Practical Ecology

Nature Switched On

 

 

 

 


in the Pyrenees  the first 10 years

introduction
floristic catalogue
faunistic catalogue
contact
index
gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-

map
>> 2008 Nov 1
<< 2008 Oct  4

                         a   S T A M M E R  project              

2008 October  25 & 26, Saturday & Sunday


Autumn has begun and it behaves as it should: with a lot of rain. The vegetation reacts wonderfully, adopting a fresh green colour as if it were a second spring. The showers haven't been torrential yet and the ponds are not completely filled.
Water damage was limited to some leakage onto the wooden floor of the garden house. We are a bit worried about the coming rain storms though and we really should have finished the roof by now. But as usual: everything goes much slower than expected, even with the help of many friends.

 

 

This is perhaps a mayor disadvantage of using load bearing straw bale walls ('Nebraska' method) especially if you can only work at weekends: the structure is too much and too long exposed to inclement weather.

 

 

 

 

 


WWW   NSO

 

The wrapping with PE sheets was not completely waterproof.
Photograph taken on 19 Oct.17:09

 

 

 

The water in the upper pond is crystal clear.
Photograph taken on 19 Oct. 17:19

The European nettle tree (Celtis australis) on the right is turning yellow.
Photograph taken on 19 Oct. 16:55

 

A typical autumn morning : fog in the lower and colder surrounding valleys.
Sunday 26 Oct. 7:12 (wintertime).
 

Interior of the garden house with the enforced door section.
Bales in the centre serve as scaffolds.
Photograph taken on 19 Oct. 8.40
 

___________

This weekend we started with the arrangement of some scaffolding around the garden house and then we put the ring beams on top of the walls. They are used to (pre-)pressure  the straw bale walls and they will support the roof. They are an exact copy of the structure below the bale walls and were made one month ago.

 

 

 

 

 

When we fixed and tensed the first straps around the walls and made a first checking of the correct wall heights, there was a nice surprise: they were exactly level. Considering the irregular straw bales and different strap tensions, this is really a small wonder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scaffolds and ring beams in place.
Sunday 13:55

 

 

Detail of the ring beam, with EPDM sheet to protect the bale wall and the beam sections joined with two bolts.
Sunday 11:07

 

 

 

 

Level!
Sunday 11:08

This corner of 43 causes some headaches with the strawbales and is not recommended.
Sunday 11:08
 

______________

Before fixing all the straps (which are positioned with spaces of about 50 cm in between) it is recommendable to 'shave' the interior and exterior of the walls with a hedge trimmer (or weedwhacker). The idea is to take away any loose straw and, to a minor extent, shape some bales that need to. Care must be taken not to cut the straps or the bale strings.
Before, during and after tensioning the straps we punched the walls with thick wooden sticks to put and maintain them flat and plumb.

 



The shaving of an interior wall. Only a few straps are in position.
Sunday 11:36
 

This Cordstrap works really nice. It is normally used for packaging and is tensioned with a special tensor.
The provider in Zaragoza (Pivalco) insisted that wood will break before the strapping.
Sunday 14:43
 

______________

 

 

 

 

 

This plant, Hemp agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum), I sowed at the end of last year's summer and it finally appeared one year later. It is remarkable low (40 cm) for being in the flower stage. The plants I took the seed from  (near the river Susia in Huesca, Aragon) were also relatively low, much lower than the ones I know from Holland where they can easily reach 2 metres. It is probably an effect of low nutrient conditions.

 

Eupatorium cannabinum in the upper pond.
A decorative, native flower that attracts loads of insects.
Photograph taken on 19 Oct. 8:50

Close-up of the composite flowers of  Eupatorium cannabinum.
Photograph taken on 19 Oct. 8:53
 

______________


The weekend was a success in every aspect with beautiful weather. The next stage will be the assembling of the roof structure. Let's hope we can keep out the rain until then.

 

Lunch time.
Sunday 13:55

 
  Tucked in for the rain.
Sunday 17:57

introduction
floristic catalogue
faunistic catalogue
contact
index
gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-

map
>> 2008 Nov 1
<< 2008 Oct  4

 

 

 


 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Latest revision on:  01/08/2018