Finally, birds.

At some point a while back I wrote a short list of things I wanted to do in Brantley Lake, I think it may have been my first ‘two week’ stay at the first primitive site. Seems like I even repeated it once I got here. I really do like photographing birds, yet it’s hard to do with my iPhone and I usually don’t carry my Nikon with it’s three hundred millimeter lens.

As I know my days are numbered here now (by self set goal,) I really wanted to get some good shots before I left. Today as I went to work cleaning the car and (well, we’ll get to that in a second.) I brought my camera out with me. Fresh battery, lens cap off. No tripod, it seems to just slow me down on quick shots. Just left my camera laying on the passenger seat as I cleaned out the rest of the car.

With the winds here, birds are not constant. Some days you’ll see song birds and such, yet no soaring birds. Some days, you’ll see them, soaring too far away.  Yesterday, one was coming towards me, yet the winds were too strong and he ended up turning away. Today, light winds and I spotted two birds straight overhead. Later a third joined them.  Here are some shots of them, which do you think is the best?

Okay, so the rest of the day… the adventure.  I felt it this morning, time to pack and go. It’s the hardest work, yet it is exciting. I was cold this morning, so I followed my routine for tea and breakfast until just past nine when I opened the tent. Still cool outside, yet it wasn’t too bad. Back in to the tent and I somehow got distracted by redoing the tarp tent door flap.. and found a better way to secure it. Easy to open and step through, easy to close at night. Will have to remember this for the next site, yet I let it ride for today as I’d already put it in place.

Getting ready to pack, I looked around at all my stuff and looked around in the car- it was a mess. Back into the tent (as it was a bit chill) and over the half tent door/wall at the entrance- just a twelve inch side step over it. Each time I go into tent.. that added up over the day.  Cleaned up the tent and took out the garbage, then went back and looked at the car.

Packing was tight the last time with the new propane tank (which just fizzled out.. tomorrow is going to be a cold morning) and the seven gallon water jug, it’s getting full in the cab even with the giant cargo bag over the trunk. I saw a post on Facebook the over day that gave me an idea then, and I’ve been thinking about it since.  Removing the passenger seat. A quick YouTube to confirm that it would be as easy as I thought, yep, just four bolts.

The first bolt wouldn’t move with my half inch drive fifteen millimeter ratchet. No worries, this is why I carry a twenty four inch breaker bar. Twenty minutes later..the bolt broke off. One down. The second in the rear was nearly just as bad, I thought I broke it from the sound it made when it did break loose. Well, thats an over statement, it turned a little and I had to wrestle it for another twenty minutes too.

The third was just as bad and the forth broke loose and spun off easy.  All of this while standing hunched over in the passenger doorway. Several breaks were needed in this process. Finally, released I was able to lift it up and out of the car. Next..

Well, here is where I had a thought- I still have a half dozen projects to finish on the car. What have I been waiting for? A deadline? I don’t know, yet here I was trying to clean the car to pack and go, and it end up being a finish up dormant project day for the car. Next was the batteries, they’ve been wired in the trunk, yet most of the radios are in the dash and more wiring to the engine compartment. Time to move the batteries under the glovebox- plenty of room on that side now.

The batteries, the inverter, the solar charger, the shunt. One at a time everything disconnected from the old position and rewired in the new. Will finish it up and clean it up tomorrow before I head into town.  There is so much room in the car now and more in the trunk now too, with the batteries up front. It was a good day, I kept busy and working.

Until I couldn’t. That one tall side step every time I went in and out of the tent added up.  And the twisting on my core from ratcheting so hard- and on that breaker bar hard enough to break loose the bolts- and actually break one of them. By shortly after five I could barely walk around and started to pick up and get ready for bed. And back over the tent door a few more times.

Exhausted, I went to start stew for dinner.  Then walked back outside to wash the pot, then back over the doorway coming back in again. By time I got the stew I the stove I could barely stand at all. With an early dinner, I let myself relax and watch a movie from my own collection tonight. World War Z, good movie.  After that I set to writing this post.

As most people saw on the Facebook page, I almost got a picture of Blimey last night – tonight (just a second ago) I finally got some pictures of him- very glad after all that bird activity today. And forgot to mention, I did find his nest.. under the passenger seat. Now, it’s all stuffed into a small box placed where the passenger seat was.. hope he likes his new little house.

Also tonight, before Blimey, another visitor and not a shy one either.  It might be a desert chipmunk, or something. Kinda looks like a rat or a very large mouse, yet it fills its cheeks and it has a floof at the end of its long tail.  This is the same as I saw my first night at Brantley too- so I don’t necessarily think this big one came from my car!

Any away, it’s late – check the Facebook page to see the picturesI just took of the critters.

Time to rest.

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