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evan's ant village log

 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
pollinator
Posts: 706
Location: ava, ant village
588
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Y2, Summer (13)

I missed most of the AT course, but I did get to interact with some of the participants. Good folks! And I got to observe some of their handiwork, the artifacts they left behind. Seems like Tim really inspired this crew to crank out cool constructions!

Solar ovens that boil water quick! I think Rob's was the quickest.

All kinds of rocket stoves! I really like this little cook stove that Mike built up by his campsite.
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party near the well
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solar cooker competition
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Mike's rocket campstove
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
pollinator
Posts: 706
Location: ava, ant village
588
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Y2, Summer (14)

My dad and fellow ant Steve is here! Steve and Chris worked out a deal to trade ant plots, and now Stevantium is the neighboring plot to the south!

My brother Gabe is here too, helping Steve get his house built before he heads out to Australia!

Steve and Gabe have set up camp, peeled a few logs, and even done a bit of micro-terracing and gardening on the south side of our shared hugel border berm!

Steve offered a $50 bounty for peeled logs, and lots of folks around here took him up on it!
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Chrisantinople
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Wildwood, Stevantium
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pile of peeled logs, Stevantium
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
pollinator
Posts: 706
Location: ava, ant village
588
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Y2, Summer (15)

Got a toilet system started. Basically a wheelie bin humanure toilet with a few adaptations.

First, the bin lid is fully sealed between uses. Takes a bit more time to open and close the bin lid than just lifting the toilet lid, but I think the opportunity for unwanted odors and vermin is much smaller. Maybe I'll rig up an easier way in the future but for now it works.

Second, worms and soil microorganisms will be added to speed up the decomposition process, reduce the mass, and hopefully minimize storage.

Third, the wheelie bin docking station is partially earth-sheltered, which should keep it slightly warmer going into the fall and winter to help extend the decomposition season.

Still needs some privacy walls and a roof, but it's nice to have a closer place to go when nature calls.
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earth-sheltered wheelie bin toilet
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easy access for rolling wheelie bin in and out
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seat with a view
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
pollinator
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Location: ava, ant village
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Y2, Summer (16)

It's cherry season! Fred, Kai, Ben, and I went on a little trip out to where there are cherry trees from which no one harvests!

We picked and ate our fill, and picked gallons more to bring back and preserve. I heard talk of folks making jam and wine, but I mostly just pitted and dehydrated mine.

Still waiting on some materials I ordered for the solar dehydrator, but vehicle dashboards work in a pinch.

I think what I'm most excited about are the thousands of cherry pits we'll be able to plant this fall!
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cherry heaven
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pitting cherries
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dashboard dehydration
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
pollinator
Posts: 706
Location: ava, ant village
588
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Y2, Summer (17)

Some of the cherries had some little maggots living in them. I picked them out  while pitting and rolled them into a little sushi roll for the ducks.

Speaking of ducks, Glorfindel and Varda are sitting on eggs! We might have some ducklings waddling around here soon!
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cherry maggot sushi
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Glorfindel and Varda brooding
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feather and straw lined nest
 
Alan Loy
Posts: 57
Location: Melbourne Australia
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Speaking of wheelie bin loos, I don't know if you have seen this blog https://www.milkwood.net/2010/11/23/the-most-lovable-loo-in-the-west/

a relevant quote "This wheelie bin system has one big difference to most wheelie bin systems: no chute between the seat and the bin. That means the lip of the bin is hard up under the seat. And this, in turn, means no cleaning a splattered toilet chute for us!"

Hope this helps
 
brandon gross
Posts: 183
17
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DUde those fences are sweet gates are amazing you guys are always up too some cool stuff. I can wait to afford to visit again.
 
