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Author Topic: A foul wind a blowin  (Read 302246 times)
biff
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« Reply #1785 on: April 30, 2019, 12:38:46 PM »

Well done Tod and congratulations on your new array,
   We had another  little earthquake here in Donegal. 2.4 on the Rich man,s scale . The second in 2 weeks,  Apparently these little earthquakes are getting quite common now with the arrival of the frackers in Fermanagh.
 We had out turbine down for Hannah but we never got much more than force 8 for a few hours. The real wind was farther south in Clare where the diggers and dozers were out in force piling giant rocks on the beach fronts to keep the swell at bay. I think it worked.
                                                          Biff
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« Reply #1786 on: May 01, 2019, 01:43:02 PM »

Hannah on cefn sidan, dune forming. Gusts up to 78 mph, it was a bit breezy.

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipOQzsZ7vFSuEjIV0lVlST31hguGpxdiMS-fNNDU
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biff
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« Reply #1787 on: May 06, 2019, 11:06:39 AM »

The wind has switched to the south west,
                                               Hopefully it will warm up a little more. We had 48 hours of the east wind but no frost as yet. Our apple blossoms are running riot and the grass is coming on strong..
    We sincerely hope that this is not going to be our summer. This time last year, we had a spell of dry weather without rain for weeks and our apples suffered, especially the Bramleys. This year things are slower and more steady. Even Hannah left us alone.
    I am due to lower our Y/S wind turbine any week now for a change of prop and a new tail. It has done well and cut the mustard when our 3.8 of pv failed to deliver in the winter gloom. I once dreamed of a double 2kw baby with 6 cables going down the tower to 2 different 2kw controllers. The idea being that the first 2kw would be powered by the big bad blades and the second 2kw would come on stream as the voltage went up over the 138vdc mark. So the second pmg would act as a brake and only kick in when the dump load voltage was reached. This would mean that large blades would catch more power from the low speed breezes but be fully controlled like the present 2kw Turbine because it would have the same alt diameter ratio to blade area as the present 2kw x 48v blades.
All that would be needed extra would be 2 x 2kw dump loads be it immersions of storage heaters. I could afford to run our Symmetra rm all the time with his four parallel 1.4kw inverters. instead of only using it in conjunction with the noon output of the PV.
    It is an exciting idea. but one that would have to include an Xmork furling mechanism which to my mind is second to none. I don,t think the expense would be that great. I would need a  250mm square x 10mm wall steel box built. That could house the yaw and a 6 slip ring vertical shaft and brush sets that the front and rear pmgs could be bolted to as well as the base for the tail.
 The yaw would be offset to the left and the universal joint and couplings would have good room to perform inside. I originally designed a cradle or cage that would bind the lot together but  The center steel box seems to be a better idea. more compact and stronger. Weightwise if might even be lighter. The lower yaw bearing could be the same as the present one but the upper one would have to be the same as the 40mm shaft on the turbine itself. So there are no great expenses there apart from getting the box built to suit the 6 slip rings and 2 double brush sets.
   This idea could have been built into the winding originally but I guess the extra expense and controller trickery would have put people off buying it. It,s top whack would always be just over 3kw.
   Multiple my 1600watt x 2 and you get 3.2kw flat out in a force 8/9 and heating water like stink. Grin.
   Biff
   Danny did well and still had just over 9million dollars for his fight with Canelo. Alvarez get 35 million + another $250,000 x 3.6lbs = $900,000  of Danny,s purse. Did we hear Hearn say that he would pay Danny,s fine.  Huh Huh. ? It,s a rough game. Canelo is a great champion. A great advert for the old school.
     
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biff
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« Reply #1788 on: May 16, 2019, 05:14:01 PM »

Big drops of rain bounced  the dust,
                              Big singular drops yards apart to start with and then steadied up into a decent downpour. Our fruit trees will relish and revel in it. WE HAVE BABY PLUMS extrahappy
   We also have a pair of cats who arrived last Sunday night and were hanging around our front door on Monday morning. We hoped that they might have strayed here from the house down the road but not so. These two were dumped and their innocence is obvious to a blind man. Their behaviour is very very different and instead of hugging the hedges and using cover they just stroll about with not a care in the world. On Monday I assumed they wanted to be fed but thought it not a good idea because there  was some hope that they might head off back to where they came from but no such luck. So this evening as Mrs Biff and I were talking in the shed they took up positions on either side of the roller door and Mrs Biff said,,,They are hungry  whistlie.
   So now they are tucking in to fish and beef ribs. They are about 7 months and hopefully we will get homes for them. It was nice to watch them running around the house outside and playing hide and seek.
  If the English Ladies Tom happens to pass through he will make short work of the pair of them,. This place is a bit like a feline Syria where all the Toms come to assert their authority and it can get very rough with some Toms ending up dead for the troubles.
 I don,t want to say this too loud but the midge is not as bad as it can be. So maybe the bats and the swallows are doing a good job.There was a discussion here about distilled water. I get it free and I must have about 600 ltrs tucked away in the shed. It is great to get it and one less expense.
 This is the 3rd year that our 45 euro Aldi lecky lawn mower has been rolled out to tame the rushes. It has been the best value lawn mower that i ever bought. Its light and powerful and can be pushed un under the bushes without fear of pulling the carb linkage off..I take a few seconds to wipe the blade with the grinder and it makes a big difference. I note with some disappointment that the new lecky mowers are all big placky efforts but I will keep my eye open for one like I already have. I don,t expect it to last forever cutting 2ft hight rushes so having another lined up would be a good idea.
      Biff
   
