Oh, Those Precious Fall Colors

Hillside turning red

As you can see from the photograph above, the fall color change continues to evolve, bringing with it the varied red, gold, and orange hues that glimmer so brightly in the mid-day sun.  The colors become more vivid with each passing day, and I think we are still a few days away from this year’s peak coloration.

You may recall from a previous post entitled Is That You I’m Seeing Over There?, I like to take panoramic photographs.  The link below will take you to a large panoramic photograph which overlooks our property, and which shows what the countryside is looking like right now.  It is a large file and may take a minute to load, but it is well worth the short wait (even for the impatient amongst you readers).

                           Panoramic view of property in fall

As you may have figured out by now, I’ll keep posting about fall colors as long as they last.  As I already mentioned, I suspect that we are about at the peak of this year’s colors, although the forecast is for continuing weather conditions conducive to a beautiful show.

The Fall Colors Keep Getting Better

We have been having good cooperation among the weather deities, as rainfall, day time, and night time temperatures have been nearly ideal for the production of vivid fall leaf coloration in this area.  The photograph below shows the progress that has occurred since my last post on the subject of fall colors.

Color change is underway

You may recall from a previous post entitled Landscaping My Way – Installment #1 that I have taken pains to preserve patches of dwarf sumac in some of the clearings on the ranch.  The photograph above shows why I save the sumacs – they are the beautiful bright red plants that you see at the base of the hills above, and I revel in their vivid splendor this time of the year.

I will continue to post periodic updates on the fall colors out here, as long as they continue to improve.  A bright, sunny day is forecast for Saturday, so maybe I will have the opportunity to take some nice pictures.

An Unexpected Visitor

Not too long ago, Retta and I began hearing an unusual noise emanating from the air conditioning duct work.  I went down into the basement utility room to investigate the source of the noise.  It soon became apparent that the noise was coming from the 5 ton air handling unit (pictured below) that is a part of the heat pump system that cools and heats our home.  Inside the housing (on the left side of the picture) there is a large blower unit, which utilizes a fan assembly that looks much like a giant hamster exercise wheel.  The sound seemed to be originating from inside this blower, so I decided to call the company that installed this HVAC system for us a few years ago.  Last week, the company sent a repair technician, who pulled the blower assembly apart and determined that a broken fan unit was causing the noise.

Air Handler Unit

Today the repair technician returned with the new parts, and after installing the new blower assembly, we were pleased to find that the offending noise had disappeared.  The technician then decided to test the unit under load, so we switched on the heat pump so that he could check the voltage and amperage draw.  He found that one of the two sets of auxiliary heating coils was drawing current, but that the other remaining set was not (both sets should have drawn the same amperage).

The technician proceeded to disassemble the unit again, this time to inspect the auxiliary heating coils, which are located at the rear of the air handler cabinet, above the blower unit.  He said something to me, which I could barely hear, because his head and shoulders were buried inside the air handler cabinet.  He said “there’s something I didn’t expect to find in here.”

And this is what he pulled off of one of the auxiliary heater coils – 

This visit didn't work out well for either of us!

It just goes to show – when you live out in the country, there are frequently critters showing up where you least expect them, so keep you eyes peeled and be on the lookout at all times!