Despite the crappy image (Google Pixel 6a, digitally zoomed as tight as it’ll go), it’s a second-year juvenileBald Eagle. It followed ahead of us along Rt 376, landing atop successive utility poles as we walked toward the intersection:
It sometimes perched on the (presumably) live primary wires, so a few kV of electric field doesn’t ruffle its feathers enough to worry about.
Its duties included keeping an eye on us down by the creek:
It eventually decided we needed no further supervision:
Earlier this year it swooped along our driveway and landed atop a utility pole in our yard, causing great concern among the songbirds and rodents.
Having an eagle in the neighborhood seems like a good sign …
I planned to replace the vinyl straps on our set of (salvaged) lawn / patio chairs and made a pair of rivets for one long-missing strap:
The overall project is on indefinite hold, as a Steel-blue Cricket Hunter (*) has decided at least one of the chairs is an ideal place to start a family:
The patio under the chair is littered with blades of grass and twigs that didn’t quite fit through the 5 mm vent hole in the tube, but that long stem went in just fine:
We have seen the wasp airlifting crickets near the chair, so provisioning has begun. The cricket seemed not only larger than the hole, but also larger than the wasp; we assume the wasp knows what she’s doing.
The new wasp will hatch this year, pupate over the winter, then hatch and emerge next summer, but I plan to replace the straps after the construction season ends.
I have no idea how to clean out whatever’s accumulating in there …
(*) I learned them as Steel-blue Cricket Killer, but the crickets are just paralyzed, not completely dead.
We deployed six sticky traps in the onion patch immediately after planting in late April and replaced the cards in mid-June. The first set of cards collected a considerable number of what resemble, to my untrained eye, onion maggot flies and the onion plants remain healthy:
Each image shows both sides of a single card.
The cards sit a foot above the shredded leaf mulch and I managed to drop at least one of the cards while extracting it from the cage, but they all have plenty of onion maggot flies in addition to the random debris.
The cards inside their cages have not accumulated larger insects like honeybees / moths / butterflies, although the tiniest specks are definitely mini-critters along the beetle / gnat / aphid / mosquito axis.
Unlike last year, the second set of cards will remain in place until harvest to maintain continuous pressure on the fly population.
If you’re really interested, the dozen original camera images have more detail.
An upcoming project calls for cutting dozens of lengths from a spool of 550 (pound tensile strength) all-nylon paracord, which means I must also heat-seal the ends. Cold-cutting paracord always produces wildly fraying ends, so I got primal on an old soldering iron tip:
Bashed into a flattish blade, it does a Good Enough job of hot-cutting paracord and sealing the end in one operation:
Setting the iron to 425 °C = 800 °F quickly produces reasonably clean and thoroughly sealed cut ends.
Obviously, I need more practice.
Yes, I tried laser cutting the paracord. Yes, it works great, makes a perfectly flat cut, and heat-seals both ends, but it also makes no sense whatsoever without a fixture holding a dozen or so premeasured lengths in a straight line. No, I’m not doing that.