They're baaaccckkk . . . .
Walked out my front door and chanced upon this fellow - he's twice the size of the one I saw last summer (and that one was the biggest toad I'd ever seen!). Not afraid of me at all. I was glad Phoebe was inside as they can be quite poisonous to dogs.
|Sonoran Desert Toad - largest toad in America. This fellow was probably 6 inches.|
The summer heat has been interupting my morning tea on the patio.
I like to watch the sun rise in the morning, but as soon as it's up, it shines directly onto the patio and is soon unbearably hot. So, I bought a sun shade and installed it. It works really well - and now that I know it will work, the next one (this one should last a few years before the sun degrades the plastics) will be a custom fit and maybe even work with a remote! This one winds manually and the stick is really too short - I have to stand on a footstool and still it's over my head.
|Getting ready to install|
I temporarily put a couple nails and a rope 'cradle' in the beam so that I could install the shade by myself. It worked out pretty well.
|I hope I don't disturb this nest. It's a Gila Woodpecker nest.|
|Shades the patio pretty well - the next iteration may have a shade on the front too.|
The Van Conversion drags on!
Discovered a defect when I tested my new Inergy Apex solar generator (lithium battery, solar charge controller, inverter, 12 v and 110 outlets all included in one lightweight 25 pound box) - everything works EXCEPT the solar input connection. The most important thing!!! Inergy customer service appears to be excellent though - after some troubleshooting, they sent me a box and the Apex is now on it's way back to the factory for repair - under warranty. Unfortunately, I won't have it when I drive to Colorado next week for the interior conversion work to be done. Not a huge deal but it would have been nice to have for the trip.
Since it's a battery, all sorts of shipping restrictions apply; I had to drain the battery to below 10.3, get special hazardous materials shipping instructions, stickers and a special FedEx pickup.
|Well, the good thing is that it took days and days for this battery to discharge - I had everything I could think of plugged into it!|
|Ready for pickup!|