Sunday, June 05, 2011

Bats and Swamp Coolers



Tonight we saw our first bat of the summer. We were out having dinner on Rachael's mother's back patio when we saw it flying around.We're hoping to put up a bat house in the back yard sometime soon. Rachael told me a story about how when she was a kid, her sister used to throw tennis balls up into the evening sky when clusters of bats were flying around. The bats would converge all at once on the tennis ball, and her sister would often be able to catch a bat that had attached itself to the ball. That would be fascinating to watch. I would hope that any bats hanging onto the ball would not get injured when it hits the ground.

Swamp Cooler Season

Today was the hottest day so far this year in Grand Junction. It was the right day to turn on the swamp cooler. There were several people in the neighborhood doing it. This is a simple process, but it's easy to forget exactly what you have to do since it's only done once per year. First, the bottom of the cooler has to be vacuumed or rinsed out. The water pipe (which has been disconnected during the winter to keep it from bursting) has to be reconnected. A plastic drain-riser (removed in the winter so that all the water will drain out) has to be snapped back into place. This raises the level of the drain so that the base of the cooler will stay filled with water during the summer. Now the pump can be turned on, and if that is working correctly, the blower can be turned on. All that's left to do after that is to sit down and enjoy some cool air.

The innards of the swamp cooler.