A quick visit to the monorail in the winter. Not much to say here really!
A quick visit to the monorail in the winter. Not much to say here really!
I’ve done a quick video on the miniature airboat project (which I’m still working on, despite the slow progress!)
This is more of an intro and description of the boat, I don’t have much video of it in action at the moment. If I can get some things finished up this winter I’ll hopefully have more updates soon!
Thanks to a great Facebook group on West Coast cannery history, I’ve been seeing more examples of Funter Bay cannery packaging. These photos are courtesy of Scott McPherson, George Freddora, and Robert Critchley, and are used with permission.
An early version of the “Buster Brand” canned Pink Salmon label. Robert “Buster” Barron was the son of cannery owner J.T. Barron. I’ve written about Buster previously, his name also appeared on cannery boats and later on nearby Mt. Robert Barron.
And a later version of the “Buster” label. I’ve previously shared a black and white copy of this one.
An early “Peasant” brand can for Pink Salmon. This artwork matches the 1906 trademark filed by the Thlinket Packing Co.
Another version of the Peasant logo, probably from a few years later:
And a “Thlinket” brand label. This was also for Pink Salmon:
Suwanee Brand (Chum or “Keta” Salmon):
And a later Suwanee variant, from when the Funter Bay cannery was owned by Sunny Point Packing:
A “Tepee” Brand can for Coho ( I have also seen Tepee advertised as “standard-grade Sockeye”.)
And a “Sea Rose” brand label for Sockeye Salmon:
A well-preserved original packing crate label from Funter Bay. These wooden crates held 48 tall cans. The blank space at the top center would be for stenciling the species once the crate was packed and ready to ship.
I’ve previously posted other examples of Thlinket Packing Co labels, including “Buster” (Pink), “Tepee” (Coho), and “Sea Rose” (Sockeye). Some of these brands may have changed through the years, as I have also seen Tepee advertised as “standard-grade Sockeye”.
Part 1 and part 2 detailed some of our garden pond work. Now it’s time to add some fish to this fish hole! Currently we have a handful of goldfish that were originally for mosquito larvae control. They’ve been doing pretty well and getting bigger just eating bugs and algae. We’re not sure when we’ll add more or what we’ll add, we’re taking it slow!
The pond is about 40″ deep when full. According to various books and websites, this *should* be sufficient for hardy fish like koi and goldfish to overwinter. We will likely add a heater and/or aerator to maintain a hole in the ice. We’ve put various artificial caves near the bottom so smaller fish can hide out and (hopefully) avoid getting eaten.
Another addition is something I’m calling the fishdome. These are also known as inverted aquariums or fish observation towers.
Essentially it’s a bigger version of inverting a cup in your sink and pulling it up to trap water above the normal water surface. The ambient air pressure above the pond holds the weight of the water in place against the negative pressure inside the sealed container.
An article on the physics of this can be found here: https://www.wired.com/2016/12/not-impossible-fish-tank-just-physics/
And a video demonstration of how to do this is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0njOh04cUOU
Incidentally, we didn’t really plan this fishdome thing… it came together as a result of hoarding and wasting time on the Internet. I had previously dumpster-dived a giant Pyrex bell jar, simply because it looked cool and with no plan for what to do with it. Later I came across the video above, and realized what we could do with the jar!
The dome rests on a stand made from ABS pipe. I love working with ABS and PVC, it’s like giant tinker toys for adults! I think some of my favorite uses have nothing to do with plumbing…
Shopping for stuff like this definitely confuses hardware store clerks. No one can seem to understand why I might want a 4-way 2″ ABS tee with identical sides or a 3-way 90-90-90 elbow… Since those things don’t seem to exist, I had to make do with the design above using 8x 90-degree elbows, 8x sanitary tees, and a lot of straight pipe. Everything is epoxied together so it won’t wiggle, and I drilled some holes in the final creation to let in water and help it sink. It also has some sand ballast in the bottom so it won’t float away while I set it up. I also added some bolts at the top to keep the dome in place and prevent it from slipping off to the side.
The dome does tend to get a little scummy inside, as algae grows on the inside of the glass. I’m hoping that the addition of more algae-eaters will help with this. For now I just take it out and scrub the inside if it gets too bad. I plan to remove the dome once it starts getting colder, as I doubt it would survive freezing.
Having an open body of water in the yard has immediately attracted more wildlife. We have more birds than ever visiting the garden, and the local toads and frogs are attracted to it as well.
Another update is that the pond seems to have all major leaks taken care of. Previously I had an intermittent leak that would come and go, which made locating it very frustrating. After reading about the possibility of wicking/siphoning around folds in the liner, I added sealant to all the major folds. This seems to have done the trick, as the water level is much more stable! I’ve also adjusted the edge a bit more to try and divert overflows to a specific side, and to make rock edging easier. Next up is re-laying all the flat limestone rock around the perimeter!