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« Reply #1789 on: May 16, 2019, 06:18:11 PM »

Green grow the rushes,O. Same here Biff, 3 Victoria plums and a damson with thousands of baby fruits. However, Iíll not count my chickens yet....
Stan
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« Reply #1790 on: May 31, 2019, 10:43:18 PM »

The wind dropped and the rain stopped,
                                     The midge is busy out there. We have had quite a lot of rain this past couple of days so the grass is jumping up. The place is full of French and German tourists on bikes and Americans in coaches, some looking once again for their roots. It is nice to see them. Apart from this couple of days rain our weather has been good with out PV performing 100% and our wind turbine  cutting the mustard in the windy overcast wet weather. I had a bit of a clear out then erected a new bench and spend the wet and windy weather sorting nuts and bolts,
. I got it all tidyed up before 6ish and a 60 led spot fixed above the bench. I am tired of lifting heavy gear so I will have a swinging arm hoist fitted to the scaffold upright to the left of the vice. Just something that will lift up to 5cwt and swing it around onto the bench and a handy high stool.
  Mrs Biff and I look on in wonder, Ellen has been to Africa and spoke to the Gorillas ,,whispered ,actually, then she told everybody that they must go there and see them for themselves. I think not but then the hardy ones are queing on Everest and waiting their chance in the freezing conditions to take there turn to reach the top. It is like a que at the airport waiting to clear customs and step up into heaven. Indeed some freeze to death and the others step over their frozen bodies.. There is something badly wrong. They pay £9,000.00 a punt to do that. Absolutely crazy stuff.
                                                                      Biff.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 10:15:08 AM by biff » Logged

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« Reply #1791 on: June 17, 2019, 10:13:47 AM »

    It was sunny around 6ish,
                                  Then the sky darkened and scuds of rain barrelled along our roof and washed the dregs of summer dust down out Velux glass. Our garden is a riot of different greens. The jumbled seasons have a pot luck effect on all our fruit bushes and trees. A few weeks back or plum tree was on track to produce a record crop but now the tree is struggling to cope with plums that look like 50mm green peppers and I have to pick them all off and destroy them. It is hard to know when you are winning.
On Friday, I had a welcome visitor, We swopped ideas on ideas. I happened to mention the little robin that used to visit me regularly in the shed and feed on cheese on the back of my forklift. Something happened Freda. She was always aggressive and quite spoiled. Around these parts it is considered bad luck to allow a small bird or a robin in particular under your roof. I was never one for pissoggs, spells or religion of any kind and treated Freda with respect and kindness. In the end she became an aggressive little dictator and would fly into my face if I was slow to deliver the cheese from the canister. I wondered at the time how it was that certain bad things happened in Freda reign among them the demise of Diesel. I assumed that she decided to annoy the black tom that had been prowling the area at the time and paid the price. She was gone and that was that. These was not a robin on the site. I blamed the cats and automatically someone dumped 2 more cats at the head of out drive.They hung around the house crying and after a few days I decided to feed them before ringing the council. They split up and one went down the road some 500 yards and the other Lola made her home here and after a few weeks decided to keep me company in the shed. She is very clean and weirdly obedient. Cats are not supposed to do as they are told but Lola does.
   Then on Saturday morning last around 10ish a Robin flew in the door and landed on my bench vice. Lola had just walked out the front and there was this Robin perched on my bench. Then it hopped to the back of my forklift and perched overlooking the sealed canister in which I kept the cheese. There were timbers and gods knows what stacked against the back of the forklift so she could not get down comfortably to feed when I opened the seal and put down the cheese. It seemed fine. Off she went in a huff. Then yesterday she flew in confident and parked on the back of the forklift but this time I was ready and did not respond. I had covered the canister and I will clear the back of the forklift completely today.It is summer. The picking are good in Little Patagonia and Freda can well make it on her own.
 Lola is missing this morning normally she waits on our front hall window ledge to be fed on our front step but this morning for the first time she is absent. She will be along. She is no way feral.
   I have grass to cut if I can get it dry enough. I have a couple of projects in mind. The summer rolls on. Soon there will be young voices and music perhaps. Laughter and sulks. long meals maybe I will play a few games of draughts. I study my grandsons for traces of me and hope that they can avoid my mistakes and superior blundering qualities.
   An Ivory sun is trying hard to break through. The shed calls and I have works of genius to complete. My new bench is a beezer and even Lola like to perch on one end. beside the vice, sh*tfan God loves a trier,
          Biff
                          
