.... after the first snow. The dawning sun highlights a shadow snake, the result of the work of my moles. I don't mind; I do not maintain a green carpet lawn anyway, though I do try to keep the dirt covered with vegetation. The sharp-eyed will notice a small white flag in the lower right and a yellow flag in top center. The yellow is one of a series marking the natural gas line. the white my sewer line. As a general rule, nothing good can come from flags marking underground lines and it cannot bode well for the pocketbook.
A couple of weeks ago while hauling some brush away I noticed damp earth, even a small trickle of water down in the alley where the manhole is. As it hadn't rained recently, I assumed I had a broken sewer pipe as a couple of my neighbors recently had. I called the plumber and he confirmed my suspicions, with an outside chance it was the watermain. They were scheduled to dig up and replace my sewer line yesterday - my very loooong sewer line. I was hoping to get by for $1000? $2000? Then early in the morning I got a call from Barb Wilford, the plumber's wife. "It turned out it was a broken watermain. It won't cost you anything." Except my share of next year's village taxes. :-)