Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blankie Security

Upstairs on the futon Kara and Braden can stay entranced by the right movie for hours.  I'm not sure they even realized I was taking this photo...  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Six Flags over Wimberley

These Tibetan prayer flags are now flying over our back porch.  Tibetan Buddhists place these flags in places of spiritual practice for the wind to carry the beneficial vibrations across the countryside.
Peace, Happiness, Courage, Love, Tranquility, and Wisdom.
After spending years on the back porch watching bluegrass gently swaying in the wind, listening to birds chirping, and gazing at blue sky or clouds drifting by, I can testify that at least five of these six things happen there without any flags at all. But the notion of those good vibrations floating out across the hills sounds pretty sweet to me.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Coon time

First, the evidence: Coon poop filled with sunflower seed hulls, located near one of the bird feeders.  So I set my coon trap out nearby during a grand-kiddo visit to see what would happen. 

Second, early on the morning after.  Look carefully in the left of my trap and you can see a good-sized coon trapped and staring angrily at Braden.  Who does seem to be pretty scared by it.  Meanwhile Kara is fascinated and and cooing "nice raccoon".  All in all a very educational experience for the city kids, and a considerably lesser experience for the coon.

Friday, April 05, 2013

The Sun Also Rises (At Night in Wimberley)

The solar floodlights in the front yard are now working.  I've never been happy with the light output of standard solar yard lights with their tiny little panels and AA batteries.  In the winter they always poop out before bedtime or even by dinner time on cloudy days.  

So I built my own system using a central BP solar panel feeding a 12 volt, 18AH battery and controlled by a little electronic timer.  To keep the current draw low I got some LED MR-15 bulbs which burn only 3 watts each and mounted them in standard aluminum yard flood fixtures.  So far Ive never seen them unable to light up the house during all hours of darkness; time will tell next winter when we get several overcast days in a row if my mad scientist calculations on battery and panel sizing were accurate.