Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘blown fuse

Much Quieter

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Thank goodness it was much quieter last night than it was Tuesday night with all the stormy weather. There were two rounds of thunderstorms that actually disturbed the wee hours of Wednesday morning. It was around 1:00 a.m. that Delilah and I woke up to the rumbles of thunder. Then the rain and wind picked up and Delilah was barking ferociously at the flashes and booms.

Eventually, one of the strikes got close and the energy of the dog, of me, and of the storm all perked up considerably. I certainly didn’t need what came next. BANG! My least favorite aspect of a thunderstorm. The flash and boom were simultaneous and my first impression was that the lightning bolt hit our house or a tree right next to it.

I didn’t feel like the electricity of the lightning shocked me but the adrenaline shooting through my body was causing about the same reaction as though it had. In the darkness between flashes, I couldn’t see how severe the wind was so I relied on sound to help me decide whether any action was required or not.

The fact that there were suddenly emergency vehicle sirens wailing didn’t provide much comfort. I scouted every window for a possible view of emergency lights flashing but saw none. With no useful information gained, I decided to return to bed where I updated the radar views repeatedly while waiting for the storm to run its course.

By the time the second storm woke me, I was too sleepy to worry much. It looked less intense on the radar, the thundering was much less, and Delilah must have decided not to bother even barking. I fell right back to sleep.

When morning arrived and I got Delilah out for her first walk of the day, we quickly arrived at the first evidence of the intensity of the storm. The top of a tree with a 12-inch diameter trunk snapped clean and came down across one of our trails.

There were smaller branches down everywhere. A tree in our woods fell and got hung up on the trunk of another tree so it is now at a 45° angle.

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There was a branch down in the paddock under the willow tree and several branches from a cottonwood on the southern edge of our property flew all the way into the hay field.

I spent most of the morning cutting up and hauling branches away, all the while keeping an eye out for any sign of a direct hit from that closest lightning strike. Never spotted anything telling. A fuse blew in the controller of the electric fence. Imagine what it must have been like for the horses. They were remarkably mellow when we showed up to serve their morning feed.

The most mysterious feature was the large swath of tall grass in the drainage ditch that was pressed flat to the ground in the opposite direction of the water flow. Must have been a downburst of wind that flattened it that way.

Thankfully, there was never any hail that I heard. The lack of any residual shredding of leaves helps support that perception. As for rain, the gauges had barely an inch captured.

The part of the noisy night that sticks with me most is the intensity of that loud clap of thunder and how it was soon followed by sirens.

Sleeping last night was infinitely more restful.

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Written by johnwhays

August 4, 2022 at 6:00 am

Last Last

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Honestly, even if the grass continues to grow, I refuse to mow in November. Yesterday will be the last “last time” that I mow this season. I’ve already mowed for what I hoped was the last time this fall three other times. Admittedly, the first “last time” was hopeful thinking that didn’t pan out. The rest could’ve/should’ve been the end of growing blades but warm sunshine and some rain have kept the grass happy and active.

Yesterday, I almost wasn’t able to finish what I started. Just after I got done cutting the front yard and was working my way around to the back, the mower shut down on me. I wondered if it was making a statement about also wanting to be done for the season. It was certainly the coldest air temperature I’ve been out mowing in –mid 40s(F)– so I wouldn’t blame the tractor for not liking it.

Turned out that it was a fuse that didn’t want to be forced to work on Halloween.

Now it’s November and that means deer hunting season is near. Already, the sound of gunshots is an almost daily experience as neighboring farmers are adjusting their sights and perfecting their technique in preparation for the big day. Delilah is ferocious about wanting to defend us from the sound of a rifle “carrrrack!” She rushes toward the sound until her leash abruptly hits its limit, barking all the way.

Then she barks some more. As in, over and over again, ad nauseam. Poor girl almost barked herself hoarse yesterday.

With the majority of our trees now void of their leaves, the sound of gunshots travels from miles around us, so it’s not just the next-door neighbors we are hearing from.

At least Delilah quieted down enough while on a walk that we were able to sneak up on a flock of turkeys that were hanging out in our field near the road. They initially thought about running away and then took to the air toward an unplanted field to our north, offering a gorgeous display of the emergency version of wild turkey flight.

The turkeys were probably loving that I had cut the grass short down by the road.

In case they are wondering, that’s the last “last time” I’m going to do that this year.

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Written by johnwhays

November 1, 2021 at 6:00 am

Power Outage

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IMG_2483eWe had some extra excitement yesterday. It was our first chance to see our new backup power generator in action. I had returned home from work at an early hour and Cyndie had just come in from mowing the lawn. She mentioned that she could hear that someone from the fence crew was working down near the barn. That was good, because I didn’t see anyone there when I pulled up the driveway, and I was expecting someone to come drop off some equipment, and maybe start digging out the hill for our new roadway behind the barn.

IMG_2486eI was planning to head down to see him after we finished our little lunch break. I didn’t have to wait that long. Our power went out. It didn’t seem all that surprising, because the day before it had gone out long enough to mess up all the digital clocks, but then it came back on so fast I didn’t even realize it had been out.

I figured the outage was related to the intensity of heat wave we are experiencing. This time, power went off long enough for our new generator to kick in and provide backup. I figured I would need to call the IMG_2488epower company to report the outage, but first, my intuition told me I should go check on the fence guy.

Just as I had hoped, he had successfully cleared out the hill to create new access behind the barn. And, just as I had suspected, he had cut wires feeding power to the barn. We had both forgotten to account for that line. Since it was a privately installed feed, after the meter, it hadn’t been marked by the crews that have been marking buried lines. Still, we should have thought of that.

IMG_2491eAll of this was very easy to understand. What didn’t make any sense to us was how, or why, this had taken out power to our house, too. I needed to call in the big guns from our power company.

It turned out that the incident of cutting the power lines to the barn caused a fuse to blow in the main power transformer on our property. They opened up the access panel to the transformer and used a long insulated pole to open a vent that relieved pressure, and then pulled a fuse out from within an oil bath. Very interesting procedure. One that I have no desire whatsoever to do.

They had power restored in minutes to everything but the barn. We’ll need to be digging a new trench and splicing some wires before we get power back in the barn.

Written by johnwhays

July 19, 2013 at 7:00 am