Inagural Visitation. And, Where's all the Damn Rain Going?

We arrive back in Tucson on a Friday after escaping Denver and beating feet south to Albuquerque just ahead of a snow storm. Have come to the conclusion that surviving a snow storm in the wilds of I-25 in northern New Mexico maybe problematic. A whole lot of nothing to diminish wind. And a whole lot of nowhere to go. Except further down the highway. So we avoid snow in northern New Mexico. A storm was forecast for Friday, so we beat feet on Thursday.

Awoke Friday to snow in ABQ, and drove in rain the rest of the way. Declared our plan a winner.

Upon our arrival at the Quail Manor, literaly we were sitting in the car waiting for the garage door to open, we noticed what looked like a piece of Jade Plant on the stairs into the front courtyard. The cats knock off Jade leaves so didn't think that much of it at first. Then it occurred, the cats are not here. 

One more pissed-off Javelina.

One more pissed-off Javelina.

Sweetie donned her tight fitting, deep plunging neckline, CSI Tunic; while I unloaded the car. Did her investigation. Came to conclusion. Javalina's. Again. They do leave a distinctive foot print.

Tore hell out of both Jades. Now I'm pretty sure these Jades predate me. And we've been married coming on 35 years. These Jades have seen a lot. But no match for marauding Javelina's. They had managed to dig one up.  We found it's remains spread around the front courtyard. Ann collected the bits and replanted.

So now we have added FRONT courtyard gates to Dave the Welder's (DTW's) plate. Going to do something special with these gates. More on that as designs evolve... He's never going to finish here.

I started looking around for an angry Javelina picture. They're almost ALL angry Javelina pictures!


Rained steady all day Saturday in Tucson too. Total rain for what amounted to a 3 day event was about 3 inches in Peggy's rain gauge up the hill. The official the Quail Manor weather station.

Go out to the cistern Sunday expecting a full cistern. Was met by an about 1/3 full cistern. Being an engineer I of course go directly to mechanical failure. To expect full and realize only a 1/3 would mean a leak of around 1,000 gallons. I'm no plumber, but a 1,000 gallon leak can't be THAT hard to find.

This engineer marked the water level on a piece of blue painters tape stuck to the side of the cistern using the tried and true when a hose held up stops running, that is the water level method.

Then I surveyed the Quail Manor Compound. We've decided to henceforth refer to the Quail Manor Grounds as the Quail Manor Compound. Now that we're secure and everything. Sounds more fitting of The Barrio...

I'm guessing finding 1,000 gallons in the Quail Manor Compound should be relatively straight forward. But, there is no solid evidence. There are a couple of minor leaks at the overflow where some joints did not get properly glued, but these are drips. 

So we watch the water level and I take to the Internet and the comfort of my spreadsheets.

What I knew is the gallons collected are a function of amount of rain, the area of the roof, and a coeficient based to the roofing material. 

When the roof area calculations were made was before there actually was a roof. So I foolishly used the slope distance off the drawings for the length of each side of the roof. Dad, who is a more seasoned engineer and an aeronautical one at that (they do a lot of thinking about the projected size of things that the wind sees) immediately declared ME foolish. Ann's favorite sister is visiting, and declared my THINKING foolish. She's a fair bit more nurturing than Dad. AND, she's not even an engineer. She's a Veterinarian. So now I even need to reconsider the assumed superiority of engineers over all other species (The Big Bang Theory not-with-standing). I'll leave that for another day.

So, we take flat plane projection dimensions. Turns out the roof is actually bigger than designed. We consciously made the overhangs as big as we could. So, while the area was in fact computed incorrectly and when correctly computed should decrease the roof size, the new area with actual dimensions is actually larger.

Meanwhile, a few days have passed. I recheck the water level. Right where it was. Back to the drawing board. 

The piping that gets the water from the roof to the cistern is pretty good size. All that plumbing needs to be full before any water finds its way into the cistern. So the effective size of the cistern is actually bigger than it would appear.

Back to the spreadsheets. I do my calculations. We hold around 95 or so gallons in the plumbing. 95 < 1,000. So I've still not found my water.

Meanwhile a few more days have passed. I recheck the water level. Right where it was. Back to the internet.

In the bowels of a learned document I come to discover that the INTENSITY of the rain event has a dramatic effect on the amount of water collected. It seems that a light rain will collect WAY less water than a monsoon type event. So, 3 inches of rain right now is going to fill the cistern way better than 3 inches of steady rain over three days. Need to ponder why that is, but seems plausible...

AhHa! All the rain since we installed the cistern has been light and we've been collecting way less water than I would have expected. This is intriguing.

So, being a practical type engineer. I start fiddling with my roof type coefficient to see what it would need to be to actually collect the water that we have actually been collecting. A metal roof should have a coefficient of between 0.8 and 0.9. I have been using 0.85. My calculations suggest it should be closer to 0.35.

Here is a spreadsheet where you can play with the results. I've setteled for the time being on two estimates. A Theoretical estimate based on the standard coefficient. And a Measured Estimate based on my empirical coefficient. If the data proves out, I'll probably turn these into a Monsoon and a Winter estimate. Or, better yet develop my own intensity coefficient...

Now we wait for the next rain event!


Frequent readers may recall the cactus rescue I did the last time I was down. Two rescued Saguaro's found themselves protected residents of the Quail Manor compound. But, they were left laying on their sides awaiting Sweetie for positioning and planting.

The planting occurred on Saturday. Technically was supposed to occur. It was pouring rain. Jessie the Cactus Queen (JCQ) came by with her significant other for planting and dinner. When the schedule was set, we did not account for the third day of a three day rain event.

Planting a Saguaro is a bit like balancing a needle on its point. There is basically one tap root that goes straight down. Compaction is key. Frequent readers may recall that "A" Mountain dirt is dust and rock. Try compacting dust and water. I Googled the ingredients for Quick Sand. Corn Flour (they recommend Maze) and Water (plus a spoon and a container). "A" Mountain dust is more or less corn flour. Plenty of water was collecting in the hole we dug for the tap root. We eventually gave up and packed the area around the cactus with rock (the other component of "A" Mountain dirt). We had plenty of those. The cactus stood and we retired to the Quail Manor to have a beer. And then some steak, with some of Ann's mushrooms. Those of you who have had Ann's steak accompanying mushrooms KNOW about Ann's steak accompanying mushrooms!

At least we now knew the principles. Several days later we removed the rock, compacted correctly, and planted the other Saguaro. 

Ann's Favorite Sister (henceforth, AFS, technically it's her only sister, but not as fun as being her favorite sister) is the inaugural the Quail Manor visitor Yes, the Quail Manor is standing up admirably to visitation. There will be stories and pictures of their adventures in the next muse.

Anyway, AFS unpacks and calls us together in the Quail Manor living room. It's not a long walk from anywhere in the Quail Manor. Seems she has manufactured a personally designed and constructed the Quail Manor cross-point pillow!

I particularly like the head-on perspective. That one seems to be a little annoyed, like "what are you looking at!". As the story unfolds we now know this project took not much less time than the actual the Quail Manor construction. And, that AFS had never actually seen a Gambel Quail before arriving at the Quail Manor. Pretty cool. Thank you AFS!

Here are the pictures!