I took the Third Day of Deer Season off so as to be in the house when a representative of the well drilling company came by. We (again) explained our problem with really, really red water appearing at the end of a pumping cycle and discussed the probable need to either redrill the existing well to deepen it or drill a new, deeper well. Our current well, drilled long before we bought the property, is just 132 feet deep with just 24 feet of casing and a recharge rate of 2 gallons a minute--that's slow. Across the road, they've gone down almost 300 feet.
While we await word on when they can drill, we tried shortening the cord on the float switch so it would start and end the cycle a bit sooner. Didn't work. When we tried to fill the cistern later in the day, we got red clay near the end of the cycle which means it would still be in the pipe from the well when the next cycle started. We really, really need to get the well down deeper and keep the pump off the bottom a little further.
The guy who showed up was one who was here to install a new pump protector a couple of weeks ago. He was surprised to have been sent out to do what he was instructed because he knew I had tried all those solutions. He was also surprised that our 1 micron filters were still allowing clay material through. "Not much gets through those suckers!" Well, quite a bit gets through ours. This clay is extremely fine.
I did get out this morning, Day Four of the season. It was warm all night with the temperatures in the 40s so all the snow had disappeared. The ground was wet and walking made no noise at all. THere was a wind blowing from the southwest according to the clouds and windmills, but where I was sitting it was predominantly blowing TOWARD the southwest. This was because the wind coming over Armenia Mountain was drawing the air out of the valley. This was good as the ceiling down there was about 1500 feet while I was at 2200 feet and should have been IN the clouds but they were being lifted over the ridge leaving a little zone of higher visibility where I was. Still, the trees were gleaning moisture out of the air and there was a constant drip, drip, drip to go along with the shaking, rattling beech leaves. Those were the only sounds I heard as, once again, there was no shooting going on.
The forecast out of the Elmira-Corning airport was for rain to start around four o'clock and I intended to sit until it seemed to arrive.That turned out to be a little after 1 PM.
Still, I did manage to see a few deer. At 9 AM I had a single animal come down the logging road from the other side of the cove. When I lifted my rifle and looked through the scope, I immediately saw it was a young spike buck whose antlers were just 2-3 inches long and didn't even project beyond his ears. This made him one of the protected class--along with any antlerless deer--for this day. (PA requires a buck have at least three points on one side for it to be legal.) To rub this status in even further, he turned and came up the hill right toward me. I watched as he came closer and closer and those antlers didn't magically grow one bit. He stopped several times and presented my with broadside shots at 50, 30, 20, and 15 yards. He looked right at me a couple times and presented those little horns like they were his get-out-of-jail-free pass. And they were.
At 1 PM I saw several deer rush into the field to my right. They were a long ways away and through much brush so I couldn't tell what they were and I was sure they were going to cross the field and disappear. Suddenly one of them popped into the woods where the young buck had earlier. It was a young antlerless deer and it kept looking back toward the field trying to figure out where the others had gone. I also wondered where the rest of them were as it stood there for several minutes before heading back toward the field. I saw it get to the field and then lost track of it.
That's when the rain seemed to be getting real so I packed up my gear and headed back to the Aerie. Instead of following the upper driveway back, I took a shorter route through the woods and intersected the logging road near the yard. As I got there, 10 deer suddenly took off running toward the road. I saw lots of bounding animals, white tails and no horns. Some of those deer looked like they should have had saddles on them. They were huge!.
The rain did continue for an hour or more before it stopped--for the time being. Tonight we'll get more rain and the temperatures will be falling. By tomorrow morning, they forecast, we will be getting snow again. They say we'll get 1-3 inches before it stops sometime in the afternoon. Could be a good day to go out but I won't rush it. Starting Saturday does are off the list of protected class. (The spike buck is still going to be protected, but if there are NO horns, it's fair game.)
BTW, going up and down the hill in wet, slick conditions was no real problem for my knees.