Author Topic: Where did the Summer go?  (Read 1200 times)

fret not

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Where did the Summer go?
« on: September 29, 2021, 12:29:31 AM »
Really, where did it go?  I have been busy with all sorts of things and still not finished putting my XZ550 fully together, though it is getting closer.  Now the cooler and wetter(I hope) weather is moving in.  We had almost 1/4 inch of rain!!!  This drought is wearing on everything; trees are so stressed they are weakened, and when bugs attack they have little to combat the bugs.  Mostly we see this in the ponderosa pines, but even the oaks are weakened and some succumb to beetles.  When they are as dry as this a fire becomes a very serious event.  A bit over a month ago there was a fire about 2 miles from here, and fortunately the prevailing winds took it mostly north and away from me, but several others were not so lucky, and lost homes and vehicles. 

So all Summer long instead of working on my Vision my time was spent removing some trees and dragging the brush to piles for chipping, and processing the larger wood for firewood (hauling, splitting, stacking, etc.) , walking my old blind and deaf dog, and all the house work that accumulates. A couple years ago I started to sand a fairing and prepare it for fiberglass patching and paint.  It still sits as I left it, partially sanded, and now the warmer weather is closing down, which begins to limit fiberglass resin work.  It is a smelly operation and best to be done outside, so maybe it will wait for next year when the warmer weather returns.  So during the cooler seasons I will again try to focus on making the beast actually run.  It IS getting closer, bit by bit.  I just received caliper seals for the front brake, so that is the next step.  The journey is the destination.
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2021, 07:19:46 PM »

I am so with you on this, way too fast, still too many projects to work on.

keep plugging away and hope you guys get some decent rain before long.

Happy October

-Ron


fret not

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2021, 03:27:42 PM »
Well, the rains are finally arriving!  So far we have received a bit over an inch (27mm) of precipitation!  Clear enough to walk my dog this morning, and the weather forecast is for heavy rains Saturday and Sunday, especially in the evenings and overnight.  This should put an end to the 'local' fires here in northern California, and I hope it helps with the fires farther south in the big redwood stands of Sequoia and Kings Canyon.

I made a big pot of vegetable soup with lentils, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, red potatoes, a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste.  The squash and onions give it a sweetness that is soothing on a cool damp day.  The pot sat on top of the wood stove overnight, so when it cools sufficiently I will divide it up into portions and put it in the freezer for future easy access.  I try to keep beans and lasagna in the freezer too, so a good meal can be 10 or 15 minutes away at any time.

It is such a relief that the rains have arrived, maybe I will take some time off from worrying now, and go have a hearty bowl of soup.  :)
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

fret not

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2022, 11:22:24 PM »
Well, rain and more.  A couple days after Christmas we received a 'small' snow fall.  About an inch on the ground, but at this elevation (1500 ft./500M) the snow is often very wet and heavy.  It took out the power grid for miles around, and uprooted a couple live oak trees across the road and a couple more in my driveway.  I spent a couple days dealing with the downed trees and 'cooking' on a Coleman camp stove and on my wood stove.  After a cursory walk around I found lots of trees down.  Up the hill from my house is my water tank, which provides good water pressure from gravity.  The pressure went down some, so I went up to check out the tank and found the PVC plumbing had been shattered off the outside of the tank when a tree fell on it.  A couple days and 3 trips to town for all the parts, but I got it properly put back together.  My brother and an old high school friend showed up with a generator just as I was finishing the plumbing repair, so I got about 300 gallons in the tank before they left for the day.  Power came back a couple days later.  According to the local newspaper the outage lasted just over 12 days, I didn't bother to count them.  I can tell you it is a wonderful feeling to have a reliable source of hot water for a shower and laundry.  Funny about the snow, there wasn't a lot of it but it did lots of damage, and then was gone in a few days.  I have a huge job to deal with the downed trees before the weather turns warm and dry.  The whole area of the foothills is much like this and there are many untended parcels of land that have toppled trees and they will likely remain there until they rot or burn.  Hopefully we can skate by the coming fire season without any major event happening.  In the meantime, I have been getting plenty of exercise huffing up the hill to the water tank, and brandishing the chainsaw and dragging brush.  I much prefer to chip the 'brush' from the trees but much of what I have to deal with is not near where a chipper can get to, so likely I will begin burning it.  Life is an adventure on this little garden planet.  Savor the moments, they are what we get.
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

Walt_M.

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2022, 05:30:00 PM »
Yes, weather can be interesting. Yesterday we had the coldest temperature this winter, I saw 24F at my house. Ice in the birdbath and my neighbors were making snow for their autistic foster son. It was gone by noon. 70 out today.
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fret not

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2022, 08:51:25 PM »
I am grateful for the cooler and damper weather we are having now, as it gives some slack in the season for dealing with the massive amounts of 'fuel' on the ground before the hot weather arrives.  This morning I woke to snow falling and a white landscape, but now in the evening the snow is all gone, which is a relief for me.  This precipitation will make the grass and weeds grow, so they must be mowed and or weed whacked by the time warm weather arrives to dry them out.  THIS is my first priority until either I get it all done or cooler and wet weather arrives in the Fall.  When I get it done I can resume work on my XZ550.  One real benefit of all this is that my next winter's firewood is right there staring me in the face.  Also, the trees toppled at the end of the year when the sap is down, so they will dry and season well for next Fall.  Usually green wood is wet and heavy, and when hit with another piece of wood makes a dull thud of a whack, but since the sap was down in these trees they clink musically when smacked. 
Summer is not here now but it will arrive all too soon I fear.  Lots of work to do before it gets here.
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

Walt_M.

