Tuesday, June 27, 2017

another heat snap

Two days of 100° in Portland, we did slightly better in that regard. However, Saturday's high of 97 happened after 7pm! That was a very warm night, and we chose it to cook hotdogs over a small pit-fire. We went to bed after 1AM, my third straight night of poor sleep-times. Sunday got just past 90 before the west winds won out, and by nightfall it was below sixty degrees - amazing how well that works once it kicks in!

Now we're expecting a week of AM clouds and highs in the 70s. That's ideal for yard tasks like finishing the garden area, checking our roof for issues after that long winter, and other outdoor chores. Or just sitting on the deck, listening to the thrush and watching the Monarchs flutter by..

Sunday, May 28, 2017

not so hot

Our first heat waves are in the books, and they were pleasantly brief and ended with strong west winds that kept the house cool. As noted before the first one ended with thunder and a lot of rain; nothing so dramatic this time.

Today was an excellent day: we awoke to morning clouds that burned away just before 10AM. Most of the day from noon to 6PM was low 70s but a quick half-hour pushed the high to 79°. A couple of hours later the west wind came in a rush, and at 7:45 we are in the mid-50s!


An excellent day to get work done, relax, and work a little more. A few well-placed fans and the house cools quickly. The next several days will be in the 60s so that was just enough fun for now.

I've pressure-washed our deck - again - so if tomorrow is the last Warm Day we can get it stained. I washed it thoroughly last fall but timing was off for a staining, so it endured the harshest winter I'd ever seen!

The day was also excellent thanks to my encounter with three deer in our yard. They were distracted by a neighbor's chain saw so I got to the edge of the deck just before they romped over to the edge of our yard nearest to the deck, about 20 feet away. I clucked softly and they looked me over, but preferred my sound to the ones next door. I took a 1-minute video and here's a snip from it. The one on the right is still watching for the chain-saw!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Thrush Day '17

We have not heard the call of a Swainson's Thrush yet, but one has been seen a few times today as it visited our holly-tree. The talented little bird hovers briefly as it snatches berries from the branch before darting in for a perch.

From www.allaboutbirds.org


Last year the thrush was first heard on 5/18, so it's right on time this year! Given the cold and wet seasons we've had, the thrush's timely arrival is very impressive; I had expected a delay. So much for that!

Update, 5.17
Sitting outside at 8pm, listening to the b'wit? and whi-burrr thrush chants. No spiraling song at this point, but warmer weather is coming; perhaps sunshine will do the trick.

May 18th is yet again our date for the first full thrush-call! Curiously enough, that's the only time I've heard the spiral call (as of 6 June)..

Final update - for the past two weeks the spiraling call has dominated our air-waves. Well, other than that turkey now caged at the top of our hill..

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Spring, apparently

We've reached 65 degrees at last. In fact we hit 70 in a tropical airmass followed by several bouts of thunder - and it's 55 again. More nice weather is coming soon, and many plants have responded. Snow season was amazing..but it is naive to move on.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

more wet days

We finally hit 65° on the hill-top (Portland too) on Friday - but heavy showers today render it a near-mythical memory already. I had figured that next week would produce another above-normal month here - but I did not see with the science-geek eyes of uWa professor Cliff Mass. His link below notes a pending atmospheric river with several unusual features, coming soon to a coastline near us: it's wide, moving fast and of Filipino origins. This is not a typical time of year for such things anyway, so it's both impressive & depressing to see more grey and wet days ahead.




Friday, April 21, 2017

first mowing of '17

A single beautiful day broke through the clouds today, and we reached 65° for the first time. Portland had not hit 65 before today either, which broke a long-standing record for the latest to reach that temperature! I did not get a chance to relax thoroughly in it, but I did get to sit on our large, loud mower and get the level areas mowed. The tires slipped when attempting a hill but I managed it once I learned to lean over the slipping wheel. It's no surprise I would slip, as over half the lawn is in fact moss.. but in the end the place looks much better.

I hate using my cell-phone camera, but it did a decent job of the late-day sun on our local volcano. No blooms on this particular rhododendron, but others are beginning to blush.

And now, back into the showers. April will probably reach its normal amount of rain, like every month except January.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

regaining contact

Our cell phones have been almost useless this past year. Our home is quite remote, so it's no great surprise - yet the degraded signal is a problem.  Both calls and texts have been missed, and some text replies arrive a day too late to be of much value.

We recently picked up a signal booster, in our case a WeBoost 3G device for residential use. First tests were not great, but eventually I rigged up a test-spot with a consistently decent signal. Today I crawled under the house and rerouted a coaxial cable that once went to a satellite dish. I pulled it to the other side of the house where cell towers are most prevalent, and mounted the antenna high on the side of our home. Once the inside antenna was set up, both our signals​ was pretty much at maximum strength!

So we have improved from a home where two indoor spots gave us occasional signals to excellent reception in several rooms and our deck as well. Much better!