Filed under: fish, garden, Minnesota, pond, water garden | Tags: ater garden, butterfly koi, flowers, Koi, Minnesota, plants, pond, water, water lettuce, water lilly, water plants
I’m into year two on my west pond, and things are looking good. Last years pond may have been a little infertile since many plants are doing so much better this year.
Last year the water lettuce and hyacinth, both annuals in northern ponds, were just not growing well. This year they are taking over quickly. The water lilly is doing better as it should in its second year.
The year old koi are really eating up the fish food. Most of the juveniles are changing color, but some may stay black. The butterfly koi are blending right in. They can be identified by their longer fins.
There are a few yellow flowers on the plants under the bridge. I can’t remember the plants name. I added some spiral rush in those pots this spring after the rushes I planted last year died.
I’ve added a few new annuals in the pond side pots that add a bit of new color and texture also.
The thyme growing in the sitting area rocks are really starting to look good also.
The new hibiscus is blooming again as it has come out of transplant shock. I really like these flowers.
So there they are, pictures of the second year of my pond. Hope you enjoyed them.
Filed under: Hawaii, rain, travel | Tags: garden, Hawaii, Honolulu, memorial, Oahu, rain, water
OK, so after three trips to the island of O’ahu, and several people asking me what they thought should be seen, I decided to put together a top picks list. All of these are on any major tourist map of the island, but few of these are “commercial” tourist stops. Most require a fee to enter or at least park, but not all. Note, finding places in Hawaii is not always easy. Roads are narrow, traffic is a mess, and many really good sites are on the end of dead end roads.
Since many of these are from past trips I did not include photos. Check back to earlier posts. I did not feel I needed to cover all of them again.
Many place names seem the same. Wai, in any name means fresh water, Kai, means salt water. With water being such a large part of Hawaiian culture it is no wonder that it figures into so many place names.
Yes, I have ranked them according to the ones you MUST see and those you should see. There are many other wonderful places to visit, not all of them famous, spend some time and explore. Get off of the beach.
10) Makapu’u Point – On the eastern end of the Island of O’ahu, this overlook could be a place to see whales in season. When the weather is nice you can see several of the islands to the east of O’ahu. There is a parking lot and a paved trail to the overlook. I’ve been past here, but not to the top. It’s a reason I need to go back.
9) Lanikai and Kailua Beaches – On the north east side of the island, this is a really great beach. It has none of the hype of Waikiki, and is not easy to get to, but worth the trip. This is where the locals go.
Take a jacket and hang on to your hat. When the ocean breeze meets the mountains you can have a real wind here. The over look can be reached from the Pali Highway as you cross the island from Honolulu to Kailua and Lanikai. I’ve visited this site every trip to the island.
The site of a famous battle for the union of the Kingdom of Hawaii under one ruler, the cliff face looks north towards the side of O’ahu that many tourists never see.
7) Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. If you want to snorkel with the fishes, this is the place. Sorry, I’ve never been here, I’m just going on reports of those who have been here. Another reason I need to make another trip.
6) Iolani Palace -
The only royal palace in the United States, come here to find out how this noble Victorian Era Kingdom was run and prospered until some of the influential Anglos decided to take over. At one time this palace looked out over the harbor, now buildings and fill have moved it far inland and hide the sea from its windows. After the death of the queen it was used for government offices, but it has now been restored and has many of the original furnishings and artwork. Check out some of the other buildings in the area, you may see some you recognize from movies and TV shows.
5) The National Cemetery of the Pacific, aka The Punch Bowl
You’ve seen this statue if you ever saw a commercial for the TV series Hawaii 5-0. Situated in an old volcanic crater, this memorial to the dead of WWII and the Korean Conflict is a place that needs some time.
The stunning mosaics of the major battles of the Pacific are worth the trip alone. Do wander around and see all of the sights. Don’t miss the walkway to the Honolulu overlook.
4) Diamond Head – The first travelers here saw the reflection of light off of this extinct volcano and thought it was covered in Diamonds. Do find your way around to the tunnel and parking lot inside. It’s a bit of a hike to the top, but the view of the city and the reefs out in the ocean are worth it. Don’t stop at the first view port, crawl through and continue the trail to the top.
