Portrait Of A Creek Project In The Morning


There’s A Hole In My Heart Where The Claw Machine Used To Be

Sunlight On Pipe And Wheelbarrow, c. 2012

Early Tuesday monring, shortly after I captured it on film for the most recent update here, the claw machine was taken away. Stealth recon by one of my neighbors, via her kitchen window, revealed that once the creek workers got a load of what they were up against, they realized they missed one crucial element.

The plan called for excavation of dirt and stump, filling in with dirt to make a temporary roadway for the equipment in the creek bed, and laying in of gabion. The thing is, this isn’t really a creek. It’s a runoff of storm drains higher in the hills. There’s almost always water trickling gently through it and it looks very peaceful even bucolic most of the time. And then the rains come and the water, driven by precipitation and gravity, leaps to the top of the banks and takes away the dirt with it. Which is what we have been complaining about and what is making our shed teeter on a Wiley Coyote-type precipice.

And so the creek workers realized that this is spring and the rain doth fall and whatever dirt they filled in would wash away and  flood their creek-bottom equipment. It’s quite deep – more of a ravine than a creek so whatever machines go down, stay down until the project is completed. Or until they wash away.

So the plan now is to hook up this temporary plastic pipe to the gaping maw of the concrete runoff pipe and divert the waterflow farther ahead of where the work is happening. Sounds reasonable yes but I don’t see how they are going to connect that thin black tube to the behemoth concrete drain pipe. That’s their business, I guess. My business is to keep you all up to speed on the creek project.

9 thoughts on “Portrait Of A Creek Project In The Morning”

      1. I noticed it right after they announced Levon Helm’s passing. But it’s certainly your own little piece of Cripple Creek.

  1. You push the plastic pipe into the big concrete pipe, build a half dam to seal the plastic pipe and allow the water to trickle through the plastic pipe only, and you hope the next big storm is after you’ve removed the temporary bypass. If not, you push the plastic pipe into the big concrete pipe…….

      1. I spent four years on a drainage project that required bypass pipes to build the concrete head walls. We’d place the pipes, build enough of a dam to stop the every day flow of water and continue our work. Since we couldn’t completely dam the creeks, any rain would wash away the dam and allow the water to flow unimpeded, which kept property owners from blaming us for flooding.

        We had one really hard rain, which washed away the dam and the pipe. We had to hunt downstream until we found it all, so we could put it back in place.

        1. I had imagined some sort of nozzle apparatus that would have the end of the small pipe shooting water out like a fire hose. Moving the problem downstream to a less conspicuous place. Sort of like urban renewal.

  2. I shall always remember Sunlight On Pipe And Wheelbarrow as the definitive post post modern piece; mutedly relating its tale of suburban horror.

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