Friday, July 17, 2009

You Know You Are Married To An Engineer When . . .

You know you are married to a water engineer when . . .

  • He has surveyed your backyard and knows that the grade is all wrong.
  • He has fun playing and diverting water.
  • He knows how to create a wetland.
  • And he has a pair of water boots.

Ever since we have lived in our house, we have always known that our easement is prone to a little bit of water collection. With each passing year, every rainfall compresses the ever growing soil basin. As a result, the egg infested water is restricted from entering the underground.

We frequently have a small lake in our backyard that harbors local wildlife, such as ducks. It provides entertainment that doesn't need electricity and the ducks stimulate Mussie's desire to stalk, hunt, and chase. I imagine it allows her to dream of her ancestors when they hunted lions.

Just hours before Mr. Smiley's birthday back in May, we made the decision to drain the mosquito infested backyard lake. It seems that parties are the impetus to get major projects done around the house. (Too bad we don't have any birthdays in the Winter!)

Notice that Hottie Hubby is wearing his engineering shirt and has on the infamous black boots that I really do find quite attractive on him.

The water pump was procured. Oddly, it was very similar to the one we used to drain the birthing tub after Mr. Smiley's entry into the world. I found it fitting to use it one year later for his birthday.

Hottie Hubby placed the pump in the lake where it would remain for approximately 2 hours.

Yes, this much water came out of the hose for two hours. Unbelievable.

Hottie Hubby worked to further drain out this area, by placing the pump slightly below ground level and creating channels for the water to flow towards the pump. Genius.

Though the water was gone, the area remained soggy for Mr. Smiley's party, but at least the swamp was gone.

The area still annoyed us two months later and Mr. Me-Too's party was quickly approaching.

July brought yet another home improvement project.

We (well, he) was going to construct a wetland.

Wetlands are an important part of our Midwest landscape. Wetlands . . .
  • can be a storage basin for large rainfalls
  • reduce erosion along streams and rivers
  • act as nature's kidney by eliminating toxins from contaminated water
  • provide a natural habitat for many creatures (most of which, I hope won't relocate to our backyard)
  • create a laboratory for hands-on education
  • can provide timber for sawmills
  • are often only seasonally wet
  • are the link or transition zone between the land and the water

In total, Hottie Hubby loaded and unloaded about 500 pounds worth of rock from the Loser Cruiser that would help define our wetland and give it a natural, perhaps artistic, appearance.

And instead of using a wheelbarrow, we borrowed the boys' wagon. Makes sense, right?

Hottie Hubby created the edging by hand.

Looks better, but he's not done yet!

He put down smaller stones and then added the large flagstone. We didn't want the rock to sink into the ground after each rainfall.

I think he had a little bit too much fun doing this! The problem was that afterward the boys thought that they could run into the wetland and jump around, too. Umm . . . no.

He bought some grass sedges.

And planted some Obedient flowers on the perimeter that were given to us by Hottie Hubby's coworker. Both of these plants are specifically wetland plants. They establish long roots, thus loosening up the soil and allowing heavy rainfall to soak into the ground.

Voila! It will remain a work in progress. With each passing year, the sedges and flowers will continue to grow in diameter and eventually fill the empty spaces.

I am so impressed with how creative my man is at work and at home.

And now, I am the proud owner of a wetland.

You know your husband is a water engineer when he builds you a wetland.


Hubby said...

Nice post! Thanks for making it look like I actually know what I am doing when it comes to constructing wetlands (or any project for that matter). Your writing was so good you almost had me fooled.

grace said...

wow. that is intensely a sweet place for learning!

Melissa said...

That is awesome and will be so beautiful!