From GENE LOGSDON
There is nothing so lovely as a pasture field with a creek running through it, but you will pay for it a thousand times over. If you have a pasture, you have livestock grazing there, and so where the creek enters and exits the pasture, you must have fencing decidedly different from what you have on dry land to keep your animals from wading out of the pasture and to keep your neighbor’s animals from wading in. We’ve always called them floodgates. So far as I know, no one has yet invented one that really works without spending a fortune. I was certain, when confronted with the necessity of floodgates, that I could design one that would work without my constant attention. A hundred or so floodgates later, I admitted defeat.
Here is the situation. The gate or fencing over the creek should be able to rise as the water rises and then settle back in place when the water recedes. If you just run fencing through the creek, like three strands of barbed wire, the flooding creek will make short work of it. That’s because water is not the only thing that flows down the flooding creek: also tree limbs, corn stalks, dead grass, flotsam of all kinds and all this mish-mash tends to pile up against your floodgates and eventually they give way. So what you need, as farmers for centuries have realized, is a gate than rises with the water. Seems simple. Just stretch a pole or cable across the creek and hang a swinging gate on it. As the water rises, it pushes the gate out and upwards and as it recedes the gate floats back down in place. Never is there an opportunity for animals to get past it.