Cow path keyline


I was excited for the first rain of the spring. It’s the first chance I’ve had to walk our new land and watch how and where water flows across the landscape. There’s one area of steep pasture that I had been struggling to imagine how we could install a keyline ditch/swale. It’s too steep for a tractor. I was thinking about asking a neighbor with draft horses. Thankfully, I don’t have to. This pasture’s been continuously grazed for over 100 years and there’s one very well defined cattle path half way up this steep hill. It runs just slightly off contour, downhill from the valley to the main ridge. As it approaches the ridge it levels off and water sheets off the side. A perfectly installed keyline ditch already exists. Time to plant some trees.