Friday, January 05, 2007

Got Mud Daubers? Positively.

I was straightening things up in yard last Saturday and it occurred to me that I had not fired up Summer School for a while. It's bad for boats to sit (real boats with motors) so I hooked up the hose thingie to the water intake thingie on the motor, turned on the hose, and turned the ignition key.

Click. Vrrrt. Click.

Nothing. I wasn't that surprised. Few things are more maddening than marine electronics. Maybe the terminals needed cleaning. A little corrosion buildup on a terminal is a common cause of 'nonstarts" in boats and my open, wet Carolina Skiff is a tough place to be if you are an electrical connection.

So I popped the top off the battery cover and found this mud dauber nest perfectly formed around the positive terminal on the battery.

It lifted off cleanly and actually wasn't the culprit. I tossed it in the palmettos for the armadillos to find ... sorry wasp larvae ... you're welcome armadillo.
A little sandpaper applied to the wire terminals beneath that wingnut solved the problem and soon Summer School was putt-putting happily under her blue canopy and filling the air with blue 2-cycle engine exhaust.
I let her run for a good long time. After all, if I can speed up this global warming thing I won't have to trailer her out to Cedar Key.
I'll have waterfront property of my own.
Posted by Picasa

15 comments:

pissed off patricia said...

Ahhh, the smell of boat motor exhaust. When Mr Pop had his boat, that smell meant that we were on our way offshore to spend a day of fun and fishing. Spotting sea turtles coming up for air. Dolphins swimming along side the boat. And maybe if we were lucky we'd see a sailfish leap into the air. Back to the dock and cocktail time while listening to a little Buffett..........(smiles at memories)

Have a great weekend.

rick said...

thanks for reminding me to run mine. I am sad to say that the pro-line puts in more running hours under the canopy than it does on the water,but its paid for and i am less than a mile from the boat ramp, hunting season is coming to an end so its boating time.alan has become very good fishing with artificials and he is trying to teach me.my goal is to be able to fish year round only with the fake stuff.then all you need is a tackle box and a few poles.

roger said...

welcome to the warming train! all the extra water we get is in the air.

love the boat's name.

Ericka said...

my luck, i would have grabbed that thing and gotten swarmed by hybrid, blood-sucking killer bee/wasps. glad you weren't.

ah, the smell of boat exhaust. it means summer and sunshine to me. :-)

Alan said...

There doesn't seem to be any surface that a mud dauber won't stick a nest to and they can sure pick some strange places.

From the looks of that storm line heading our way you won't be boating this day...

.....Alan.

Lightnin said...

It's been way too many years since we've been on a three hour cruise on the Summer School! Guess Thunder's going to try to remedy that this summer!?!

Leslie said...

We had a relatively new (four years old?) heat pump that quit working efficiently. I called a repair guy out only to find out the thing was *filled* with fire ants. He said ants are attracted to electrical things and will frequently build nests in them. Maybe it's something all insects share, that attraction to electricity and an urge to live on the wild side.

threecollie said...

It is good to help the wildthings along....even armadillos. I like your boat name!

Floridacracker said...

POP,
What a picture you painted. Like a Guy Harvey print with Jimmy in the background.

Rick,
Mine is doing too much canopy time too!

roger,
i actually got letters for Christmas and she will soon be sportin' the name we've always used for her.

Ericka,
Isn't it funny how certain smells have meaning. POP thought so too.

Alan,
Wow, that is a line of storms. We have a tornado watch and the satellite TV is blacked out!

Lightnin,
It has been a while!

Leslie,
You would not believe how often fire ants short out our school A/C units. They enter seeking moisture and make a circuit.

ThreeCollie,
Even the dillos have to eat.

vicki said...

Wasps are wonderful architects- so industrious, good space planners, eco-friendly building materials...I have a couple of giant paper wasp nests that are endlessly fascinating to me. (I'm easily entertained.)

We have a clunker we keep and use down here- a 1992 GMC Jimmy. We always have some repair or another on it after leaving it for weeks/months- usually tires and starting problems- but with a few hours and about a hundred bucks every 6 months it's worth the trouble.

Hurricane Teen said...

Those mud daubers sure do seem to get everywhere. When we go over old, low bridges in our kayak, we usually see the bottom side of the bridge just solidly covered with them.

Floridacracker said...

Vicki,
I've seen a photo of your nest I believe... very impressive. I have a 1983 GMC "resting" in my backyard. It needs more than a hundred bucks tho :)

HTeen,
I know what you mean, they must love bridges ... perfect habitat for them.

SophieMae said...

The dauber nests, and those like them, really fascinate me. Unless they're right over my front door.

No coonties? 8-}

Floridacracker said...

SophieMae,
Picasa and Blogger are fussin'.

Wayne said...

Those mud dauber scamps!

I'm 600 feet above sea level. Looking into renting out the house for beach rentals while we take our summers in the arctic.