This gives farming a whole new meaning! What a great post!
Not my real estate farm, my croplands. We got water yesterday, water from the Carson River to irrigate with. Coincidently, my grandson was out of school for the day so what else does an almost-nine year old boy do? Work with Papa. We started at 8:00 a.m. putting the boards in the diversion box. There was water in the ditch so it gets tricky. No problem for Gabe - he wanted to put the boards in - a first for him. He did a good job and I taught him to tell his mother how many he put in, "a lot". He learned that the crickets hide under the boards.
During the day he had many wonderful experiences. A garter snake was in the alfalfa. With no wind at that time we could see the plants sway as he squiggled his way through the plants. Gabe asked if he could pick it up ... sure. He did and enjoyed it. He let it go and watched it slither away into the alfalfa.
We inspected a pine tree that the horses had chewed on. It had a lot of new growth much to my relief, and on closer look we found a nest. I peaked in and saw five blue eggs. I lifted him so he could see them - rubber irrigating boots and all.
Ladybugs were everywhere in the alfalfa. I saw one plant with eight pretty red bugs on it. He loves ladybugs and has "hunted" them for years in the field. He is older now and stayed on irrigating task ... in between hunting for snakes. (We don't get snakes very often - only the 3rd garter snake I've seen in 5 years, but he didn't know that.)
I pointed out the bad weeds and we picked many. I showed him a superbad one, Canadian Thistle, and told him that we would come back with a shovel and get it. I moved on and heard an "OW" behind me. I turned and he was grabbing his hand. Yes, he had tried to please his papa and learned why we were coming back with a shovel. I shared his hand pain later when I pulled a foxtail that had a small wild rose branch in it. My turn to yell "ow"!
Later he took the boards out for the first time. It's a tricky job trying to stay dry while reaching in the rushing water with a hay hook to pull up the board. He learned that the water sounds different when all the boards are out.
He skipped rocks in the ditch - even found an old horseshoe and tried skipping it. He asked if he could, I said yes, and it went kerplunk. But it was fun! His best skip was a 6 ... not bad for an irrigation ditch. He fell in the water three times during the day and slid down a mud bank.
We went over to his great grandmother's house between checks and put up her swampcooler for the summer. He was a big help there as well. From there we went to the main diversion box and pulled the big boards. He remembered being there before, and liked being in that big field.
He asked a lot of questions about things all day long. He seems to be processing on why things were created. Had some run-ins with mosquitoes - they are on his "Why List". Why the snakes? Why the ladybugs? And so on with his curious mind all day long.
At the end of the day we took him out to one of his favorite restaurants for dinner - mud, grime and smiles. A break through day for my grandson - the day he went from hunting ladybugs to working like a fine young man ... with a snake or skip diversion once in awhile.
Oh, yeah - we got a good soak on all the fields.