Click any photo to enlarge

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A special day

I got to the oasis at 8 AM, checked the stucco tank level, and it had gone down less than 3 inches in exactly 3 days. Considering I left a drip on the cottonwood while I was gone and the weather has been brutally hot (evaporation), that's great news. A happy way to start my 75th birthday.

Finally re-plumbed the line inside the lower dirt tank. I had gotten the stuff to do it a long time ago, but one thing and another. However, this last fiasco with pumping the water back into the stucco tank was the last straw. It leaked about a third of the water out when it hadn't come apart totally and leaked all the water out. Not going to deal with that again. As usual, I forgot to take a before photo.

In the far background of the above photo is the line from the water (still a small puddle left) to the pump. From the pump the water goes through the 3" black fast line (or whatever it's called. It's heavy industrial stuff given to my late husband by a construction company) underground to the stucco tank. The pipe in the front center is coming from the upper dirt tank, which means water from that tank got double-pumped unless I went through the hassle of connecting a temporary line across the road. Now I've installed a T (open end capped at the moment) that I can hook to in a jiffy to go straight to the stucco tank and bypass the lower dirt tank. 

But that wasn't the main issue here. It was that the bend in the line was plumbed with white PVC that wouldn't fasten securely to the fast line, even with pipe cement and screws. I cut a piece of fast line to replace the PVC, and replaced the PVC elbows with a rubber elbow and rubber T that are clamped and screwed securely. I know that method works because it's in use other places at the oasis, though never with back-to-back elbows. That gas pump puts out a tremendous amount of pressure (think fire hydrant). Often the black pipe is under a foot of water when I need to do the bypass and very difficult to work with. Definitely could have been plumbed better in hindsight. The whole oasis just evolved as we went along without a blueprint or plan. The lower dirt tank was a later addition after the plumbing from the upper dirt tank was already buried underground.

Anyway, got that done by noon. It got beastly hot this afternoon (100° but humidity made it feel hotter). No mosquitoes, and very few odes or butterflies. Pretty boring, but I got some watering done, pulled some of the weeds, serviced the hummingbird feeders, and many other chores. Days are always gone too fast. Tomorrow it's Lajitas or bust. Next day banding. After banding I have to go pick more apples, but will put them in the refrigerator until I can get to them Thursday. Wednesday going with Kelly to Madera Canyon to look for odes. That's at the Lawrence Woods Picnic Area. He photographed a Painted Damsel there the other day. I have never gotten a good enough look at one, or a photo, so looking forward to that.

Today I took a bunch of photos of an amberwing but don't know yet if it's a Mexican or an Eastern Amberwing. I sent it to an expert. Will update this when I find out.

July 28: Some experts say it's an Eastern, but a leading expert, who I won't name, said he'd call it a Mexican Amberwing. 

No comments:

Post a Comment