Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, February 22, 2013

Construction Zone

Last October, before I left Mesa Verde, I removed one of the dinettes from my RV. The furnace (it was under the bench seat of the dinette) was removed by a mobile RV tech and he capped off the propane.

This left me with a few challenges to work around. I am building a couch/bed/hinged storage box.

I have a rough sketch of the project, without measurements. I measure and cut one piece of lumber at a time,  fitting it together. I started this more than a month ago and this week have added a few more pieces. It is not really taking long, I have only worked on it about 3 days during this time, maybe an hour each time.  I buy a few pieces of lumber each time I go into town.  I am using a hand saw with a miter box to cut the 1 x 4's.

Originally, I asked my son-in law, Karl, to help me - I did not think I would be able to do this by myself.  I find I am enjoying doing the work myself. I may still need his help with some of it -  I am trying to do as much as possible on my own. I hope he is not upset if I don't need his help.

I could have used another pair of hands
 to attach this long board (72 1/2" long).

Instead, to support it, I set it on a small electric heater
 and a folded up piece of paper - some wood glue and duct tape
to hold the corner before I could add some screws

 I am sure there will be some carpenters laughing
and shaking their head at how I am doing this.

Some of the things to work around

the electric for the outside outlet
the slanted piece of wood is part of the original construction
this is what I found when I removed the dinette bench

there is a little sticker upside down on this piece of wood
it says, LINEFILL and a bunch of numbers
and the date 10/2/2007

This corner is where the furnace was.
The curved area (covered with Reflectix)
is a cut-out on the side of the cabinet over the wheel well.
The vents for the furnace ran under this cabinet. 
I will frame out around this propane pipe
 and make a wall to protect the pipe.

I should have it framed out soon, not sure if I have enough
lumber or if I will need to buy another piece.

Next week I will be going to San Antonio
with Diane and Karl for 3 days,
so it will be awhile before I get around to adding
the plywood top and front.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Eagle Cam

I found this link on another blog. 

Today it is windy and they are hunkered down.  I thought the nest would be more like a bowl, but it appears to look more like a platform.

click on above link to see live camera feed

The twin chicks are named "Hope" and "Honor".  The parents are Ozzie and Harriet.

They also have a Facebook page

History of chicks at this nest….2011/12-1 chick, 2010/11- 1 chick, 2009/10-1 chick, 2008/09-2 chicks

The eagles have had their names ever since they moved onto the property in 2006/07. Ozzie and Harriet

The nest resides 60 feet above the ground, in a Slash Pine tree. The camera faces South East
Nesting season begins here in South FL Oct. 1. The eagles stay until late April or May.

These bald eagles have been coming to this nest for the past 6 years. They reside in this nest between the months of October and April. Before building this nest in 2006/07, the pair had a nest on the opposite side of Bayshore Road. This location is now known as Eagle Landing. These mature, mating pair continue to make Southwest Florida their winter home.

This year, DPRE is excited to have a live look into their Southwest Florida nest. They have installed a camera that will film the birds 24/7 and stream live video directly to this site. The camera is positioned 6 feet above the nest. It is attached to a tree limb using no screws or nails in order to preserve the tree. The camera's night vision is an infrared light which emits no actual light. Nor does it make any noise. The birds do not see or hear anything coming from the camera.

The objective of this camera is to bring these beautiful birds into our homes. The goal of DPRE is to foster appreciation, admiration and respect for these magnificent creatures. Our intentions are to learn from these birds so we may better understand them and their habits.

This nest is labeled LEO26B of the Florida State Monitoring Program. It has been monitored for 5 years at its current location. The pair relocated the nest in 2006/07 to its present location.

There are 133 nests in a 25 mile radius.

Closet nest is one mile.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Cha - cha - laca

"hiding" in the trees as I approached

(click on pictures to enlarge)

"The Plain Chachalaca (Ortalis vetula) typically occurs in small groups of 3-5 individuals in tall, thorny thickets, scrubland, and second-growth forest edge along the Gulf-Caribbean slope from the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and Nuevo Leon, Mexico south to Honduras and Costa Rica. This native, non-migratory gamebird is similar in size and form to a female Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) and is named for the raucous, ear-splitting chorus a flock makes. The loud cha-cha-lac-a call is most commonly heard during the morning hours, and increases considerably during the February-March breeding season. "

took these pictures as they were flying away from me

"Unlike most other galliform birds, the brownish-olive Chachalaca prefers to spend much of its time in the trees, earning it the nickname of Mexican Tree Pheasant and allowing it to thrive in tangled brushland resulting from logging or other mechanical habitat manipulation. Chachalaca prefer to run along larger limbs through the treetops or scurry through interior branches while feeding on leaves, berries, and seeds. Birds feed in loose flocks of 4-6 in number and tend to select the ripest fruits available, therefore they are often observed feeding in precarious positions, including upside-down. Chachalaca do not scratch on the ground for food, however they will seek out insects and invertebrates when encountered. Feeding activities are generally concentrated near native food sources. Chachalaca also readily consume feed supplied by humans-preferring cracked corn and milo. Flight is heavy and rarely sustained, but brief bursts can be swift and silent. Plain Chachalaca hens typically lay 3 eggs in flimsy-appearing nests constructed on tree limb forks. Like other galliform species, re-nesting is common if initial nests or broods are destroyed. The precocial young are able to cling to tree branches as soon as they dry and can fly short distances within a week of hatching. Adult birds commonly live 5- 8 years in the wild."

Information from Texas Parks and Wildlife

This afternoon, it was my turn to feed the birds at the Visitor's Center. As I was approaching the photo blind, I noticed several Chachalaca's.

They were running around, through the hole in the fence and when I approached, they flew into the trees.

 (The feral hogs keep destroying the fence and we keep trying to repair it.)

I took several pictures with my iPhone.  I cropped the pictures the best that I could.

These are not the pretty, colorful birds that I typically see around the Visitors Center, but they are still interesting and they allowed me to get close to them today.

Drake Tax Software

Overnight stays in these states:

Overnight stays in these states:
It is the sandstorm that shape the stone statues of the Desert. It is the struggles of Life that form a person's character ~ Native American Proverb