Shaping soil for the culvert:
After I took this photo the guys jumped the fence and cleared out the neighbor's drain, which was nearly clogged shut with debris. I had advised the neighbors several times that it needed attention, but nothing happened.
Looking back downhill:
They haven't gotten to this bit yet. The existing culvert beyond.
I'll have a pile of retaining wall blocks to deal with when the culvert is complete. I've used those blocks in several different places in the garden. They are in as good a shape as they were in 2001 when we bought them, and have proven beautifully recyclable (even if they are not at all beautiful). Originally a veggie garden wall, next they created a small patio before we put in the walls on the north side, then they made the pathway and spillway to handle the flood when the drains got overwhelmed with eucalyptus leaves. Now they make a pile on the driveway.
The puppies got restless with the temporary loss of their yard. They found a grasshopper to eat, crunching it up with zest. I think that wet spot on the concrete is drool.
Boris played ball.
Natasha looked beautiful.
So I went out and picked more tomatoes.
The basil will soon go to seed, but it's sweet today.
Not as photogenic as flowers, but the color is bright.
The culvert is infrastructure. Not glamorous, infrastructure merely takes the long view of things, of protecting what is and what will be from the forces of nature for as long as possible. I was reading yesterday about the mammoth "Underground Temple", a huge project designed to prevent flooding in Tokyo. It's not a bullet train, or a football stadium, but it is so enormous and such a feat of engineering, it has a cathedral-like beauty, and it's become a tourist attraction. I wish our culvert looked so good, but the intent is the same, to protect what is, and what will be.