21 September 2016

curious weather

An odd late-summer weather pattern arrived with a closed low sinking south along the coast. The result has been nice weather for the most part around Portland - yet each of the past two days had impressive cumulonimbus clouds pop up around Longview! The weather is only in the low-mid 70s so it's neither a tropical surge nor a frontal passage, just pop-up cumulus with enough instability to gain anvil-top status!

I only had the phone handy today so images are merely acceptable; these were impressive clouds for this region.

Tomorrow is the first day of autumn so fog will now be expected far more than thunder-clouds. The weather dumped over an inch on us last weekend, but the new roof that sits over our back door held up well with no leaks. Considering it received no special treatment other than its fence-slat weatherproofing, I was quite surprised. I now have a weather sealant to apply: once the next storm passes we could reach 80° one last time, so both the deck and the new side-roof will get some attention.

16 September 2016

battening down!

The first tropical connection of the season arrives tomorrow, with ½ to one inch of rain expected.
Several yard tasks wanted doing beforehand, but I could only manage a few of them today:
  • Deck staining - deferred. I had hopes but was too tired to pull that one off since pre-sanding will be needed.
  • A/C removal from window - done! Hopefully next year a heat pump will do that dirty work.
  • Small roof over front/back door - done! Now to see how my rough draft survives a good dousing..
  • One last lawn mowing - partly done. The flat area is taken care of, the slopes will be fine without it.
  • Rain channels over the spa - done! They are still not locked down though, so more needs doing.
So with that the age of heat ends. Forecasts for next week are in the 60s, and by late September any heat wave will be isolated and brief. Shadows now cover our driveway after 10AM so the asphalt will not contribute to overheating the house - and afternoons are especially shady here. The equinox is nigh!

Bad news - the Explorer 'truck' is making a racket in the engine compartment, one that I cannot pin down. That will defer any firewood for a bit, and hopefully not mess with the budget too badly.

02 September 2016

heat's end?

We made it to September without a heat pump. Our financial strategies pulled down many debts but in doing so much of the down payment for this went elsewhere. Late August was a string of 80-90° days, but on the 31st we had over ½ inch of rain. September began with fog! Over an inch of rain already as we head toward autumn, and no 80° days in the forecast. We could still pull a few warm days, but for the most part summer heat has ended for us here.

In the garden our spinach has gone to flowers, a dozen or more hops have arrived, and a few small zucchini are doing their best. The rains will cheer them for a last dash, and hopefully a few days of steamed 'zukes will come before long. The big mower was only needed once on the major slopes, thankfully - but it sure does the job well!

Little Mithril isn't so small any more, getting lanky and matching up more closely with her mama-cat. It's time to trap and spay, with a bit more luck mama will take the drive this year. Besides the cats, several other projects remain before the true wet season: some more rain-diversions, a porch roof and finishing the two stairs outside are the big ones, and a bit of painting would be good too.  The roof must wait another year like the heat pump, but the gutters really need to be re-sloped for better big-rainfall events.

Also, it's time to buy firewood for the first time - the previous owners stocked us very well and we were sparing with it, but the pile is now essentially empty. Our new green 'truck' can handle a decent amount, likely enough for the year.. now to get out and shop / chop!