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2022, 11:24:39 AM »
We have been gardening, have sugar snap peas a foot tall and potatoes are up. Planted green beans last week but we need some rain. We have our firewood for next season too.
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fret not

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2022, 01:56:36 AM »
I have fava beans up about a foot now and the second planting is just emerging.  "Indian" corn to be planted as soon as the soil warms a bit, and 'regular' beans and squash to be planted with the corn.  Tomatoes and tomatillos and peppers to be planted when the soil warms (April?).  At least I have a plan this time. ;)
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

fret not

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2022, 07:55:11 PM »
65F/19C this afternoon @4:20pm.  Today as most other days spent burning the 'brush' (leafy parts and small branches) of the downed live oak trees.  It is a rather slow process as we are allowed to burn small 4' - 5'  fires, NOT like the big ones we used to do.  It is what it is, so this is how it is done now, slow going but GOING!  Making progress! 
This past weekend our neighborhood collaborated and rented a commercial chipper to clean up along our shared access road.  About 15 people busy feeding the chipper and dragging 'brush' and dead wood to the chipper.  I am sore and tired.   Two days from 9:00am to 5:00 pm wrestling all the 'fuel' off the hillsides and out of the low areas and up to the chipper.  What a monster!  It can take 12" material!!  There are now a LOT of chips been broadcast, and this helps open the area along the road.  That monster blasts the chips more than 50 feet with velocity.  Best to be upwind of that thing as it does make some 'dust'.
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

fret not

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2022, 04:24:02 PM »
DEJA VU all over again!  The weather has slipped into the Fall mode around here as the deciduous oaks are showing some leaf color and dropping some leaves, so raking or blowing them away from the buildings becomes a frequent task until the trees are bare around January.  The Vision still sits waiting for  the next step to make it road worthy and street legal.  Throttle and choke controls are done, next will be the fuel lines with the new fuel pump, but the uprooted live oaks are the priority until I clear that off my "To Do" list.  The real threat of wild fire here sets the priorities.
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

Walt_M.

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2022, 06:40:49 PM »
Well, we are back to looking at a hurricane. We just don't know where it is going which will determine our actions.
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fret not

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2022, 08:36:29 PM »
Walt, I do not envy you in regard to the seasonal storms you face.  Sometimes we get big winter storms but usually at this elevation we get mostly rain.  Snow is not uncommon here but big snows are.  The winter of '90/91 we had 20" of snow on the ground here.  It looked like a war zone for miles around with all the broken and shattered trees.  Many took the power lines down.  Folks still talk about it, but the fires are much more on our minds, especially this time of year when everything is so dry.  Historical drought in the SW USA, as predicted by NASA/NOAA many years ago.  From the news I see the Colorado River is showing the effects of the drought: Lake Mead (Boulder Dam) is drying up, river flow is severely less than usual, but the usage of that water had grown for agriculture and for the Los Angeles area.  Mexico is downstream, so is getting squeezed out so LA and Palm Springs can fill their swimming pools and water their golf courses. More than 70% of the Earth's surface is covered with water, so there is no real shortage of water, but the sweet fresh water really is in short supply.    Solar panels to power desalination and pump the water could be a good start, like they have been doing in Saudi Arabia for years, but it is not free.
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

Walt_M.

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2022, 02:18:42 AM »
Of course you are right, hurricanes are a pain but fire is worse.
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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2022, 01:29:38 AM »
Walt, do you have power?  The news is ominous for Florida.  I hope you folks manage to get through this weather extreme without any major damage.
Retired, on the downhill slide. . . . . . . . still feels like going uphill!

Walt_M.

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2022, 07:46:51 AM »
We're fine. I was concerned with the early projected path but it missed us by several hundred miles. Of course we still can't relax, there are 2 months left in this storm season.
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Ron_McCoy

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2022, 11:42:34 PM »
Best of fortune Walt. Hope everyone makes it through OK.

Walt_M.

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Re: Where did the Summer go?
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2022, 02:55:19 AM »
Good so far. Spent time Friday and Saturday 'fixing' the CD player in my truck. FWIW the CD player is today's 8-track. Anyway I had to remove the trim from the console to get the dash panel surrounding the player off. Then I had to visit the island of misfit tools to find a 7mm wrench to get the screws holding the player in place. Finally got it out and got the top off, 2 torx screws and a multitude of tabs and slots. And, there's nothing wrong with it. I thought it had a disk stuck in it but nope, I guess the mechanism that admits the disk was just sticking a little. Put it back together and it's working fine. Set the time to EST and we're good to go.
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