Sunday, May 30, 2010

Five Hundred and Fifty-Five

Tomorrow is the last day of a five day weekend. I took off Thursday to work around home but the wind thwarted those plans.

Friday was another bust due to wind but Saturday was perfect. Julie and I worked in the garden all morning doing various chores. We expanded the drip system to every bed and to some proposed beds. Julie helped a neighbor during the afternoon with a moving sale and I added five additional raised beds and filled them. During a break I calculated the total area in raised beds. I have 555 square feet in four rectangular beds (320 square feed) and twelve circular beds (235 square feet). I've reached the limit. In order to expand the garden I'll have to move a fence.

Today we went to the first farmer's market of the season and stopped by two nurseries. About 4 PM we planted tomatoes and peppers and did some other work. I noticed the sun was getting low on the western horizon when we quit. Three hours had passed and it felt like one.

I had to destroy some cucumber, squash and melon plants. We started all of them from seed except one cucumber which was a gift from a friend. I noticed a problem with the leaves of the cucumber first. The mottling from mosaic virus spread to the squash and mellons. I'm going to seed more directly in the garden and keep an eye on them. I don't think the gift cucumber came with the virus so I have the problem myself.

Ash-throated Flycatcher.
Ash-throated Flycatcher.

We quit feeding and watering birds and other wildlife last fall when we turned the cats free. We have one hummingbird feeder and one oriole feeder mounted ten feet off the ground on the motorcycle shed which is sided with corrugated metal. Maggie used to sit under the feeders but finally admitted the hopelessness of a jump that high.

Lately we've been seeing a new bird in the yard regularly. He likes to sit on the fence which is in the cat danger zone. This is the first summer that we've seen an Ash-throated Flycatcher.

The electric system has been doing fine since I removed the failed battery and three other batteries. The system has charged fully each day. I changed the configuration of our amp-hour meter to reflect 675 amps of capacity rather then the previous 900 amps. The percentage full has dropped from the typical 85 percent each morning to the seventies which was expected. Today the system hit 100% by 2 PM and the voltage reading confirmed the batteries were fully recharged.

I connected two of the good batteries that I removed and charged them with a 12 volt charger. After sitting 24 hours they held their charge and the voltage reading on both was the same. Tomorrow I'll recharge the third battery and I'm set for the immediate future.

I started the motorcycle today. It had been about two months since I last started it and it's been six months since I've had it out. I have a small solar panel on the roof of the motorcycle shed that keeps the battery charged throughout the winter. A few weeks ago Julie bought a mesh jacket for riding in hot weather. The temperatures have been getting into the low forties at hight and the high eighties during the afternoon, Tomorrow we'll test her pink jacket.


Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

Paul, have you established a reliable composting system? I lust after one of those large rotating barrels....but they are so expensive. The trick seems to be providing all the ingrediants they call for in the right amounts....never seem to have enough of one or way to much of the other.

5/31/2010 05:56:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home