3) The Bishop Museum – You’ll need time to explore this place. Just the museum of Polynesian artifacts can take the whole day. Displays include a whale hanging in the main hall, and displays of everything from flowers to clothing making. There are five buildings here, try to make at least two.
2) Waimea Valley – For flower lovers everywhere, you need to visit here. On the north west side of the island, this one is about as far from Honolulu as you can get. While Honolulu gets only inches of rainfall, this valley gets feet. Bring a raincoat, umbrella and perhaps a swimsuit to swim in the pool at the top of the valley. You will wander through an amazing amount of Pacific Island flora. There is a wide variety of birds flitting and walking around the grounds. You’ll need hours to get just an overview of the place. The restaurant has an interesting menu, enjoy.
1) Pearl Harbor Historic Sites – Everyone knows about the USS Arizona Memorial. It’s a free tour out to the memorial for which you need to pick up your tickets in advance. If you are not on a guided tour, you should be there early in the morning to be sure of a shuttle time. While you wait for your shuttle you can visit the memorial to submarines, look at old rockets and torpedoes or visit the USS Bowfin, a WWII sub. There is also a new visitors center where you can learn all about the attack on Pearl Harbor. On nearby Ford Island you can visit the USS Missouri where the war with Japan ended.
Well, there you have it, my top ten. This is by no means a complete list of places to visit on the island. I did not include Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church where my daughter acquired her Hawaiian family, or Waikiki beach, where the tourists usually outnumber the locals at all hours of the day. There are any number of commercial enterprises that want to take your money for “once in a lifetime” events. I could have told you about the convention center or the shopping malls or any of a number of parks, the aquarium or the zoo. I did not include such eating places as the north shore shrimp and seafood shacks, the mac nut farm, or the ranch. I could have told you about the highest grossing restaurant in the islands, Duke’s, or the neighborhood BBQ’s where most Hawaiians go for a quick meal. There are hiking trails and climbing areas, mountains and forests, hunting and farming. There is so much more here than Waikiki. I hope you get out and see some of it.
Filed under: house, repairs, travel, wood heat | Tags: electric water heater, hot water, hot water heater, machines, repairs, water, water heater, wood fired boiler
So, here you are, planning a trip out of town and you have a problem with the water heater. If the house was to be empty, no problem, turn it off and deal with it later. Nope, I’m going alone,wife would prefer to have hot water while I’m gone.
Now nothing in our house is simple. It comes from not liking to pay fuel bills. When I hooked up our wood burning boiler to heat the house, I also used that hot water to heat our household water. There are extra things hooked to our heater and I would like to be here to explain when the new water heater is installed. I may not have the chance. I’m already in a time crunch and I have to plan on a water heater being replaced while I’m gone, wonderful.
So here’s the old heater. Notice the dark stain of wet cement on the floor? That’s what gave me the first hint of trouble. The heater is 20 years old so it has had its life. We are on load management with the electric company so they and I can save some electricity in times of high need, we both save money. Because of that I get a big water heater while paying less for a top of the line electric water heater. The electric company can shut the heater off periodically to save during times of peak demand, never long enough to notice if you have a larger, well insulated, tank.
Notice also the white lines on the heater? Those are signs of previous leakage. Not good things to find.
See that yellow tag, it’s wet. It hangs from the electric junction box on the water heater. When I removed the cover from that box I discovered that water was coming out of the heater from around the electric cables. This means I have to replace the heater. I make the plans to replace everything, and hope it all holds together so the plan will never go into effect. If things go wrong, one phone call and my wife gets her hot water back.
Luckily everything held together while I was gone, now I can get things done my way.
While I was gone the new a water heater was delivered. Today I wrestled it into the house and got it out of the box. The next step is going to be interesting. The tank is 30.25 inches wide and the top of my basement stair well 30.25 inches. Yep, tight squeeze. But hey, I’m home and the job will get done. It’s much easier for me and a load off of my wife.
It happens so often, you are headed off on, or just back from a trip, and something goes wrong. So far no problem, so far.
