Why LED Lamps Fail

Spotted over a fast food emporium’s parking lot:

Disemboweled parking lot light
Disemboweled parking lot light

It’s hard to be sure, but I think there’s a paper wasp nest around the bundle of wires just above the transformer / ballast / whatever. Perhaps the repair tech departed with the job unfinished?

As with traffic signals, flashlights, and automotive lighting, the LEDs surely work long after the driver circuitry has given up.

Too Many Deer: Another One Bites the Dust

I passed another dead deer on New Hackensack Rd while hauling groceries home:

Deer Collision - roadkill - New Hackensack Rd - 2021-09-08
Deer Collision – roadkill – New Hackensack Rd – 2021-09-08

The next day I walked past the other side of the collision at the corner gas station’s dead car collection:

Deer Collision - front end damage
Deer Collision – front end damage

A closer look at that nice rounded dent links the two contestants:

Deer Collision - front end damage - deer hair detail
Deer Collision – front end damage – deer hair detail

The impact didn’t blow the airbags, so maybe the car isn’t a total loss, despite extensive front end damage and some scrap metal inside the engine compartment.

As far as I can tell, Vassar College has been holding a deer cull every January, but taking out a few dozen deer definitely hasn’t eliminated the road hazard. If the folks objecting to the cull set up a fund to help drivers damaged by the objects of their affection, it’d demonstrate their understanding of the problem.

Rail Trail: Fallen Tree Clearing

We rolled up to a pair of walkers who had just watched a long-dead tree fall across the Dutchess Rail Trail ahead of them:

Rail Trail - fallen tree - 2021-09-15
Rail Trail – fallen tree – 2021-09-15

Which is why I now carry a fold-out pruning saw in my tool kit:

Rail Trail - fallen tree - cleared - 2021-09-15
Rail Trail – fallen tree – cleared – 2021-09-15

The mowing crew we encountered half a mile ahead had a chainsaw and cleared the remainder.

Stay alert out there!

Although I don’t have a picture, there was a freshly dead bat lying underneath the main trunk. I think it rode the tree down, only to get slapped hard against the gravel beside the trail. I’m sure bats power up faster than I do, but not quite fast enough.

Bondhus Wrench: Missing Ball

Around the beginning of the year, I updated my collection of somewhat worn hex wrenches with a set of metric and inch ball-end hex wrenches from Bondhus sold by and shipped from Amazon:

Bondhus hex wrenches - missing 7-64 ball
Bondhus hex wrenches – missing 7-64 ball

When I applied the 7/64 wrench to a setscrew, the missing ball came as a surprise.

Even though the inch wrench set doesn’t get a lot of use, it’s possible I broke the ball off during a previous adventure, but a look at the end shows the black oxide coating covering the end:

Bondhus hex wrenches - missing 7-64 ball - detail
Bondhus hex wrenches – missing 7-64 ball – detail

Yeah, it was born that way.

I wonder if and how their lifetime guarantee works.

[Update: It does!]

Protip: as of this writing, the Amazon listing has two other “sizes” showing exactly the same set at significantly higher prices from two randomly named sellers:

Bondhus hex wrench set - Amazon listing
Bondhus hex wrench set – Amazon listing

It is safe to assume Amazon no longer has its customers’ best interests in mind.

Bat House

We found this critter while checking for water after Hurricane Ida drenched the area:

Bat on attic vent
Bat on attic vent

It’s on the outside of the vent screen and we have no objection.

We should put up a bat house to encourage more of its friends to hang out with us …

Red Oaks Mill Dam: Flood Stage

The remnants of Hurricane Ida dropped half a foot of rain in our area, so we walked to the remains of the Red Oaks Mill Dam to see the water:

Red Oaks Mill Dam - 2021-09-02
Red Oaks Mill Dam – 2021-09-02

The white water crests stand in place over rocks in the stream bed, with hypnotic flowlines.

The concrete abutment over on the left is now completely submerged. It was more conspicuous in May:

Red Oaks Mill Dam - 2021-05-17
Red Oaks Mill Dam – 2021-05-17

Surprisingly, most of the tree trunks and debris collecting over on the right remain jammed in place, as seen in March:

Red Oaks Mill Dam - 2021-03-19
Red Oaks Mill Dam – 2021-03-19

For completeness, the scene in February:

Red Oaks Mill Dam - 2021-02-25
Red Oaks Mill Dam – 2021-02-25

The USGS has a hydrology station just downstream that reported about 10 feet of water, the “moderate” flood stage, around the time I took the first picture. The normal level is 3 feet.

The “major” flood stage is 14 feet and, back in 2007, this is what it looked like at 15 feet:

Red Oaks Mill Dam - 2007-04-17
Red Oaks Mill Dam – 2007-04-17

Our reference point is a drain pipe on the retaining wall behind the hotel: when the Mighty Wappingers Creek covers the pipe, it’s well and truly flooding.

Searching for “red oaks mill dam” will surface more pix and stories.