Archive for December, 2020

Noisy Woodpecker

When it rains here, and lets face it, it rains a lot in winter here in Paradise, we get a visit from a Pileated Woodpecker that chooses to ply its trade high up under the eaves above our bedroom.  No idea why, as it pounds on the hardy board where there are no insects.  But it taps away on the wall.  You lie in bed in the morning and hear this tapping on the wall.  

I get up and go out on the patio into the pouring rain and shout “shoo” and it flies away.  Later it comes back to bug me when I am having my afternoon nap.  

It only does this when it is pouring rain, and it is too wimpy to get wet while working on a tree.  Ratta tatta tat. 

Nature.  Some people like it.

Adult male Pileated Woodpecker 

Tiny blocks

I had the opportunity to join Pat in a zoom meeting with her sisters, but quickly removed to myself to go to the shop to build blocks (pulleys). The picture is the result of 3 hours of work.

Even I realize that this is crazy, but I needed many small blocks for the upper rigging. These are 3 mm which at the scale would be blocks about 9 inches.  This scale is much more difficult to make than the larger blocks.

I have always expressed negative opinions to model ships that I see where the lines and the blocks are way over scale.

Believe me this has become much more difficult for me to make these than it was.  I have about a 50% failure rate in the production line.  Hence why I do not do this for a living.  By the way in the picture you will see one of the pieces of wood that I start with.  Good old Swiss Pear wood.  

A Jupiter Conjunction

I have been reading about this historic event when Saturn and Jupiter combine in the sky. Something to see.  A rare conjunction.

Admittedly, in Paradise in December we often have overcast skies and rain.  You have to accept the good with the bad.

But last evening there was a break in the sky and with all the rain the air was pure and clean.  I spotted Jupiter in the sky to the west clear and bright as a spotlight.  I loaded up Pat and Reese in Big Red to drive 5 minutes north to be in dark skies where, using my binoculars, we could enjoy the vision of Jupiter and Saturn with the rings.  A once in 800 year opportunity.

Unfortunately the clouds rolled in as we drove and we did not get to see it.  Reese was a little concerned as we unloaded in a dark parking lot and walked around.  Not to happen. 

I doubt if Pat and I will have another opportunity in 800 years to see this.