Filed under: Ag education, Farm, Minnesota, science | Tags: Agriculture education, erosion, farm, Farm Bureau, Minnesota, pollution, water, water quality
National Ag Experts to Address Water Concerns
The public is encouraged to attend the Minnesota Ag Water Resources Coalition (MAWRC) seminar on June 24 to learn more about the science behind protecting Minnesota’s soil and how to engage in soil and water conversations in their communities. MAWRC will host a seminar on sediment transport and the role of agricultural drainage on June 24 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Country Inn and Suites in Mankato.
The program will feature nationally renowned researchers who work to insure water quality programs are directed toward real solutions to protecting our environment. Speakers include: Stanley Trimble – UCLA geologist, Garey Fox – Oklahoma State University soil scientist and several University of Minnesota agricultural and climate experts.
“Farmers really need to know which farming practices make a difference to water quality,” said Steve Sodeman, MAWRC chairman. “Minnesota farmers care about our water and preserving our soil. The speakers represent over 100 years of expertise on this topic. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how their farm management is connected to positive solutions to preserving Minnesota’s waters.”
The seminar is open to the public, no pre-registration required and includes lunch. The sediment seminar is hosted by MAWRC and sponsored by the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.
MAWRC is comprised of 16 farm organizations, working together through education to advance the use of scientifically sound soil and water management practices on Minnesota farms and ranches. For more information call 651-768-2106. log onto mawrc.org or follow us on Facebook.
Filed under: house, Minnesota, seasons, spring, winter | Tags: basement, melt, Minnesota, repairs, snow, spring, sump pump, water, weather
The rising temperatures have caused the rapid melting of the mountains of snow we have around here. This has also caused the rivers to rise over their banks, and some water to creep into basements.
The basement of my old house will, in the wettest periods, have water in it. I added another sump pump to help with this problem, but putting in the pump is only the beginning. I installed a tile line to an old problem spot, only to discover more places that water comes in.
Normally I discover the water when it covers the basement floor. This year I have been making frequent trips downstairs and have been looking for each place the water creeps in. It is helping me to understand my basement. It has also caused me to be amazed at the persistence of water. It seems that over time water will creep through the smallest of cracks, some I cannot even see.
Most of my basement walls are poured concrete rather than concrete block. When it was poured, they poured the footings and the wall in one piece. This made the wall able to hold out most water so that water will actually come through the floor in many places before it comes through the walls. It does find ways to weep through the walls in some places.
Now I’m off to break up more of my basement floor in hopes of keeping the basement dry. This year I know that a dry basement is hopeless. Perhaps in the future I can keep the water out.
Filed under: cats, cold, family, Farm, frost, Ice, Minnesota, seasons, snow, weather, wind, winter | Tags: cold, farm, ice, Minnesota, snow, Thanksgiving, water, weather, wind
This mornings temperature was 9 degrees. Baby it’s could out there. My morning bus trip got me thinking about how the cold affects water ponds of different sizes and types.
As an example my small (200 gallon) fish pond was frozen over, with ice thick enough to hold a cat on sunday, with only 30 degree temps. The cat was looking for a drink and found the ice in the way. I got out my pond heater and we now have an open water pond again.
Many of the ponds and small lakes were showing ice on their edges on Sunday. Until we had the cold this morning it did not take too large a body of water to resist the freeze. Last night the temperatures went down and a cold north wind blew all of the smaller bodies of water to ice covered by morning.
The river has been interesting lately. There have been some areas of ice on the edge that formed in the last few days. Today small icebergs had broken loose and were floating down the river. In places. where a river bend or bridge could capture those ice chunks, the whole river had been covered with ice. A few more days like this and we’ll have ice on all of our water bodies.
This is shaping up to be an early freeze up. The ground is getting a good depth of frozen earth now. I don’t have my snow fence in yet, but it looks like I had better get those posts pounded in soon or not at all.
A cold Thanksgiving is forecast. We still have some ice covered roads and the weather tomorrow will not help. We could get more ice and snow wednesday. Be careful as you travel for thanksgiving.