Thursday, June 2, 2022

And Just Like That, It's Summer

That's not surprising; after all, pretty much everyone refers to Memorial Day as the "unofficial" start of summer, which doesn't technically begin until the summer solstice on June 21st.  

The exact dates and times depend on exactly where you are, but the Sunrise/Sunset app on my phone (which appears to be abandoned now) says we are in the minute that has the earliest sunrise of the year, 6:25, and it tells me that time from today until June 18th.   The latest sunset of the year will be June 29th until July 5th.  

Much like blog brother Peter Grant at Bayou Renaissance Man talked about a large home and property improvement project, we've had a big project going on in the background.  It first became an idea that we had to do the project last January when I was putting up my new six meter beam antenna.  The winch that I use to crank over the tower was rusting out and needed to be replaced, and I told myself to go find a stainless winch.  The complicating problem showed up when I cranked over the tower to swap in the new antenna, it became very apparent that our oak tree had continued its bad habit of growing into the way and needed to be trimmed.  That requires a serious effort because of the size of the tree.  

I don't have a "before" picture that captures the size of the tree because it's so big.  The best I can do is a picture of the antennas during January's antenna work and while it doesn't do the size of the tree justice, it's as good as I can get.  Close to 100' in the longest dimension of the canopy.  The trunk is about 4' across at its widest.

This turned into quite an ordeal because it got into April before we started calling tree service guys to do the work.  Which turned into getting estimates.  The first estimate, from guys we've used before, said the only reasonable thing to do was to take out the tree.  Which led to getting another estimate - and they're both "certified arborists" who agreed there really wasn't much that can be done besides take down the tree. Finally, it's rapidly turning into the tree services' busy season as people are realizing they should trim back their trees for hurricane season.

The tree was taken down yesterday.  I have the stainless winch, the stainless hardware I expect to need, and I'm ready to crank over the tower to do that work.  Without the shade the tree always gave.

The whole purpose of being able to crank over the tower is to remove those antennas in the event of a hurricane.  Guess what?  We're getting something this weekend, with the forecasts saying overnight tomorrow through Saturday morning.  Exactly what it will be isn't forecast.  It hasn't achieved tropical storm strength yet, but the National Hurricane Center has started calling it "Potential Tropical Cyclone 1" rather than the more realistic Invest 91L.  The hierarchy of names for these systems is the earliest stages are called Invest (area of investigation?) with a sequential number and a letter that denotes where it is.  Once winds exceed 25 mph and the system has a low pressure center and circulation, they're denoted as depression.  When winds get to 45 mph they're promoted to Tropical Storm and given a name.  Hurricanes are 75 mph and above.  This storm is around depression strength but they haven't found a circulation center. 

The one forecast product that I thought was worth saving was the prediction of this as a rain event.  

The colored bands representing the amount of rain expected change very quickly around the Cape Canaveral area, just north of me.  The local NWS forecast is predicting between two and three inches of rain Saturday, which is what this graphic seems to say.  Notice that they're talking 10 to 15 inches of rain down at the southern tip of Florida. 

The novel thing about this storm is that it's forming from the remnants of the first hurricane in the Pacific this year, Agatha, which came ashore in Mexico Monday.  If those remnants become the first named storm in the Atlantic basin, they'll be given the name Alex.  

It's peak 2022!  Born a woman, after some trying times and a "mid-life crisis", she transitions to being a man.  You can't make this stuff up!  



  1. SiG, just a note to say your blog is the first stop of the day for me. The side bar of blog links is an outstanding set. Thanks for all the great articles.

  2. Certified or not, you didn't have to take out the tree if you didn't care how it would look. If you'd just cut off all the branches back to where they were six inches thick or so, leaving the tree in a hemisphere, new branches would have grown out from the ends. It looks funny, but it grows just fine, remains very strong, and provides wind shelter and shade.

  3. I've adopted the meteorological seasons. Summer is June-July-Aug & that works out well for me!

    1. Ours usually runs from about mid-May to mid-September. By that I mean that cold fronts stop making it to the area around the Cape in May and then start making it here again in September. Some years, either end will be earlier or later. The first and last fronts don't really change the temperature, just the wind direction.

      The afternoon thunderstorm pattern is influenced by fronts far north of here, like the Ohio river valley, and we'll get a few days of storms every day alternating with a few days of no storms. For the entire ~ four months.

  4. Not sure why I am blocked from commenting via my google account but here goes. I too am faced with a giant tree innthe way, a Black Olive tree in my South Florida backyard that now threatens the house and obstructs my HF antenna system. Bids from tree companies for removal were north of $3500 so the wife and I decided to do it ourselves. Taking advantage of the citys bulk pickup we are dropping the tree in small bites every other week. It will take about 3 months at the rate two 67 yr olds can run chainsaws but we are comitted to it. For the price of ethanol free gas and 2 cycle oil we can save a lot of cash that can fund a new ICOM 7300 and enough tower sections to get up an old tri band cushcraft A3S into the sky. Today the rains got in the way of tree work. Another day, another dollar reallocated back to us.

    1. I have no idea on the commenting via Google account thing. It's probably Goggle themselves, since every time I've tried to get the Blogger interface to change the way it handles comments it ignores me and does what it wants.

      Come to think of it, I had a thing this week that was caused by my browser (Firefox). I always stay logged in (on this computer) for various blog things. I commented to a post here and saw it listed me as anonymous. Long story shortened, it was some new privacy feature that Firefox introduced that would log me out as soon as I left the edit and post page.

      Anyway... I had a Black Olive tree when I lived in the Boca Raton area. This tree here, though, really required a cherry picker to get to the upper branches. I could have cut back the ones closest to the problem areas on a ladder or standing on the roof (possibly even without injuring myself) but pruning encourages to tree to grow back into the direction that was cut off. It would unbalance the tree and make it more likely to come down in a big storm.

    2. The other day I was on a blog to make a comment and I ended up having to go to the top of the blog page and hit the "sign in" button. That took me to my page where I was already signed in.. At that point I can't remember if I I hit the back arrow or the reading list button but I ended up back at my comment signed in and ready to hit the go button.

    3. That's like what Firefox did. I'd hit sign in, it would take me to the "Posts" page, and when I left that, the top bar just said "sign in" again.