Since limestone can leach into the water if submerged, I’m trying not to put any directly in the pond. We’ll probably be using other rocks to create fish hides and hold underwater planters in place. Those updates will show up soon in a future post!
Part 1 of this project covered some initial construction of our garden pond. Now it’s time for some photos with water!
The pond and swamp pool take quite a bit of water to fill! I haven’t calculated the exact volume, but between the 300gal and 150gal stock tanks, plus liner extensions, and minus filter media, I’m guessing we’re in the ballpark of 500 gallons. We’re trying to avoid any chemicals to that might stress the fish, so most of the water comes from our rain barrels.
According to various websites, moving water loses about 0.5-1% per day of the total gallons pumped per hour, so we’ll have to occasionally top this off to maintain the water level. We’re pumping 1000gph so can expect to lose something like 5-10 gallons per day to evaporation. Another way to calculate water loss is based on an archaic government-issue kiddie pool. It’s all a bit fuzzy and dependent on surface area, cloud cover, and humidity, but after eliminating any detectable leaks we’ve noticed water loss consistent-ish with both these measurements (about 5-10 gallons per day).
The smaller swamp filter pond is a little higher in elevation than the main fish pond. As mentioned previously, “dirty” water gets pumped from the fish pond into the bottom of the swamp, where it percolates up through gravel, screen, and mud. To get the filtered water back down, I could have done a stream or waterfall, but decided to do a canal instead. Naturally a canal needs a set of lock gates to allow boat navigation between the different water levels!
The lock gates are hand-operated, and work pretty well. They aren’t particularly watertight, so enough turbulence and splashing develops to help aerate the water.
The swamp pond has a miniature dam with some extra filter media behind and below it, to help keep mud from migrating out of the swamp into the main fish pond. So far there’s been a little mud slipping through, but it clears up fairly quickly. I imagine we’ll have to clean things out and relocate the dirt periodically.
As I’ve probably mentioned in other posts, we have some pet waterfowl (ducks and a goose). While they’ve been quite interested in the process of digging this pond, we’re not planning to let them use it. Ducks are just too messy and destructive for a small fish pond like this. They rapidly pollute the water, tear at the liner and plants, eat the fish, and drill holes everywhere with their beaks in search of bugs. Our birds have their own private pond with an oversized filter, which I’ll detail in another thread.
Apparently the local wildlife hasn’t heard about this “duck-free” idea, as we’ve already had a wild mallard hen land in the garden for a swim!
In the next update we’ll try to make this hole in the ground look prettier and add some actual fish!
I’ve mentioned this boat in a few prior posts (here, and more detail here). Most of my photos have shown the boat in various stages of decay as an abandoned derelict on the beach. When I was in Juneau researching Alaska history last summer, I found a photo of the boat in better days.
‘ Nimrod, Waterman T.B. Co. Small diesel tug. Port bow, speed, racing “Ben Hur” ‘. From Lloyd Bayers collection, album 9, MS 10, Alaska State Library Historical Collection.
Close-up of the above photo.
As mentioned before, the Nimrod was built in 1903 and served a variety of towing companies in Washington State, including the Waterman Co. It showed up in Funter Bay sometime in the 1960s as a fishing boat owned by local resident Elmer P. Loose. It’s been pulled up on the beach since approximately 1965, evolving from a boat shape into a more relaxed pile of wood and metal, slowly returning to the soil.
It’s always nice to see the “before” photos for something that’s well into the “after” stages! Plus it adds a special extra dimension to a familiar object or site from childhood.
I’ve added some “artifacts” to my miniature monorail museum, located in the head car of the former MN Zoo Monorail that I bought a couple years ago.
While I’m trying to keep the monorail mostly original, that big hulking power box in the back of the driver’s cab was just begging to be turned into a display case. A little dremel work and a plexiglass window and it’s much nicer than before! Plus the mice don’t chew on my toy trains now! (Keeping mice out of this thing might be impossible, it even came with some free zoo mice when I first got it 😛 )
The Baron, as a former monorail driver, has moved up to my upper shelf of MN Zoo-related memorabilia. The lower shelf is more general monorail “stuff”, since people keep giving me monorail toys and whatnot that they come across. In addition to the obvious Disney monorail, I managed to find an HO scale Von Roll MkIII model that’s pretty darn close to this one! The MkIII was in the same family as the zoo’s UMI Tourister, just a little more developed and streamlined.
The wall displays document monorail tech, MN zoo history, and other monorail-related tidbits.
And outside the monorail I’ve stuck a “historic marker” for random visitors. Although the train is on private property and not open to the public, we do get some friends and acquaintances stopping by who are curious about it!