Monday, March 19, 2012

expansion project update, layers, cute angles

I lied this morning when I said that phase one of the garden expansion project was complete.  It was not complete.  There was one small section of the frame that was bothering me because it was out of whack.  I'd told myself yesterday (and was still telling myself this morning) that it was no big deal, that it didn't matter, that I should just let it be.  But I couldn't let it be, and I had just enough spare lumber to fix it, so this afternoon I bought myself a proper hammer and went to town.  Pulling out nails is a real pain in the ass. The photos, however, that resulted from increased attention to the expansion project more than compensate for the pain.  

Yesterday afternoon I was so focused on finishing the frame for the expanded garden that I completely overlooked the most interesting shot I could take of the project: the cross section of the soil.  For now, the new area of the garden sits about ten inches below the old area that adjoins it.  This is ant farm stuff, though I didn't notice any colonies of ants when I crouched down to take these photos, and I'm glad I didn't.  I'm not afraid of ants, but I would have felt a slight territorial impulse had I seen their tunnels.  Chances are slim that I would have actually inflicted any kind of damage upon their tunnels, but I probably would have wondered about them, if only because ants can sometimes be problematic in the garden.  When are they problematic?  I can't remember.  It's just a hunch.  

Perhaps there is something about strata that humans innately find appealing.  I know that people ooh and ahh over cross-sections of birthday cakes and layers of rock alike.  Layers, too, add an indefinite amount of wow-factor to any food in which they are appropriate, such as croissants.  A croissant without flaky layers is worthless.  The same fascination applies to the onion.  It seems that we humans are crazy about layers.  Call them strata, call them layers, it doesn't matter; we're nuts over them. 

We're also nuts (or at least I am) about perfect right angles.  The timber on the right is the one that I replaced about an hour ago.  No, rather, the timber I replaced about an hour ago is in the trash where it belongs.  It was all out of whack.  The other day Dara mentioned that Maggie was "out of scale" on the patio of Flying Object, and everyone agreed that being out of scale made her cuter.  An angle that is out of whack, on the other hand, is not cute, although as Emily Toder has pointed out, it could be acute.  It could even be the "acutest angle."  Cute angles may be cool in poetry, but they're not cool in small construction projects.  I am much happier now that all my timbers are straight.   

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