Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Bird Whisperer

Met up with Ryan and his dad Marc at the GrubShack for an early breakfast. Just missed some folks hoping to meet me there but Chuck gave them directions to the Field Lab. Brenda, Butch and John came out to deliver some HVAC dampers from my new friend Gary outside of San Angelo. Nice contribution and will certainly work them in to the greenhouse. I owe Gary and the messengers a GrubShack meal next time they head this way.

Made a 3 1/2 hour round trip to Alpine for supplies and visits. Among other things, I bought an AC unit on sale at the hardware store - to experiment with and will ultimately help cool the quest house for future summertime overnight visitors. Ran into Bonnie Cane at Johnson Feed - her husband Dick owns all the longhorns that roam around out here. I told her that Benita was in residence at the Field Lab for the summer. She said that she and her husband appreciated my compassion for the beasts, especially good ol' Benita.

Got home just in time to buy 2 bags of ice to chill down my just purchased refrigerant. Unpacked the rest of the goods then headed over to see Aunt Kathy's new wards - a couple of baby birds she rescued from Chucks gutter....she's been feeding them for a week now and they are coming along quite nicely. Can't wait to watch her teach them how to fly...

9 comments:

mwsmarc said...

It was great to see you and Ryan again. Enjoyed the visits and especially the solar oven bread. Tastes great and my wife sends her compliments to the chef.

MsBelinda said...

If this terrible heat wave continues you can use your new a/c and power it up with your newly bought generator.

Do the Cane's even keep up with their longhorns? Bet they didn't even know Benita was AWOL.

Why dont you convince Ryan to start a blog?

Lynette said...

don't know what you would do without the grub shack. i know our local cafe is the hub for so many here. not just coffee and a meal but the meet and greet too.

the a/c will sure help out. i know we have opted to keep ours off this summer due to high bills. we have a few window fans and that is really good at night to cool off. but daytime is hot no matter what.

rj said...

Scaling up the size of your small evaporative cooler is an option even for a guest house. Larger evaporative coolers work well in hot dry climates. I bought a 5000 cfm model online for less than $400. It reduces the temperature in my Greenhouse almost 20 degrees and adds humidity using about 1/2 the power of a traditional unit. The primary power drain is the circulation fan.

With the 30% tax credit on Solar PV perhaps buying more solar power would make sense. The real untapped market is someone creating a new way to store electricity for night time use without conventional batteries and their maintenance.

Lee said...

Really enjoy your blog. I am curious about the green house(s). Is the plan to enclose the spaces between the shipping containers with CMU and then cover the center area with shade cloth? Any plans for a catchment system off of the container roofs? Sorry if the questions seem ignorant but I am quite curious what your plan is.

messtime said...

Them birds look like "Cactus Wrens".

BigTex said...

Hey John,
Read your article this month in TX Monthly. A dream for me, but maybe someday I will get there. Speaking of baby birds, have you taken the time to spot any painted buntings out there? (I think it's spelled right) On two seperate occasions I've gotten home to find that bird stuck in my grill. I would love to see some in the wild--they are beautiful birds with tropics colorings. It is nice seeing them, but really wish I could see them w/out the benefit of a collision with my truck.
My wife and I would like to make plans by early fall to the area down there-we are in Odessa, so not too far away. Maybe as the summer progresses we can coordinate a time to grab a bite at the cafe and meet and greet?
I think what you are doing is awesome! There's a community North of Waco, Tx alongside I-35 that is geodesic domes. It had some followers to the point of about a dozen or so families building the homes there. Maybe you are the "off the grid Messiah" so to speak, and will encourage others like myself to pursue a new Utopia off the grid. (no offense with the whole "Messiah" usage intended).

Trent Gaines

noodles said...

What a cool life style. Did Benita escape a fence?

boborama said...

I have to go with rj on this....I think you could do better AC in your environment with pure evaporative coolers. I'll try to hook you up with some friends in Alice Springs. We've actually already talked already about you.