Solar Day Two

Solar Optimizers 1

Today is day two of solar panel installation, and they’ve been working on setting up the optimizers. These will attach one to each panel, and enable it to function separately from the other panels, so that if one goes out or gets shaded they don’t all go out like a string of Christmas tree lights when one goes bad. We will be able to track the performance of each panel via a website. They are also creating the electrical wiring and its protective casing that will go from the roof to the basement inverter panel.

Solar Optimizer Close Up

Ready to Install

Solar Panels ArriveToday is the day!  Our solar panel installation begins. It somehow seems fitting that it begins on a new moon day. A few days ago, the solar panels were delivered to our back yard.


Then Central Maine Power came to install a second meter–one records what we use and the other records what we send to the grid.

Yesterday afternoon, the scaffolding was set up so they are ready to go this morning.

The installation generally takes about three days, including putting framing and panels on the roof and the electrical work inside. It is hard to believe it is finally happening after all these months! I promise to post more pictures as the work progresses.Solar Panels ready to go

Falling Water

Jewell Falls

Today I had an adventure, and instead of starting my morning walk from the door of my house, I drove across Brighton Avenue, over to a trailhead of the Fore River Sanctuary. Then I walked a short walk to Jewell Falls, which is Portland’s only natural waterfall. After finding its location, I now believe it actually might be doable for me as a walk from my house, via a small side path off Rowe Street.

Today was cloudy and cool, and everywhere the ground was damp. Someday when everything is dry, I will sit on the little bench next to the falls and just listen to the water falling. I walked a little farther down the path, and then came back. Someday, I might walk all the way along the path, until it leads me to my friend’s house on the other side of the sanctuary.

I am curious about my addiction to exploring this neighborhood where we now live. I seem to have an unrelenting need to create an inner map of my new surroundings, to fill my eyes and ears and even my feet with intimate knowledge of my patch of earth. I wonder if there is a common instinct that drives us to this exploration, or if it is just me who feels this way?

Trout Lilies

These lovely small flowers were near the trail on Capisic Brook. A couple days after I took this photo, I went on a Nature Walk at our Ferry Beach retreat and I asked the person who was leading us about this little yellow flower with the mottled green and brown leaves, and she suggested the identification. These are buds that haven’t fully opened yet. I am getting to know my new neighborhood.

Trout Lilies

Owl Life

Mama Owl

Today I took a walk to the ponds at Evergreen and started looking at the pines where the mother owl and her babies have been living.  Today I brought binoculars and our little camera.  I watched for a long time.  At first, I could see the mama owl from one spot on the opposite side of the pond, and I could see the vague outline of a baby at another spot across the pond. I went back and forth a few times. Then, while I was watching the mama, she moved around, and flew down to a spot lower than where she had been.  I was able to get this photo of her, but through the binoculars I could really see her eyes looking back at me.  Then, she flew back up to another spot behind the branches and I could no longer see her.

There were so many other magical signs of bird life today.  There were five baby geese. There was a male cardinal bringing seeds to a female cardinal.  There was some kind of yellow color warbler.  And then I saw a movement lower down the owl pine, and saw that there was the baby owl on a lower branch, hopping about, gradually making its way further up. Amazing once again that I was able to take its photo.  I think I am turning into a birder.

Baby Owl