Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   not coyotes but deer
Thursday, July 8 2010
As the crescent moon rose over the pines in the wee hours this morning, a coyote began to wail not far away. I say wail, because the sound coyotes make isn't really a howl. The sound resembled the usually-unparseable rants of our crazy neighbor Dave at first, but then the coyote was joined by the others in his pack and things suddenly seemed a lot more eerie. It had that menacingly-beautiful alien quality reminiscent of the muezzin's call to prayer. At this point Eleanor ran outside and started barking, which didn't seem like a good idea given her recent trouble with an unknown vicious creature. I'd been sleeping in the upstairs bedroom, but Gretchen was down in the basement guestroom because of the oppressive heat of the night. She awoke with a start, convinced that Eleanor was surrounded by a pack of coyotes that were gradually ripping her to ribbons. So she ran out into the night screaming. She quickly found Eleanor, who hadn't ventured far. If anything, Eleanor seemed as unnerved by the proximity of coyotes as we were. She certainly had no interest in following them into the woods.
Once it was established that Eleanor was safe, we started looking around for our new cat Nigel. Where was he? He wasn't in any of the usual places, so we worried that he'd jumped like a lemming from the east deck (a 12 foot fall) and been devoured as plump morsel by the coyotes. But then I found him behind the big green pot out on the deck, where he'd been enjoying the moonrise in the relative cool of the outdoors.
This morning I did find evidence of depredation caused last night by wild animals, but those animals had not been coyotes. It had been a deer, one of whom had surgically defoliated one of my hot pepper plants in the northmost tomato patch, biting off and eating nearly every leaf while leaving the stems, flowers, and nascent peppers intact. This same deer had also ventured into the garden itself, only twenty feet from a pet door from which dogs frequently explode, and had continued defoliating pepper plants, though not as completely. Interestingly, this deer had completely ignored the broccoli, kale, and basil nearby. I hadn't expected deer to show interest in members of the nightshade family, and this had been the reason I'd felt safe in located the tomato patches so far from the house. In general it's been true that the deer have left the tomatoes themselves alone, although one night a week or so ago a deer did prune off some of the westmost branches of the rapidly-metastasizing cherry tomato, a few of which I found lying on the ground uneaten.
Today we had an unusual morning visit from our relatively-new friends Michæl and Carrie, whom we know through Deborah and KMOCA. Michæl was the guy I was talking to about hydronics and IPAs back on Saturday. Today he got to see some of the things I'd been talking about: the greenhouse, the brownhouse, the homebrewed hydronic solar collector, and plenty of copper lamps. After taking a fairly long walk in the forest, we all ate something of a brunch, though Gretchen served foods more appropriate to English high tea (including little crustless sandwiches and tiny pastries containing plump native berries).

Julius (aka "Stripey") with hydrangeas.

This year's main garden.

Kale and a pepper plant in the garden.

The southmost tomato patch.

Stick mulch in the southmost tomato patch.

Pinecone mulch in the northmost tomato patch.

First red tomato of the year in the northmost tomato patch. This is on the one cherry tomato plant.

Our lawn has turned brown in the ongoing drought.

The tomato patches (looking south).

The result of our landscaping back in June. It will take a few years of natural growth for these trees to stop looking so artificial.

Our desert-like lawn, viewed from the laboratory deck. The southmost tomato patch is on the far right.


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