Sunday morning we got started early with grading the area behind the house, under threatening skies. The idea is to gently slope the yard down from both sides and away from the house into a swale that will carry our winter rainfall off into the swamp. Things went well for a while, and I headed into town around noon to pick up some grass seed in case we got that far.
However, the weather had other ideas - by 2 PM (when I got back with the seed) it was pouring down rain. Dad valiantly continued to work until the entire swale was roughed in... and it quickly began to do its work, funneling the downpour off into the swamp. In the background, you can see the remains of the burn pile, still smoldering.
Eventually, things just got too wet and sloppy, so even Dad (who had a roof over his head on the excavator) had to give up and come inside for dinner and a hot shower. Standing, muddy water was everywhere, and the top couple inches of our clay had turned to slurry.
If nothing else, at least the rain showed us where the drainage needed to be! Our little system of swales looks like it will really do the trick. Once we get them smoothed out a bit more and grow some grass on them we should have a nice, relatively well drained lawn.
Tomorrow (or maybe later tonight if I get bored) I'll put up the pictures from today's work, in Part III: Topsoil.