Well Witchin’ the Vineyard

I’m on a roadtrip, except for the fact that I flew here and then rented a car.  So, is that still considered a roadtrip? 

Let’s just say I’m on location in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, bringing you up to date information on the latest and greatest happenings from my future vineyard property.  I know you’ve been sitting at home twiddling your thumbs waiting for this update.

Well, here it is!

I am here to find water. 

I know, please contain your excitement, but it is one of the most important tasks at hand if I am to build a house and plant a vineyard.  Basically, I need the wet stuff, liquid gold.

So has anyone ever seen someone witch a well?  Or done it yourself?  It’s very, very interesting, strange and scary.

This is Steve, well-witching and well-digging extraordinarie.  See his well-witching rods, ummmm, they really work.  Which really, really freaks me out.

Now the Wild Boar and I have had nearly a thousand conversations about the well-witching weirdness that goes on everywhere. 

“It’s not real,” he would say. 

The Wild Boar has always felt that at the end of the day these well guys rely on topography and plant life to guide them to the water hole.

My claim is, “The water is 300 feet down…PLANT LIFE IS NOT A CONSIDERATION AT THOSE DEPTHS”. 

But the Wild Boar is a man of science, there was no way he was going to believe that water, 300 feet below the surface, was going to make two, plain old welding rods move.  Not a chance!

But as Steve walked around certain areas of the land, the rods moved, very quickly, to the sides.  The Wild Boar still doubted what was happening right before his eyes.  

Until he tried it himself. 

In the area where the largest gravitational pull was located, where we ultimately decided to put the well, the Wild Boar held the rods tightly, skeptically and approached slowly the area of interest.  The rods went to the sides almost instantly.

He wanted so badly to disprove Steve, well-guy extraordinarie, but he couldn’t, and now he’s stumped.  And it bothers him.  A lot.

Of course now I’m convinced the property is haunted, and is the reason I ran screaming down the hill but that will just have to be seen.

Overall, Steve and I had an enjoyable time discussing sizing pumps and pipes for the well and what type of flow would be expected, turbulent or laminar, with the pipes chosen.  We also talked about the type of pressure we would need to pump the water up a 100 foot hill to a reservoir area, depending on the type of flow rate we were able to achieve.  We worked out some numbers but are just tentative until we have a gallons per minute estimate.

Now let me just say, I have been waiting for the opportunity to discuss turbulent and laminar flow with someone ever since I studied winery engineering, IN DEPTH.  I can’t tell you how much this made my day.  Geeky I know.  But cool.  Really cool.

So later this week, well-digging setup begins.  Insert Oooohs and awes here.

So while all this water-hype activity was taking place I was of course pondering much more exciting things…like what view I think my tasting room should have. 

I was thinking about this one, which this photo does not do justice.  It’s breathtaking up here, way above the road.

Now, while the water was important and the tasting room view was scouted, the hooligans were up to much more important things.

They were tracking animals…camels to be exact.

I know this looks like a puddle of mud but it is an animal print. 

The hooligans in all their city-living glory were jumping for joy when they proclaimed they found a camel-toe footprint. 

Trust me, I hesitated posting that term because of all the weird search engine hits I will now get.  But I laughed hysterically at their excitement of finding camel-toes in the middle of the wine country. 

And there was no telling them that they were wrong.

So they searched…

And hunted…

They even used a compass…

But surprisingly to them, there were no camels to be found.  How strange.

So eventually the hooligans got bored with their camel search and instead wanted to explore what we call the stump graveyard section of the property. 

All of these stumps will have to be removed and burned but please tell me why they left that one tree?  Why?

And this scary one?  Explain it.

And here is one of the thousands of Charlie Brown christmas trees we had to plant in order to restock the forest before we pull them all out to plant grapes. 

Yeah, makes sense I know.

And this is one of the septic graves, I mean pits, that were dug for the homesite. 

Ummm, I might be a city girl but if the septic pit won’t drain due to porosity issues with the soil…yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s a problem.