    
    
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 10:16:38 AM by biff » Logged

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« Reply #1792 on: June 17, 2019, 11:00:07 AM »

We seem to have lost the summer at the moment. Sitting in the middle of a breezy cloud, went down the hill and into town no better there.
Oh well the garden is well watered. i bought a job lot of perennials and planted them all over, there are lots of things coming up and looking healthy, not the foggiest if they are plants or weeds, not bad at veggie leaf recognition but rubbish at flowers. Not helped by the decision that random would look better than regimental. surrender

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biff
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« Reply #1793 on: June 24, 2019, 05:52:43 PM »

Freda is back and I guess I will have to do what I am told,
                           I hardened my heart and damd the bit good that did. She hopped about on the floor after me and I had to stop everything and keep an eye out for Lola. I realise that I have got this all wrong. I got everything back to front. First,,,The cats did not get Freda and when she disappeared, so did the other robins. Then 10 days later she turned up, quite aggressive . Her hubby sat on the handlebars of my bike while Freda began hopping about in front of me and when I reached for the canister, she almost flew into my face. All the time the old hubby just sat on the handlebars stoic. She never did get cheddar and off she flew out the door and disappeared for months, from mid march to the 15th of June. He coat had changed drastically. It is an iron grey with a metallic sheen on it, Her Underneath is silver grey and the red on her breast is not as vivid as before. It is the same Freda with the same actions. She is very small, upright and skinny Yesterday she hung about as I cut the lawn. She is more the shape of an Indian runner than a robin, However it has got really dangerous here at the moment. There are two cats here. One called Lola that will do as she is told and the other is Sneaky Tom who sits quite close to me but out of sight. The only way that I know that he is there is by watching Lola. She points him out. He is jet black and just a male version of Mrs hubs. These cats are not feral.So I cleared off the back of the forklift and made another feeding table and hung it from a girder up in the roof. I tied the yellow topped canister to the timber so that she will know immediately where to land. It is not cat proof but it will be shortly.
  Lola,She sleeps here during the day as i futter and invent miracle wonders.
Lola is a compulsive climber, So I will have to block off the girder either side of the bird table. Easy enough.
I have no idea where Freda went in March but the first time she went she must have come back and been angry that she knew immediately she had to go away again so if she was missing for 10 days it would be 5 days going and 5 days coming back very very approx. I am guessing of course but I have not got a notion where she could have gone. I need to read up on this a bit more. It seems highly unlikely that a bird would migrate in March after seeing the winter through and then come back in June in the middle of summer. However the few Robins we have here all went. This may have  happened before in March. Back in 2002 When My son and I were building this house we counted 7 Robins and then they all disappeared. We assumed that they all died off because of a virus that was going at that time. We never found a dead Robin. I find it hard to get a pic of Freda.
                                                    Biff
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« Reply #1794 on: June 24, 2019, 08:40:30 PM »

I have watched life go on in my back garden for the last 38 years.
 Several nest-boxes, sometimes 3 broods a year from each. The robins made a nest in the engine of the Reliant Regal, through the nearside front wheel-arch. I never saw any fledge, but there is a fresh crop every year, so they must be balancing. With every new brood, be it tits, robins or sparrows, I have to stand around when they first fly: Mr and Mrs Magpie are sitting in the council trees opposite, waiting for warm tasty snacks to dismantle and feed to their own offspring.
Such is life; the most noticeable changes are no starlings for several years now. They used to be like football supporters  when there is a big match on; all drop in, make lots of noise, eat lots of 'starling snacks (?)', then suddenly one of them says "Right, let's go to the another garden!" They all take off and go; the garden goes quiet.
I don't even see my hedgies now, This time of year always used to be bedroom windows open all night, woken up by what sounds like 2 rotties having a personality conflict. It's interesting to watch: He circles her, she turns to follow; he tries it on, snarling and grunting as he gets nowhere slowly.
After 2 hours, the windows get closed, sleep is from tiredness, not necessity. I have no idea whether there will be new hedgies, but none seen for a few years now.
Where do all the little birdies go? Like everything living, they become food for the next generation of living things that rely on protein to build their bodies.
We will all go the same way eventually. The water we drink was once part of a dinosaur. The atoms of our bodies are only borrowed and looked after for the duration of our short lives.
AS the songsters say, "We are stardust".
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Of course it'll work. (It hasn't caught fire yet).
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« Reply #1795 on: June 24, 2019, 10:03:52 PM »

