It’s summertime here in the mountains. Not as many projects being completed, but progress is moving along slowly.

We finally solved our Solar charger/inverter circuit breaker tripping every time we plugged in our used RV refrigerator, and/or every time we started the generator to charge the batteries in the evening. The culprit was the 30 amp circuit breaker, we had connected, which was supposed to be a minimum 125 amp fuse. (Obviously we didn’t read the teeny-tiny 4 pt. fine print on the charger/inverter label.) So we sent away for this Gold ANL Fuse holder with a 1 ft. 2 gauge wire and 150A fuse on eBay for $15.

Gold ANL Fuse HolderIt’s a lot bigger than the photo depicts it. But it did the trick, and now we can charge the batteries through the charger/inverter instead of going directly from the generator.

We also rewired the entire system with thicker 6 gauge wire, and a few 2 gauge wires to boot.

Our solar power setupSo we are slowly making progress in the solar power department.

Abby is enjoying the summer… except for the heat and the horse flies. She loves hanging out under the shed and sunning herself on the auxiliary potato bed.

Abby soaking up some summer sunThe chickens are growing fast. They have adjusted to the Montana way of living, and we have finally started to let them free range… and they venture out of the chicken yard with great caution.

fieldtripWe are hoping to see our first eggs coming soon. I predict 7/26. The Missus predicted 7/14… oh, the anticipation…


Role Reversal

Abby was making some short barks early this morning (3 AM early)… something was outside… then we heard our steel 55 gallon burn barrel fall over (used for burning trash)… one conclusion… bear!

There was no food of interest in it, and I failed to re-secure the lid on top. As Abby went back to her bed, our cat, Blackie, was sitting inside on the door steps on high alert until sunrise.

At around 6:30 AM, I let Abby out and she trotted over to the NE corner of the shed and proceeded to crawl under the shed. She popped her head out, looked at the windows, gave me a look, and went back under looking at the glass windows we have stacked against the wall… this behavior means one thing… there is a Pack Rat somewhere in between the window panes.

Since it was way too early to pull out the blowgun, I decided to move some of the windows out and let Abby take care of the Pack Rat… and, within a few minutes of moving around some window frames, Abby made one quick move and she was doing a victory lap around the garden with a dead Pack Rat in her mouth.

If you are not familiar with Pack Rats, their urine and feces have a distinct foul odor… which I’m sure Abby remembered this time by the look on her face.

(She passed on eating this one. Wise choice Girly-Girl) Since the last one she ate made her feel a bit queazy for the remainder of the day. She ended up burying this Pack Rat in the meadow. Which was fine with us.

About half an hour later, Blackie jumped up on the window sill and was looking at us like…

“Hey, you guys, look out the window… NOW!… There is a large predator lurking about.”

It took me a few seconds to catch on, but when I looked out the window, I saw a bear walking past the garden right in front of the chicken coop, heading for the creek. We’re assuming it was the same bear that investigated the burn barrel early this morning.

After I grabbed the shotgun, and we located Abby; who was clueless to the bear being in the vicinity, I cautiously walked toward the bear who had now crossed to the other side of the creek, and fired a few shells in his direction to discourage its return to our homestead.

All of this excitement before 8 AM, and our first cup of coffee.

So, we have a dog who alerts us to Pack Rats, and a Cat who alerts us to Bears… go figure.

Bonus Image

Bob, the German Shepherd who lives a mile away came to visit Abby around 6 AM a few days ago. This made Abby’s morning, since we think she has a special crush on Bob. Now, isn’t that one happy looking dog! 🙂

Dog Day Afternoon

Here are some action shots of our Abby.

Sporting her new saddle bags. She’s going to earn her meals.

Abby is rewarded after a hard afternoon workout with a Kong stuffed with treats and peanut butter goodies.

In training with the homemade pull harness. Currently she is hauling a short piece of OSB to get used to the harness. But we’ll have her hauling a small wagon of fire wood in no time.

And what a way to end the working day with a little relaxing rodent dig.