More to come…

Over and out.

Post a Comment


  1. What a great post!
    1. My dad and I witched for our well in Alaska. It does work. Recommend you don’t do it during a yellow jacket infestation!
    2. There’s those Easter dimples I was hoping for!
    3. Perhaps if they’d gone on an Elk search instead of camel?
    4. Perhaps it’s an Elk magnet tree so they know where the grapes will be planted (just kidding)
    5. That grave is freaky. Do you have a high clay content?

  2. I think that is so cool about your future winery. I’ve never done any well witching, but I’ve read enough about it to believe in it. When boys are on an adventure to find an animal- there is no stopping them. I loved all of the pictures.

  3. We need to get our calendars out. I need to get my tickets to come there.

  4. according to my mother, there was well-witching involved to find water on our land before the house got built. i find that to be some freaky, freaky stuff.

    on a lighter note, best of luck with your winery plans and progress! that’s so awesome!

  5. I’m thinking that lone tree was left for a reason! Might want to keep it around to avoid a haunting by its ghost.

    Great pictures – I look forward to following the development over the next year or two.

  6. Woah. This is totally frickin’ cool.

  7. krysta 7

    that’s so cool! I love this part of your blog.

  8. ALF 8

    Oregon is soooo pretty. Living in the desert makes me miss places that are green.

  9. I cannot convey to you how hard I laughed when you wrote that your boys found a “camel toe footprint” in the mud. I don’t know how you kept a straight face.

    You are living the dream, you know that? I would LOVE to have my own winery and vineyard and be that person. I’m in awe of the knowledge you have of water, pipes and what not. That would be too much for me to handle. I’m not kidding. I’d be like “Just tell me about the important stuff…wine!”

  10. Hi, new to your blog, and find it really fantastic. Your new land looks wonderful. Water dowsing is really quite amazing. I think they use Hazel twiggs/sticks over here. Seems to work though..

    Rosie (UK)

  11. I followed you over from The color of Home (which is kind of creepy, considering I was reading about scary things and then followed you home) ;-) But I am hooked. What a great blog you have here. I like your humor and yes, I did “oooh and ahhh” at the right moment (beautiful land). Making the addictive muffins tomorrow!! Thank you, and I’ll be back… in a non-creepy way.

  12. Vonda 12

    My dad used to well witch and it indeed does work every time. I don’t understand the way it works but we tried to disprove him when we were kids and the rods did the same thing as your husband found. I love the photos….beautiful country we Oregonians have. Oh and maybe the camel looks more like a deer or an elk…hope it doesn’t have a hump or two.

  13. How exciting for you and your family! I hope you post lots of pictures of each step of the process. You’re educating a lot of us!

  14. Dude – what an exciting time for you guys… this is gonna be so fun to watch :)

  15. Liz C. 15

    I’m totally in awe of what you guys are doing as well as the witching thing. So, it’s kinda like the Ouija Board thingy, only it works? I’d be fascinated to see that. Can’t believe there were no camels!

    By the way, you wine tasting room will have the perfect view. If you build it, I will come…

  16. Molly 16

    I really do wait for these post with baited breath. I love it!

    Maybe they didn’t take down the one tree because it’s haunted. Ha, ha, just sayin’.

    Keep us in the loop!

  17. Yes, it’s good to get an update on the vineyard, good luck water witchin’ and as always we’ll be enthusiastically anticipating more pics :)

  18. Ah, I see. I missed this post. You are doing the vineyard thing.

    I rather like that scary tree.

    However, I am very sorry to say that camel toes are often seen in places that you would never find the whole camel. Do some people actually think that is a nice look or are they just completely clueless?

    I’m curious about this water witching. Dh had a theory that had to do with some people being better conductors of electricity or something, but either that isn’t the case or your dh just happens to be one of those people. Dh based that theory on the fact that the one water witcher he knows has strange things happen with electrical appliances. If she walks in front of the TV, it will shut off, for example. It’s weird stuff.


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