Galadriel Freden
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Hey Evan, I made a cherry pitter like this one and it works so much quicker and tidier than a knife (which I have also used). 
Source: http://www.barefeetinthekitchen.com/2012/06/homemade-cherry-pitter.html
 
Hans Quistorff
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Then there is the two free hand version:
Drive a large spike through a scrap piece of board to serve as a stand.
Cut the sharp point off.
Use a file or hack saw to cut an X in the end of the nail. this will make 4 sharp corners that will cut into the bottom of the cherry and then hold the seed as it pushes through
Hold the stem of the cherry if it has one with one hand and the sides of the cherry with the other.
push the bottom of the cherry down on the nail while pulling up gently on the stem.
Pie cherries slip the pit easily but sweet cherries are sometimes more resistant.
For rapid production put the pitter on a plate, a bowl for the pits on the left, the unpitted cherries behind the plate and the bowel for the pitted cherries on the right.

I remember the nail we used formed a black oxide from the juice so that it did not rust.
 
Robbie Asay
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I use a free cherry pitter and it works great!  I have no teeth so I just pop the cherries in my mouth, gum crush the cherry and suck the fruit off the pit then spit the seed out!  

I love that wheelie bin toilet!
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Location: ava, ant village
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Y2, Summer (18)

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for this special...

DUCKLING ALERT!

I have a huge back log of photos to post, so this is chronologically later than the next dozen posts or so, but this news is just too exciting to wait!!

On Kai's birthday, a baby duckling was hatched, the offspring of Rocky, (may he rest in peace,) and either Glorfindel or Varda. Glor and Vard diligently and dutifully sat upon a nest of eggs for more than a month, and so far, one duckling has hatched out! But they're still sitting, so there might be more!

Since Kai shares a birthday with the duckling, he clearly has naming rights, but name suggestions are welcome.
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DUCKLING ALERT
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out exploring with mama varda, mama glorfindel, aunt eladan, and aunt galadriel
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snuggles with proud moms
 
Julia Winter
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Duckling!!

That is so exciting!  Congratulations ants gappers and moms!  (I love it, a duckling with two moms.)
 
Warren Bellant
Posts: 15
Location: Seattle Area
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Excellent work Evan. Tipped your bitcoin address.
1PYMdBWGnadwsTdQq5hczyRx6UAbu19Ug5
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
pollinator
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Location: ava, ant village
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Thanks Warren! I really dig diversity of currencies and sending bitcoin is a much appreciated way to support me in my ant adventures!

1DijbHMk2jT8DQKSYm5xmtEKSH3Bnq7r5E

Thanks Warren also for the seeds and rice and extra work gloves! Little things like that go a long way here!

By the way, if anyone reading this just so happens to want to throw some love my way, one way to do so is to send me some seeds, tools, or other stuff on my wish list (which at the time of this post includes: seeds: quince, pawpaw, autumn olive, goumi, blue bean, persimmons, sea buckthorn, sumachs, jostaberry, hazel, highbush cranberry, bamboo, yellowhorn, goji, lavender, sage, dyer's greenweed, mock orange, broom, false indigo, bush clover, russet buffalo berry, wintergreen, marsh mallow, asparagus, turkish rocket, pig nut, hog peanut, groundnut, good king henry, hostas, plantain, lemon balm, solomon's seal, false solomon's seal, stinging nettle, horseradish, chinese artichokes, ginseng, wood vetch, hardy kiwi, akebia, magnolia, wisteria (and I try to keep my wishes up to date in my signature)). I can get mail at:

Evan the Ant c/o Paul Wheaton
2120 S Reserve St. #351
Missoula, MT
59801

And I also want to thank all the folks who have pledged their ongoing support via Patreon, y'all know who you are, and y'all're awesome! Thank you!

https://www.patreon.com/AvaPermaculture

Y2, Summer (19)

So many growies! The next several posts will be just a flood of plant pictures I've taken this summer. And there'll be duckling pictures and other animal and fungi pictures thrown in too. Prepare yourself.
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can
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california poppy
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oats with clover
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Y2, Summer (20)

I've been eating sooo many saskatoons...
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what is this i don't even
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delicious saskamatoons
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caterpillar reach across a lupine
 
