Sunday, April 6, 2014

Small explosion from the inverter and juniper bush removal!


What a great weekend this was up at the house! Mainly because my son Nick flew up from Tucson to visit me and he along with his friend Jason came up to the house with me. Nick hasn't been to the house for over 6 months so hasn't seen the new windows or the greenhouse and he was really excited to see those.
The greenhouse survived through the storms we had well, no rips in the plastic sheeting but the pump wasn't working again. I was playing around with the battery connections and the inverter when the inverter suddenly made "zzz pop" sound following by a flash of flames and a puff of smoke. Quickly followed up by me running from the greenhouse to the befuddled looks of Nick and Jason. (Life with me as your mom isn't easy or normal.) The reason the pump hadn't been running and killing the fish is that the inverter was under-sized for the power the panels are pumping. I had a 500 watt inverter and thought that would be fine since the panels are "100 watts"... but when  I look online, all those panels are with 1500 watt inverters. So I plugged in a long extension cord to keep the pump going this week while I buy a new inverter.

The big chore for the weekend was removing a very large juniper bush from the back hill behind the house. This bush was about 15 feet across and really dangerous in fire country to have next to a wood deck. They have this oil that just pops to life and burns like gasoline..Nick and Jason gave it a try and yes it took 5 hours to get done. Don't underestimate a juniper!
Just starting out - you can't even see the whole thing in this picture

Let's try the electric chainsaw - but the juniper broke that!

Back to hand tools

Maybe Nick can pull the small one out? nope!

Let's use the ATV! It took a few tries and getting a chain instead of the rope but it did work.

Throwing one of the branches down the hill

The big, main, trunk and Nick hooking up the chain to it. That didn't come out easy - they had to keep digging and pulling it with the ATV.

Burning the body of our enemy - the main trunk of the juniper.

Finally clear!
I hated that juniper with a passion and I am so excited to have it out. Now what I need is enough money to fence off that area, terrace the hill and install poles and wires to grow hops. My own beer garden! I have video of the many attempts to pull out the juniper on the ATV and will post them on youtube.
Speaking of hops - the two I planted are taking off... about 1 foot tall this week.
These plants are crazy fast growers~ up to 1 foot a week!
Finally - there has been some rain this past week and the wild lupines are starting to bloom. I have 2 varieties that I have planted and then there is the one that is a little differnt leaf size and shape.
Starting to bloom on the hill back by the greenhouse

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