Woke up to some serious frost this morning, then realized it was also some snow! After the frost melted, actual snow remained:
Then later this morning we got some big fluffy flakes;
Love love love it.
Remember that LifeFlight airlift we saw recently? And how the guy who was having the allergic reaction died from a number of bee stings?
Well, there’s more.
First, the guy DID know he was allergic to bee stings.
The guy was NOT carrying an Epi-Pen on him.
He was out brush-clearing, and cut down a tree with a chainsaw. Disturbed (to say the least) a hive of bees inside the tree. Africanized hybrids, no less. Chaos undoubtedly ensued. He somehow made it back to the house.
Now, if it were you, what would YOU do at this point?
If it were ME, I’d throw up my hands and say, “Whew! That was close. Shucks, I guess I’m done brush-clearing for the day! Let’s crack open a cold beer.”
Instead, the guy fires up his Bobcat compact loader and heads back there to… I dunno what he was thinking. Move the tree trunk out of the way? Expecting the horde of angry bees to just follow the tree and ignore him? That they would have just flown away? We’ll never know.
Respect Mother Nature, folks, or She may smish you.
Remember the Mercy Air Lifeflight airlift directly from a neighbor’s horse corral? Well, Rich got the dirt from the CalFire guys: the guy had been doing some brush-clearing, and hit a beehive. Got 16 stings. He died of anaphylactic shock. We’re pretty shocked, ourselves. Unknown if he knew if he was allergic. Allergies can appear or disappear at any time of life. And even if he knew, one bee sting might be survivable, but 16 could just overwhelm the system.
The poor residents of Cosmit Peak in our neighborhood sure see their share of indignities. The Cosmit Indians once lived here; perhaps the peak is an ancient burial ground.
High winds regularly howl through the saddle between Cosmit and High Hill. One house is always having sections of siding torn off every winter by winds.
One night a couple of years ago, for two hours, Border Patrol swarmed all through the brush on Cosmit looking for someone, flashing high-powered lights and radioing each other. A helicopter with searchlights circled overhead.
Recently a lightning strike wiped out the electronics of every resident on Cosmit.
Yesterday, Rich saw a medical call come in from someone on Cosmit Road. A severe allergic reaction. We watched while no less than five emergency vehicles arrived, then a Mercy Air Lifeflight helicopter began circling around. At first we thought they’d land on Engineers Road, but they backed off and continued circling. Eventually the helo put down in the horse corral of the neighbor next door. The nearest helipad is at the fire station three miles away. Maybe they didn’t think the victim was stable enough to move that far.
Here’s the touchdown (sorry it’s fuzzy):
You can see the blue-and-white helo parked in the horse corral. The victim lives in the house at center.
And here’s the takeoff a little while later:
Remember when I posted about the little lady figurine that’s being slowly entombed by a live oak tree? Well, she’s even closer to being engulfed. Here’s the picture from a year ago, and this is how she looks now:
The California live oak leaves are turning color before falling for the winter.
Remember that thunderstorm I wrote about the other day? Someone even nearly got hit by lightning (about three miles away) and captured it on video. Since we live off the grid, we’re able to shut down our solar power system during big electrical events like that one. First you throw a big Frankenstein knife switch like this:
That disconnects the solar array from the system. Then there’s three other switches that separately disconnect the inverter from the batteries, the charge controller from the solar panels, and the charge controller from the batteries.
I mentioned that I saw Cosmit Peak getting hit. Today I heard about how some of the residents on Cosmit fared:
Ed & Mo – Lost their DirecTV cable box, television, and telephone.
Martin – Lost his charge controller and telephone.
Stevensons – Generator’s electronics got fried.
I haven’t heard how Kathleen or the McDonalds fared. The McDonalds would have been the closest to the strike by far.
So… I’m REALLY REALLY glad we shut down as the storm approached.
On September 5th we had a super powerful thunderstorm. The experience was borderline frightening. I’m a fan of a good thunderstorm, but I had never been this close to ground zero before. Pounding rain with huge winds lashing it angrily at all sides of the house. We shut off our power to protect the inverter. Good thing, too, as lightning strikes were all around us. One hit Cosmit Peak. Another hit Poco Montana. (These are each about 1/2 mile away.) Another cloud-to-cloud one crashed right overhead. Rattled the windows. I could feel the pressure wave, and the thunder was so loud I felt it go straight through my heart. I kept to the interior of the house, away from all things metal.
The remnants made for a spectacular sunset later.
The nuisance flies are always bad this time of year. Sometimes they drive us inside. We tried one of those fly catcher bags, and it caught hundreds of meat bees, but not a single fly. I’d heard about this trick, though: tying corks on strings to the edges of your hat. I wanted to do the same thing but with those fuzzy, dangling poofballs you see on Mexican dashboards. Went to JoAnn Fabrics, and found the dingle-balls wouldn’t work. Not dangly enough. But I did find these tassels. Pinned them around the brim, and guess what? IT WORKS LIKE A CHARM. Unfortunately, the trade-off is looking like a ridiculous lampshade.
Saw a rare Red-Shouldered Hawk the other day. Gorgeous markings.
Had a group of wild turkeys around feeding and stealing from the bird feeder. Gracie went out and watched (you can hear her cat door swing at 0:52 when she went out).
Then later, I saw her actually CHASING the turkeys, TWICE! After the second time, they all turned on her and stared at her as one. I thought she was about to have a “you’re in the wrong neighborhood, pal” moment. I did get video of her chasing them a bit more, but the best ones were out of view.