Why are ditches universally treated with scorn? They are a symbol of the low and degraded. Even Oscar Wilde, speaking of the ditch’s cousin, the gutter, said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Human activities constantly create ditches, and constantly we neglect them, though they are critical to the quality of our soil and water. It is very rare to see a ditch treated well. I’ve had my eye on one such ditch since last fall. It’s in a pasture-like area along N.C. 8 north of Germanton that was reseeded last fall. At the bottom of the ditch, the critical part, someone took care to spread an excelsior mat to prevent erosion. They also placed straw bales to slow runoff. To whoever did this good deed, I commend you.