Saturday, 27 February 2021

Journal 2021-02-27: Spring returns to the garden

My shadow being cast onto a green lawn


Spring is bursting through right now - snowdrops and daffodils are enjoying the new blue skies, fresh air kicks into the cold mornings, and the old brown branches are trying out their new shoots for the coming summer.


I've been getting back into garden mode. I'm not a "keen" gardener in the way that many people are - I don't hit up the garden centre every weekend and can't name most of the plants and weeds that surround me. But I'm learning to appreciate a green space more with each seasonal cycle. Reading up on permaculture has given me the confidence to not worry about having to grow things and name things either - the space can thrive by itself, and my relationship with it is no longer one of control, but of borrowing; the land is leasing its energy to me, while I am here, and it is in an overall interest to return it once I'm done.


So I've been chopping back weeds and tufts of growth, and leaving the less woody parts to naturally compost back into the soil. Some of the waste from our guinea pig has been making its way to the waiting veg patch as a form of compost and mulch. And the old tree parts, rescued from one chopped down last year, have been changed from fairy table seats to a layer to block out light on a patch I want to rewild.

 


Wooden rings cut from a tree lying by a fence


Meanwhile, the batteries are looking fairly full all round and I've been able to charge up most of my kit: the old Kindle and Nexus for reading, and the GBA to continue my Zelda foray, all without much worry about running out.


Little white battery didn't charge up recently despite a good whack of sun, so today I've been testing it with a USB power checker:

 


Close-up of solar panel hooke dup to battery with USB power monitor



As with the cable checking before, I'm fairly confident now that the connector on this battery is a bit unreliable - connectors get damaged way more than the actual battery tech.


It seems silly to replace a whole battery because the connection is a bit wobbly though. Are there good options for fixing up a connector? I've opened up a battery before, but it's not always easy (for good reason). What advice and knowledge should I gather and learn at this point?




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