Kevin is going to build a shallow concrete holding tank before linking it to the pipes. This tank will serve as a selection station (brilliant!!). We will be able to see the fish clearly, see if any should be put back due to being smaller, and guide the other fish down the pipe into the next pond.
Each pipe weighs 220 lb. Kevin used old tires as an intermediate step to help soften the blow when loading and unloading the pipes, minimizing the chance of breakage. It worked like a charm.
The rain held off during the mornings, but it did rain in the afternoons most of the week (the previous week, was indeed a tease). It's been raining hard all weekend, too. Kevin cannot start working on the concrete tank until the rain stops (which should be soon). Until then, everything is pretty muddy and messy.
I'll have more pictures as the project progresses. Stay tuned.
Our first B&B guests arrive on Wednesday. Let's pray for a little sunshine, shall we?
Last week we sold our two biggest bulls, Jackson and Clooney. They are both two years old and because they have not been castrated, they were bought as studs and will be going to live their lives out on another farm.
It was hard for Kevin to see his boys get hauled away. He raised them from the time they were just babies. Even at this big size, they would come up to him and want a cuddle. Jackson especially loved to suck on Kevin's fingers: his way of showing affection.
And two weeks ago we purchased Martin's two baby bulls: Cruise and Rain Man. So the roster now consists of: Redford, Newman, Eastwood, Willis, Rocky, Cruise and Rain Man.
So far November continues to be wet, but every day the sunshine (or lack of rain) increases. One sure sign that summer is around the corner is seeing the catalinas dot the landscape. These beautiful flowers bloom seemingly overnight. They come in different colours and we're lucky to have the white and purple variety on our property. Another sign summer is upon us is the wind. We can feel a shift in the air and a steady wind blowing all the clouds away.
I took the above pictures while walking along the riverbank while my trusty friend, Bobbie McGee kept me company. She loves to hop from rock to rock and then splash in the water.
Birds are still around. We haven't seen the ospreys in several days, but the herons make an appearance almost daily still -- no evidence of much success in killing our trout though.
Birds that we often see in the river, scavenging for dead animals, are vultures. When we gut and clean the trout, we throw the guts into the river and the vultures enjoy a feast. This week we noticed a dead fish in the big pond. This doesn't happen often, but on occasion it does. It was floating in the middle of the pond so we had to wait until it was closer to the edge to scoop it out with a net. It took its sweet time and as I was sitting in the house with the door propped open and suddenly saw a vulture land on the terrace wall. It made me jump. I was caught off guard (yet again) so didn't have my camera ready. By the time I was set to take a picture, he had flown off. Minutes later, he came back and landed on the bank of the pond. He was eyeing the dead fish, but the wire got in the way so he abandoned his mission and flew away. We've never seen vultures so close to our ponds before.
A few days later, we saw a kingfisher, which is a rare sight on our property, so it was exciting to spot one. Kingfishers do like trout, but our trout are to big for them, so there is no real danger.
B&B bookings are steadily coming in. We confirmed a reservation for seven nights in late January. Guests who stayed with us during our first season recommended our place to their friends. We're always so grateful for word-of-mouth referrals. (Thank you so much Ingrid and Allan! We hope to see you back here again soon, too!)
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
Click here to pick up your copy of Anne's book! It's all about their adventure and the establishment of Hush Valley Lodge: from leaving their middle-class suburban lifestyle in Canada to reinventing themselvess in the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica. Check it out and if you enjoy it, please spread the word! Thanks!