Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Sun, 2020/09/27 - 1:38pm

 Galatians 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden. 6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. 

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Pandemic Saturday

The Field Lab - Sat, 2020/09/26 - 2:56pm


FYI - the global daily infection rate is still going up with a new record high of 361,390 cases on Thursday.  1.  I went to Alpine yesterday and visited a local watchmaker who told me he thinks the pandemic is a joke.  2.  Stopped by to visit friends who own an antique store and it was filled with unmasked tourists even though there is a sign on the door that says "masks required".  3.  There is a rodeo in town this weekend and apparently they are all Covid deniers - and probably Trump supporters.  Thanks to these yahoos, look for a big bump in local infections in the next two weeks.  94,101,65,0,B 
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

new mattress day...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2020/09/25 - 4:07pm

 The last mattress I bought was just a little too squishy so I ordered an extra firm one with a box spring during a labor day sale in Alpine.  Just picked it up today.91,96,68,0,C

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Airstream has left the Field Lab...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2020/09/24 - 3:19pm


I haven't seen this view in over 9 years...89,98,68,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

new tracking circuit...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2020/09/23 - 10:50am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

David vs Goliath...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2020/09/22 - 4:35pm


My favorite small American watch company just won a landmark lawsuit brought on by the multi billion dollar Swiss conglomerate The Swatch Group.  85,92,66,0,C  

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

got a good start...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2020/09/21 - 3:09pm



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don't stumble...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2020/09/20 - 2:27pm

Proverbs 4:12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. 13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. 14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. 

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

watermelon picnic...

The Field Lab - Sat, 2020/09/19 - 3:24pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Fri, 2020/09/18 - 4:36pm

I'm running out of blog post and video ideas so I guess it's time for some binge cleaning... 75,83,68,0,B
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two tomatoes...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2020/09/17 - 1:52pm


70,81,67, .12",B

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18 months old...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2020/09/16 - 3:38pm



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Staying on track...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2020/09/15 - 1:00pm

The tracking circuit that controls my solar panels that follow the sun all day recently bit the dust after almost 6 years of continuous duty in the brutal Terlingua sun.  Just ordered a replacement.  80,83,69,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

D0-It-Yourself Solar Fountain

Home Grown New Mexico - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 7:02pm

by Teri Buhl

One of the best things you can do to encourage wildlife in your yard is to create water sources.  For migrating birds, especially in the Southwest, fresh water is a lifesaver.  According to the Audubon Society, “fall” migration is a protracted experience, starting as early as mid-June and lasting until the early days of January. Such a long migration season provides birders plenty of opportunities to witness the spectacle and joy of birds on the move.  Peak fall migration occurs from mid-August to mid-October.  Cornell Lab of Ornithology researchers used cloud and radar data to estimate that 4.7 billion birds leave the U.S. over the southern border, heading to the tropics.  As stewards of wildlife, we can help a big percentage of our flying friends make a successful journey by supplying water when they need a rest stop.

This project is easy, it has a spray head that hummingbirds like, a center bowl for drinking, and a ring/bowl that larger birds can use for bathing.  In addition, a solar panel means that you don’t need to be near an electrical outlet.  Last, but not least, it’s a closed system that’s easy to clean and maintain.  What’s not to like?  Here’s what you need:

A 5-gallon bucket $5 – 10 A 13-inch diameter plastic chip and dip tray $1 – 3 A solar fountain kit, minimum of 2 watts of power $20 – 35 1 to 2 feet of 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch plastic tubing $1 – 5

You’re going to put holes in the chip and dip tray to allow water to drain back into the bucket, and can use either a drill or a soldering iron.   Any self-respecting do-it-yourselfer probably already has these tools on hand.  If not, visit your nearest Habitat for Humanity Restore and ask about their tool lending counter – they’ll be happy to help you.

Good luck and happy birding!

Find a place near a sunny spot for your bucket, and fill it to about 4 inches from the top.






Check to make sure your chip/dip tray fits your bucket properly.




Mark the drainage hole locations on the back of the chip/dip tray using the ejection pin and molding marks as a guide.  Start with 12 holes – you can always make more later.  (This need not be perfect.)





Drill the holes using a 1/16 to 1/8” drill bit.  Make one “pilot” hole in the center of the dip bowl of the tray.  You can use a soldering iron for the holes if you prefer.






Choose a drill bit the size of your fountain stem, probably 3/8 to 1/2″, and make a hole in the center using the pilot hole as a guide.




Fit the fountain stem into the center of the tray.  It needs to be just above the water level line to spray properly.







Most pump kits have small segmented pipes that you can size to the height of a container or pot.  Assemble these to the pump and place the pump in the bottom of the bucket.



Cut a relief slot in the bucket rim for the pump cord.  A round file works well for this.






You may need to buy an extra piece of tubing depending on your pump kit.  Use it to connect the pump piping to the fountain stem – see next photo.



The tubing needs to be long enough to lift the tray to add more water.







Solar panels come with hardware for ground or wall mounting.  If you use a ground stake, find a sunny place and face the panel to solar south.  The tilt should be about 30 degrees or less for maximum sun exposure throughout the day.





Keep your pump wet, grab a drink, sit back, and enjoy watching all the birds use your new fountain!


Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Name these pills...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 2:49pm

Just had my yearly physical.  As my doctor told me a few years ago..."Mr. Wells, you are at the age where all your youthful indiscretions are coming back to haunt you."  65,71,68, .05",C

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Sun, 2020/09/13 - 2:26pm


76,80,65, .10",C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Pandemic Saturday

The Field Lab - Sat, 2020/09/12 - 3:12pm


FYI - the world wide infection rate is still going up and just hit a new daily high.  So now Trump is saying he lied about the severity of the pandemic because he "didn't want to cause a panic".  A real leader would have warned and reassured the public by being honest and taking definitive action instead of lying and diverting attention away from a real crisis.   Unfortunately, not only has he constantly lied about it - he has ignored it altogether which has led to almost 200,000 deaths in the US.  He probably considers those who have died of Covid-19 "suckers" and "losers".  The real suckers and losers are his supporters.  If he gets reelected, then it will be time to panic.

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dial transplant...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2020/09/11 - 2:17pm


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The Field Lab - Thu, 2020/09/10 - 12:16pm
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Selling some silver...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2020/09/09 - 4:15pm


68,75,63, .5",B

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