Hans Quistorff
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Location: Longbranch, WA
30
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I have discovered this year that the California poppy petals are wonderful in salads. The petals pull off easily after they have been open for a day and the bees have had there visit so that it does not even interfere with seed propagation. The hollyhock petals the same and the contrasting colors make the salad delightful to eat.
If you don't have hollyhock there I can send you some seed at the end August. The grow as tall as mullen but are not as strong rooted so they would be best interwoven in your junk pole fences. The deer don't like them unlike the evening primrose which I also like in my salads. The evening primrose is a biannual so I eat the leaves the first year and the blossoms the second year.

May your house stay dry and your garden wet.
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Hans, thank you for your thoughts and well-wishes! And thank you for the offer to send seeds, hollyhock would be amazing! As well may your house stay dry and your gardens wet!

Y2, Summer (21)

Walking onions are definitely some of the coolest plants around. Look at these going all 3rd and 4th story!
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walkin onion goin to seed
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walkin onion curl
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walkin onion madness
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Location: ava, ant village
588
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Y2, Summer (22)

Of course, mullein and lamb's quarters and sunchokes are pretty great plants too...
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mullein it over in téjas
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lamb's quarters on lewis lane
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choking on sun in téjas
 
evan l pierce
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Location: ava, ant village
588
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Y2, Summer (23)

More growies!
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peas climbing a fence in kailarado
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the hops gate
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pink yarrow
 
evan l pierce
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Y2, Summer (24)

Kai's growing this delicious and awesome-looking plant called strawberry spinach!

A bunch of the apricot and apple seeds that Sir Chops planted have sprouted into little trees. What a good pig.

Since they were growing pretty close together, and in an area I'll probably still want to do more earthworks, Kai thinned them out and we transplanted them all over Ava, giving each one a little mulch and love.

Kai's terraces are looking pretty damn glorious covered in growies!
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strawberry spinach in kailarado
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baby apricot tree courtesy of sir chops
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glorious terraces of kailarado
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Location: ava, ant village
588
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Y2, Summer (25)

Digging out in the woods, Fred came across this funky turquoise fungus decomposing a log. Fashionable!

This ponderosa pine stump partially covered by my tent and tarp seems to be perfect habitat for this expansive and ant-attracting fungus. Intense!

A mushroom popped up near the dry earth layer on the downhill side of Siesta. Still several feet away from the nearest post in the ground, but a little close for comfort. Disturbing!
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fred the fungal forklift and the turquoise sponge
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fungus eating a ponderosa stump
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fungus close to siesta's dry earth layer
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Y2, Summer (26)

Insects going about their business. Just a reminder that everything gardens.
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bumblebee with saddlebags enjoying a hairy vetch
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aphids on a mustard or maybe kale
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aphids being predated?
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
pollinator
Posts: 706
Location: ava, ant village
588
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Y2, Summer (27)

There are a lot of hummingbirds that swoop around out here, and some especially seem to like perching on the junkpole fences. I usually can't get close enough fast enough to take a picture, but then someone found this dead one. Don't know how it died, but pretty amazing to be able to so closely observe such a tiny and beautiful creature!

There's been just loads of rabbits and chipmunks and ground squirrels too. I think I may need to break out the bow here soon and thin them out so my plants don't all get munched. Anyone have any experience using salt to preserve small game?
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calypso hummingbird?
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dynamic protein accumulator
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chipmunk cleaning crew in outdoor kitchen
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Location: ava, ant village
588
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Y2, Summer (28)

More plants!

Also Kai started a snail farm.
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tansy about to bloom
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some kind of alien plant
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4 fine snails
 
Julia Winter
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Escargot!  Hey, everything's nice if you cook it in butter. . .
 
William Fly
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Cool!
 
Diane Marie
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books cat
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I have fallen in love with ant village. It's official!
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Thanks for your patience, everybody. I know it's been more than a month since I last posted. Lots of long-overdue updates on the way.

