Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

I framed the art piece Paul brought me from England.   It is a stained glass template from the church in Yelverton, England.  A watercolor and pencil painting/drawing of Mary and Joseph.  It fits nicely above my stairs.

I also built a 6' wide bookcase and moved some of my favorite books up here.  Been enjoying a book of Sewanee lore about teaching and nature, (despite it's glorification of hunting) ... "Wedding the Wild Particular" by R. Benson.

The view of the rain and fog was irresistible this afternoon.   It was in the low to mid 50ºs today, but I had a fire going and the sliding glass door open... hissing of the fire in one ear, patter of rain in the other.  A nice backdrop to learning this Handel suite which I'm just loving.

The sunset was spectacular.

I expect to move my webcam out beyond the trees to get an unobstructed view of the cove, and better timelapse videos.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mid week treat

So nice to have seen Edgar Meyer walk out on the stage for two encores in Sewanee with Chick Corea and Bela Fleck last night.  What a concert!  Best I've seen in memory.

I'm really looking forward to playing a concert of new music in the fall here at Sewanee and other places.

Had just enough time after the concert for a workout at the Fowler Center and a hang with friends.  Won't be long now before I'm running again.

Here's more of my timelapse mania...

Fullmoonset to sunrise:

Wish I had brought my camera... here's a cell phone shot of the superstar performers: 
 Bela Fleck, Chick Corea, Edgar Meyer 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wild sky

I'm just loving this observatory of sky and weather on the bluff.   I got my high anemometer back up, 41' high. I grounded it well with copper wires and strap, insulated it with electrical tape, and stood it on a brick to keep it from touching any wood, expecting it may be hit by lightning.

We had thunderstorms last night with unusually long rolling thunder.  What an amazing place to watch lightning!  Today a Wind Advisory is in effect and snow is forecast for tonight and tomorrow.  Cold spring.

This morning, my Weather Cat software captured a time lapse of the fog rolling in and out of Champion Cove.   I hope to improve these videos in the future with a better camera position and a better manual focus webcam.

Timelapse movie: 3/24/13  - 6:00am - 10:00am

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Guitar and moon

It was a great week... some random photos: the crescent moon setting and the gift of being able to play a 1947 Hauser I guitar in mint condition at a friend's home.

 This guitar is the Stradivarius of guitars. It is worth significantly more than I paid for my house. There are about 500 Strads in the world, but only a few Hauser I guitars. The provenance of this guitar is amazing. It was literally paid for with food and medicine by a physician to the Hauser family that was living in a desperate post war Germany. All of the collected letters between Hauser and the doctor are in the owner's possession. Fascinating.

I'm hoping to have my Handel Suite ready soon, maybe I'll play in church sometime in the near future. I'm just loving playing guitar again.

A bell like tone, rock solid basses ... this guitar gives everything I ask from it with sweetness, balance, and clarity.

 A dream guitar.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Presenting the new Sky Castle weather station

The Weather Center

Using a Davis Vantage Vue weather station and WeatherCat software, I have installed an automated reporting station at Sky Castle in Sewanee.

To my knowledge, it is Sewanee's first such weather station that is integrated with the Weather Underground's national reporting database.

I also will retain my Vortex anemometer in addition to this weather station since my Vantage Vue instrument package is compromised from collecting good wind data from the north by trees.  The Vortex will be mounted above tree top level.  I thought it simply too risky to mount the expensive and fragile Vantage sensor package atop a 39' pole.  It would be very difficult to service.  So the Vantage package is mounted about 18' high on the edge of the bluff in the old satellite mount.  It has a vertically unobstructed view of the sky and the wind data from the south and west is unobstructed.  So, I will check wind data from both sources.

Here you can see my data:

From the Weather Underground network:

I also added a Weather Underground web 'sticker' to my sidebar on the left of this blog that shows current conditions at a glance.

I secured the domain name: and have integrated a web cam.   That site is my personal site and is updated every 15 min and has a broad array of graphs, data, and a webcam which I hope to improve soon.  (The present webcam has auto focus and sometimes it doesn't focus properly.   I hope to get a better webcam at some point).

Monday, March 4, 2013

March '13 snow

It was a memorable weekend.

 Saturday March 2, it snowed lightly all day.  Glad I had plenty of firewood.  By Sunday morning, there was a good 2" of snow on the ground.    I hope kids got a chance to go sledding because this was their last best chance this season. It was just beautiful. I wish I went sledding, but I enjoyed some walks, socializing, working out at the Fowler Center, and seeing my friend John on his birthday.

Laurel Branch creek was roaring in the valley below, the bird feeder was very busy with colorful finches, and the snow provided a beautiful mountain backdrop to a warm fire and some indoor projects.

Window view

Map Room

I wanted a detailed large map for the house so I obtained the 4 contiguous USGS Topo maps for the Sewanee/Monteagle South Cumberland area.  After buying and returning several frames, I decided to make my own 48"x 36" frame with plexiglass.  I mounted all four maps as one and illuminated it with an overhead clamp light - the best solution.  Always good to see the 'big picture.'

After much thought, I've decided to move my weather instruments away from the house to the old satellite mount about 50' from the house.   I don't need a lightning attractor like that 30' steel pole attached to my house.  I think I will need an additional 10' of pipe and a practical means of raising and lowering the mast.   Still brainstorming that.   I think I'm going to buy the Davis Vantage Vue weather station and eventually establish an automated weather data and webcam page online.

I finally found a Preway cone shaped fireplace that will be integrated in my screen house on the bluff.   I was hoping to start work on that week after next, but now I think I may postpone that til April/May.   I really want to get that weather station up and away from my house before spring storms.   That will be priority for spring break.

Hard to believe Spring break is less than a week a way and spring wildflower season is just around the corner.

I took the video below on Saturday afternoon 3/2/13 to remember this late winter snow ... especially when I look back during the warm seasons.