The Water Race
The Water Race is a man-made irrigation canal, flowing right through the Moosey property behind the house. It's like a small burbling stream, but it's dead straight, with smooth river stones on the bottom. The water is for irrigation and stock.
The Water Race
The water comes from the nearby Waimakariri River. It's often quite cold with snow-melt in the spring, and silty when there's rain in the mountains. Only when the river is in serious flood is the water race shut down to a trickle.
Gardens By the Water
Several Moosey gardens have developed around the water race, and the banks have been planted with flaxes, ferns and giant Gunnera. There are four bridges, and waterside paths. And all the giant Gunnera are free-floaters, arriving as seedlings from upstream.
The Water Race Downstream
Old Gorse Hedge - Aargh!
Originally an old gorse hedge ran parallel to the race, and the next-door paddock contained a double row of huge gum trees. A new shelter belt and fence was put in in 1998, allowing the area to be cleared and planted. But the gorse hedge hasn't given up the ghost yet - new seedlings pop up every month.
This flowing water feature is much loved by the Head Gardener - whether seeking ambience with a good book in hand, or wanting to cool off! And it's handy when Rusty the dog has rolled in something disgusting.
Footnote - 2009
This year I have a major plan to stop the quiet but inexorable erosion along the edges of the water race. This is partly caused by the Head Gardener's random weeding frenzies, but also the water flow, which tends to undercut the sides of the race. So I'm strengthening the water race edges with stones. It's a long job, and because of water temperatures cannot be attempted in winter. Brr...