Y2, Summer (29)

Here's what it would look like if you were walking down Ava's east border from the north the morning before a good rainstorm back in early summer.
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outside Anarcadeah foggy morn
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outside Gigantor's Gate foggy morn
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outside Lewisylvania foggy morn
 
evan l pierce
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Y2, Summer (30)

Sean's been making good progress over on his plot too. These pictures are a bit out of date now that he's even further along.
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Sean's rocket-powered outdoor kitchen
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Sean's kettle rocketing
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Sean's posts in the ground
 
brandon gross
Posts: 183
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"outside Lewisylvania foggy morn" your tunnel/berm/fence is freaking awesome dude
 
evan l pierce
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Y2, Summer (31)

One of the few plants I bother to weed out of my gardens is knapweed. These pictures are of bachelor's buttons though, which have a similar-looking flower, but with different colors (blue and a darker pink) and a different leaf shape.

Also, we went huckleberry picking, and I went ahead and dug up a little huckleberry plant in an attempt to do the impossible, get it to grow in my garden a thousand feet lower in elevation than it's supposed to. I figured it was worth a shot...
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pink bachelor's button
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blue bachelor's button
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chancy huckleberry transplant
 
evan l pierce
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Y2, Summer (32)

Oh yeah, and we mostly finished that downdraft solar dehydrator. Works alright. Could use some more gap-sealing and maybe a sort of roof. I'm interested to try a side-by-side comparison with the dehydrator down at basecamp and with the classic dashboard dehydrator too. I bet the direct sunlight of the dashboard is the fastest, but maybe the indirect methods are better at preserving nutritional value.

Also, a grand total of three ducklings were successfully hatched out by their devoted moms Varda and Glorfindel. Igneous, Gneiss, and Tourmaline have already been enjoying swimming in the Gulf of Téjas.
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hucks and saskatoons in the dehydrator
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Kai inspecting our dehydrator handiwork
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Igneous, Gneiss, and Tourmaline out for a swim with moms
 
Kerry Rodgers
Posts: 94
Location: North Texas, Dallas area suburbs, US zone 8
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forest garden toxin-ectomy
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Thanks for taking time to post, Evan!  I've been missing your news and pics.

How is Steve doing?
 
Janet Branson
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Evan, thanks for letting me take pics of Tejas. You and Kai have created a beautiful sancturary! Inspiring stuff, Sir!
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evan l pierce
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Kerry, Steve's doing great and making steady progress on his house. I've got a few posts' worth of pictures of some of the things he's been working on, but I reckon he'll start a thread of his own here someday soon.

Janet, thank you for the kind words and thanks for sharing that pic of the beloved ducks. Also, congrats on your ascension to anthood! Great to have you as a neighbor!

Y2, Summer (33)

It was awesome working on building a house with my brother and my dad. The roof went up real quick, and the shade it cast made for a pleasant place to work on additional support bracing and framing.
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Gabe drilling a hole for the rebar
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pounding in a rebar spike under Steve's supervision
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Gabe chilling on the nearly completed roof
 
evan l pierce
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Y2, Summer (34)

Kai harvested a bunch of wild wheat! After some experimentation he's got a pretty efficient method of threshing it too.
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Kai's harvest of wheat
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Kai's threshing drill attachment
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glorious wheat
 
evan l pierce
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Y2, Summer (35)

Fauna!
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friendly moth pretending to have big eyes
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green caterpillar inching along
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mothra!
 
evan l pierce
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Y2, Summer (36)

Flora!
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reddest of poppies
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pretty poppy of indecisiveness
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sunflower and mustard
 
evan l pierce
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Y2, Summer (37)

More flora!
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black raspberries near the hot springs
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ferny reproductive action
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cat tails growing out of a puddle in the road
 
evan l pierce
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Y2, Summer (38)

More fauna!
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fried ground squirrel for lunch
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alpacas and llama at our friends Jesse's and Ashley's new farm
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wild indig-ant Ben spotted climbing a ladder he built
 
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