Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘owl sighting

Two Surprises

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Tuesday night as we were falling asleep, our motion light over the deck popped on. I saw a flash of wings moving up by the light and then the little night stalker landed on the railing. Surprise! It was a young owl.

Cyndie got out of bed to snap a photo. Cute little bugger. I think it was literally bugging, as in, trying to grab the big moths flitting around near the light. It’s nice to see there is a new generation of owls in the vicinity.

The second surprise happened yesterday, and it wasn’t as much fun as seeing the owl.

Our backup generator hasn’t been coming on as part of its weekly self-test lately and I finally remembered to look into why that is. Since I so rarely interact with the machine, working on it becomes a bit of a guessing game. Luckily, there was an obvious red LED indicating a problem. Stepping through the menu I found a note indicating there was a problem with the battery.

It’s ten years old, so I’m not going to mess around with anything other than simply replacing it. Unfortunately, there was nothing simple about removing it.

The positive cable came off with minor effort but nothing else was easy about the extrication. I couldn’t reach the nut on the clamp around the negative post and I couldn’t slide the battery around the wall.

I started trying to remove screws from panels with the hopes something would shift just enough to free the battery. Too bad I didn’t even know if any of the hex head screws would serve my purpose until they were out. Too bad they weren’t in positions where one could actually turn them easily with a wrench. Less than a quarter-turn movement before needing to reposition the wrench over and over is frustratingly tedious.

It’s like salt in a wound when the screw finally comes out and the panel doesn’t move one bit. It wouldn’t even flex.

I looked for other alternatives. The third try was the charm. After two long but fruitless battles of unscrewing, I found a plastic guard that moved enough to give better access to the negative terminal. Two screws were holding it, both of which took painfully long to wrench out.

There was only one battle left. Holding the plastic guard up and out of the way. Of course, removing the screws didn’t mean the guard could be pulled out entirely. After I suffered a couple of ill-fated attempts to work around the stupid guard, Cyndie showed up with an offer of assistance.

I asked her to hold the guard up while I got a wrench on the clamp of the negative post. Once both cables had been disconnected from the battery, I was able to tip it up and finesse it around the end panel to get it out.

I will not be surprised if the installation of a replacement battery ends up being just as difficult as the removal of the old one.



Written by johnwhays

May 25, 2023 at 6:00 am

Dramatic Improvement

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Yesterday’s snowfall was a dramatic improvement over the first two plowable events we’ve experienced so far this season. Just ten days ago I posted about how yucky it was after receiving rain for a few hours before the storm changed to snow. Trying to plow that mess was a miserable experience.

I’d almost forgotten how good it is to clear dry snow. Last night the Grizzly ATV worked like magic again, plowing away the snow with ease. The snow conditions make a world of difference when it comes to clearing all our driving lanes and selected walking paths.

By the time I was done, instead of coming back into the house tired and frustrated, I was feeling a little giddy with excitement over the perfect conditions. I almost wanted to find something else to clear, but dinner proved to be a more enticing option.

In the middle of yesterday’s falling flakes, Cyndie captured a new shot of the snow slide on the hay shed. I was surprised to see how much of it was still holding together, even though the left side had started coming apart.

Cyndie and Delilah made me jealous after I heard Cyndie’s description of their coming upon an owl while they were walking one of the trails in our woods.

She wasn’t sure about it at first, as the large bird swooped away from them and settled upon a branch overhead. Cyndie guessed it might be a hawk. Then, that telltale rotation of the head gave it away as the owl twisted to look in their direction.

Delilah hadn’t followed the flight with her eyes so was oblivious when the noble hunter chose to perch above them, but Cyndie’s posturing to take the picture was enough to clue her in.

The owl must not be all that wise because Delilah’s rushing toward the tree scared it off, even though the threat was meaningless from down on the ground.

In the low light of dusk, all that showed up in the image was a dark blob up in the branches.

I don’t remember where I read that the presence of owls is an indication of a healthy forest environment, but the idea stuck with me. Many symbolisms about owl sightings align with either good fortune or a bad omen, so we could go either way with that.

I’m choosing to focus on the probability that it is our vibrant, healthy forest that attracted the owl to visit.

With luck, that predator is helping to control our mouse and mole populations.

Having fewer moles ravaging our yard spaces would be a dramatic improvement in the summer season. It always amazes me to find tracks in the snow from mice and moles when the temperatures are cold and the ground frozen solid.

Now I’ll watch for owl-wing feather streaks in the snow, too.



Written by johnwhays

December 10, 2019 at 7:00 am