Sorry N2.
         My writings would send anyone down in the dumps. But like you we are short  a lot of birds this year as well.
 I saw a few swallows a couple of months back but they never stayed. There is great picking for birds here. We should have a lot more. I keep a large nettle bank for the corncrake and sure enough we had one on the rear lawn.
This year I left swards of dandelions living with bees and bugs. I can double back next week and  cut the lot in an hour..I would like to hold on to Freda despite the superstition attached. With Freda it is Freda against the whole world. Reading up on the latest info .it is now known that they do indeed migrate but the timing is wrong. I have a number which I can phone tomorrow and maybe I can find out more then..
         Biff
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« Reply #1796 on: June 24, 2019, 10:08:42 PM »

Wowsers profound thread ....
I have a family of magpies in the garden, 7 at least, not my favourite bird ...... all fruit growing well itís worth my problems, to get up and see the morning sun ....on the wheel....keep turning.....
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« Reply #1797 on: June 24, 2019, 10:55:28 PM »

More young birds around here than usual

The spotted woodpeckers have at least two youngsters and one was seen feeding peanut chips to the awaiting fledglings in the branch above the feeder. A day or so later, they have learned to hang from the feeder and peck direct.

One of the youngsters squeezed through the mesh of our corvid and squirrel-proof feeder (well I did think it was squirrel-proof but only adults- the young squirrels have also been squeezing in) and mum or dad woodpecker was hanging on the outside frustrated because the mesh was too small and the beak would not reach.

The ground is heaving with ants nests in the rough grass much to the delight of the green woodpeckers. The slow-worms also give birth near the ready-meal of ants eggs.

All of our nest boxes have had to be reinforced against woodpecker attacks - word has got around and two families of tits are now eating as many fat balls as I put out.

Our rough bit has not been mown since February - the weather mainly but lack of enthusiasm also played its part. We have been rewarded by several bee orchids that we have never seen here before. Their story is that this bee-like flower emits the same scent as a female bee ready for it. The excited males then get covered in much more pollen than otherwise!


* nest box protect.jpg (139.53 KB, 921x960 - viewed 137 times.)

* P1010080small.jpg (320.35 KB, 800x1422 - viewed 131 times.)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 11:09:51 PM by supremetwo » Logged

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« Reply #1798 on: June 26, 2019, 11:30:14 PM »

That is a pretty robust bird box Supremetwo,
               Our garden is suddenly crawling with blackbirds.
All day this was a bright yellow sward of dandylions but when I went to take a pic just before 6pm they had all closed up early and were looking as dull as ditch water. I had no idea they could close up as effectively as that. I will take a pic tomorrow around 11ish .
        Lola was extremely proud of herself this evening. She caught a pigmy shrew. A cute little lady with a set of very sharp teeth.. Luckily I had a lamb joint bone in Lola,s  dish inside so I let her smell the bone with all the good bits dripping off it and she dropped the little critter. It is the very first pigmy shrew that either Mrs Biff and I have ever seen. We never knew that such an animal existed under our noses.
  After trading the juicy lamb bone for the shrew. I cradled it in the palm of my hand while Mrs Biff took a pic but next thing was, I felt it,s little teeth on the hard skin at the base of my thumb and it jumped straight up and bolted. Lorenz wrote extensively about these little guys. Their whole life is driven by food and have to eat  massive amounts of food every day and they will starve if they don,t get a meal within 2 hours. It,s no fun being a shrew. Lola retired to sleep off the lamb bone. The little shrew was pregnant and lactating . They look so much like brown dead leaves. The same color. The little sharp teeth in the boney beak were a genuine surprise.  facepalm.
The forecast is good for tomorrow and the front lawn should be drier and easier.
                          Biff.
   

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« Reply #1799 on: June 30, 2019, 05:51:57 PM »

Our dandylions are still here,
                                   Even in the gale blowing at present the bees are working away.
. I did not have the heart to mow them and they are doing no harm. Great PV weather and Our Turbine is milling away like a good one. The midge cannot abide the strong breeze so walking about is a pleasure.
                                                              Biff
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