Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Big River

funny how time flys by when you are having fun. its been more than a few days since i last posted. gabriel and I took our first trip together. we planned on camping next to this river, but near 4 pm the bugs started to get way too bad and we did not like the idea of being trapped in my little one man tent for the next 16 hours....
this place we went was really amazing, its a little village about 2 hour drive north of oaxaca. this river flows from here to the gulf of mexico. its super clean at this part as we are near the source. theres like a 1/4 mile sandbank in the center of the river, we needed to wade a bit thru rough current to get there, but once there, we played for hours. lots of neat rocks and sandy bottoms to play with, it was never deeper than 6".

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Wild Flowers

After work today, I walked around for a bit taking photos of all the wildflowers on our land. I missed about 5 because they were a bit old and in bad shape to photograph.

Wooden shed

at 7am we started hauling the wooden beams up to the top most part of the land and built in 2 hours what you see here. underneath this future structure is our current 2500 gallon water cistern.
*note, all our water pressure is gravity fed*
i plan on building a ferrocement cistern on the roof of this future shed. this will be a small tank, about 50 gallons and it will only be used for water in the high part, as the current cistern is lower and cannot water anything above it.
inside i will store garden tools.
i still need to place some large 45° cross supports, and ceiling beams. i hopefully can buy some wood for this in the afternoon.
lots of mistakes were made this morning, its definetly not square, but... the walls will be made from caryso, a type of light weight and weak bamboo, so it will flex enought to the non square beams. the roof will be 1" thick styrofoam with a metal grid on top and bottom of the styrofoam, with a cement layer applied to the top and bottom. here are two links to see what i mean, example 1 and example 2. the ferrocement tank on top of this will be cast together with the cement/styrofoam roof
i am thinking of making 2 doors, one a little little round hobbit door that will open to the street and hardly be used. another normal big door that will open into our yard

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

longtime hidden

We started clearing the stream in front of the shop. Its the lowest part of the land and has not been cleaned in about 5 years. The most downstream part of the stream is covered in "caryso" this is in the “rush family” its like bamboo, a grass that grows 1" thick and 30 feet high, but very weak and fast growing. When I say covered, I mean covered, but only on our side, the upstream side, the other side is filled with many medium size trees that vines have crept up over the last century or so, virgin land and maybe for sale!!!! So the caryso has leaned over onto the other side, as has the trees and vines on the other side leaned over as well, creating a tunnel over the stream, impassable by all but frogs, crabs, snakes, turtles, grasshoppers and who knows what else. So in the tunnel is a hidden natural waterfall dropping 1 foot into a pool that’s about 2 feet deep and 10 feet in diameter. This pool has been here for ages and for a while, locked out from the world. I found this huge white frog, with large green stripes, he hopped up near me to check me out, never seen a human in ages, and I invaded his secret pool, oops. For the moment I would not enter the water. I know that its stream fed, but its possible upstream neighbors may be contaminating it. Also, now is the rainy season and the water is brown from mud and I cant see what might lurk on the bottom to cut my feet.

Monday, October 1, 2007

empty land

this is looking out from our shop/temporary home towards the far end of the bottom part of the land. this little stream only runs when it rains and it will provide a problem for me to figure out how to include it into our landscaping as it only runs like 100 days a year. there is another one farther along thats hard to see in this picture.
to the right side is the real creek, it runs daily and i am working these days cleaning it up from decades of neglect and overgrowth