Monday, April 21, 2014

Pedernales Falls: Birds and fuses

Last day at Pedernales Falls.

After a leisurely start which included revisiting Twin Falls for some early morning photos, which didn't happen because I didn't want to wait for the fog to burn off, I headed for the bird blind.

This is a new thing since I was here last. A small garden with nice, really nice, bird-blinds to either side, each of which looks out onto a fenced in feeding area. I've said before that I'm no expert and field guides are frustrating, (Like using a dictionary, you have to already know [how to spell the word/what you're looking for] in order to find it!) but I've made an attempt to identify the birds in these photos.

Purple Finch

I know! Where's the purple?
But nobody bothered to get my opinion on just what this bird should be named

I wonder if that hummingbird over there waited 30 minutes
after eating to get in the water bubbling over that rock??

White-winged dove hanging around the cactus.

In fact several birds seem to find that cactus interesting.
I must be missing something

Apparently I wasn't the only one as this Western Scrub Jay

found this upside down stump more to his taste.

Neither one of these guys seem to have put much effort into

their disguises. No fake beaks, walking on all fours, not even any paper wings!!

Maybe that's why this Goldfinch seems to have a little attitude.

Even experienced birders find sparrows a challenge so I'm not going to
try and identify which one of many this might be.

But I think this one with the big black eyes might be a Fox Sparrow

And I'm going to call this one a Henslow's Sparrow

Spotted or Rofous-sided (depending on what part of the country
you come from) Towhee.
Not the best photo but I was shooting through glass which confuses my camera

Who, me?  No, I'm not the one using up all the hot water!

The plan was, once I left the bird blind I would go to the northern most part of the park and wander around the falls area, maybe with a side trip to the duck pond, before heading home in time to miss the Austin traffic; but that's not how things worked.

When I got back in the van and turned the key - nothing!  OK, this isn't good! Try again. Yep, still nothing.

Dash lights up: check, headlights come on: check, battery voltage is good: check, starter starts: I said! starter starts: nope.

Well isn't that about as much fun as a stick in your eye!!?

OK, think. Like most vehicles these days the Sprinter is computer dependant, but I could hear the security system sense the key-fob and unlock, there were no lights on the dash that shouldn't be there, and by using the DashDaq I could see there were no error codes from the computer. Oh great!! Just great!!

At least I have one bar on my phone and my GoodSam roadside service is paid up through 2016. In fact, I'm a long ways from anywhere so should probably go ahead and call to get things started. (No pun intended but if the van want's to go ahead and start now I'm not going to complain!) If I can figure it out on my own I can always call back and say 'never mind'.

Call; punch a couple buttons to work through the menu; get a live person. First question; am I in a safe place? Well- pretty much, unless those thieving rodents back there in the bird blind decide I'm easier pickings. A few more questions and TJ is going to work on getting me some help and will call back in no more than 15 minutes.

OK, while I'm waiting let's check the owner's manual.

What to do if: Engine doesn't start and you can hear the starter motor working

Nope, not that one

Engine doesn't start, you can't hear the starter motor working, the yellow DEF light is lit

Nope, not that one either

Engine doesn't start, you can't hear the starter motor working  Oh! Wait, phone's ringing.

Towtruck is on the way, it will be here in 2 hours then another 2 hours to the dealership and TJ already checked, they'll be able to look at the van right away. (Of course by then all the mechanics are going to be wanting to do is go home and kick back with a beer.)

OK, where was I?  Oh yeah.

Engine doesn't start, you can't hear the starter motor working: check the battery disconnect switch.

Well it's obviously not that, everything else electrical is working, but I'll check anyway.

Nope, not it.

Engine doesn't start, you can't hear the starter motor working: starter motor is defective, contact an authorized service center.

Well that was a big help!!!!

Looks like I'm in for a long wait. In the mean time, this van has a ton of fuses. In fact it has three different fuse blocks. I know because when I first bought it I checked them all to make sure I had spares for every fuse. In fact here's one in the manual that says starter motor! Fuse 23, a 25 amp fuse in block SRB. Except the only 25 amp fuse in block SRB is for the Center Console 12 Volt Outlet. I know because I pulled it and checked that there was no longer any voltage on the Center Console 12 Volt Outlet. (And no, the starter motor didn't miraculously start working. . .)

It took a while, standing on my head there under the dash, but I finally figured out which was fuse 23, only it was a 20 amp fuse, not a 25 amp, but the good news is it's blown!!

OK, I have 20's and 25's I can replace it with. I haven't messed with any of the fuses before so it must have come from the manufacturer with the 20 in it so let's put a 20 back in.

And we have ignition!!

Call TJ back and cancel the tow truck.

Thinking back on it, when I got to the bird blind there was a class C that pulled out just after I parked. Since they had been sitting in the best spot to stay out of the way of other vehicles I started back up and moved once they were out of the way. I may simply be making things up now to settle my nerves, but I seem to vaguely remember bobbling the key when I started back up. Maybe I double-tapped the starter which blew the fuse???

At any rate, I've lost so much time that if I don't head for home now I'm going to end up in Austin traffic, and my nerves are already jangly, so home it is.

And thus the trip ends.

My hikes this trip


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