Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, February 12, 2010

An emergency repair and a walk in the hills

This morning, I headed out for Cedar Park to pick up a case of wine that I had ordered.  It's about a 17 mile trip up, down, and around the hill country.  Once you get to Lago Vista, it becomes a four lane roller coaster like drive with a 55 mph limit. About half way to Cedar Park, there was an audible beep from the dashboard, and a message that there was low tire pressure.  Hmmm, I've never had a car let me know when a tire was low on air before.  I slowed down quite a bit and slowly made my way down the highway.  I passed several gas stations, but in these modern times that's all they are....gas and snacks...no mechanics.  As I neared town, I noticed Pampered Auto Repair, pulled in, and explained my situation to the mechanic.  He said that the monitoring systems are sometimes very touchy and that it could just be the colder temperatures that made the monitor go off.  He drove the Focus into a bay and checked all of the tires.  Each was a couple of pounds low, but the back passenger tire was down 15 pounds.  While pumping it up, he noticed a screw stuck into the side of the tire.  It turns out they don't do tire repairs at this shop, and he said that he wasn't sure anyone would repair it since the screw was not in the bottom tread of the tire.  It would be unsafe to use a plug to repair a puncture in the side of the tire.

Great!!!  I asked if he knew where I could take the car, and he gave me two recommendations.  I headed for the nearest one, pulled in, and explained my problem.  They came up with the same diagnosis.  A repair could not safely be done, so after only 8000 miles, I had to replace the tire.  Oh well, at least it didn't blow while I was driving down the highway.

With my wallet a little lighter, I finished the rest of my shopping chores which included getting a big bag of bird seed.  I have had to fill both feeders every day, so I was running low on oil seed.  I don't mind since I get such enjoyment out of watching my feathered friends.

This afternoon after the clouds finally cleared, Emma and I took a nice long walk in the hills.

About a half mile from the rig, there's an old  cedar post corral.  Most of the lands acquired by the refuge in the last 18 years were former ranches.  This prickly pear cactus growing inside the coral attests to the years it has been unused.

Since this is the hill country, there are an abundance of rocks and they were used along with cedar posts to create fence lines.  Everyone around here calls the green trees  in the background cedars, but they are really ash junipers.  February is the month that the male juniper trees emit their pollen, and many folks have severe allergies to the pollen.  Thank goodness, it doesn't bother me.

At the top of one hill, looking toward another.  What a peaceful place to take a hike, and it's my backyard for a couple of months!

Of course, I'll have to end this post with two bird pictures.  ;)

Here's the male lesser goldfinch on the Niger seed sock.

He was soon joined by an American goldfinch.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy

1 comment:

  1. You make me want to get bird feeders again. I loved watching the birds that visited my two feeders plus the sock-thistle feeder and hummingbird feeder, but between the squirrels and the bears none of the feeders lasted long and I finally quit replacing them and just gave up.