Alas, the military campaign continues, and despite lifting the edges of the liner where exposed yesterday the water level of the stream still dropped rapidly, although perhaps not quite as quickly as before. There must therefore be a leak somewhere, but somewhere that has been somehow disturbed this year as throughout the 9 years or so since we built the stream it had never lost water as rapidly as it has done in the last couple of months – since the rat incident possibly, but it could have been before this. Knowing I had moved a witch hazel to this area in March I wondered if I had accidentally clipped the hidden pipe with my spade – unlikely, but nevertheless I exposed all the pipe from the outlet of the stream to the steps through the grass and found it went nowhere near the witch hazel.
That still leaves a few feet of pipe to be exposed, but in the meantime I got the Golfer to rig up a measuring device to monitor the water level in the reservoir whilst the pump is switched off. I have checked this by eye several times recently and it doesn’t seem to be an issue, but perhaps the rat had a deep-diving sibling who nibbled the liner at the bottom. Tomorrow, if it proves necessary, I shall lift that last bit of pipe – after that, who knows? With the trenches I have been digging today it does indeed look like a battle zone!
On a happier note, the wet weather in the last couple of days has resulted in good progress on the blue-gravel-and-shell project, which should be revealed very shortly – and from the dryness of the house I have been able to admire the increasing dimensions of the apples on the stalwart cookers tree, but also on what I think is a ‘Cox’ but which has given us no apples worth picking at any time until now. Heavy pruning a couple of years ago possibly did the trick – we all like a bit of attention some time, don’t we?!