Use of the Forest

Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hot work on Sunday, cool morning on Monday

The temperature in the cabin has slowly been inching upwards, and although the dehumidifier does help in keeping the temperature gain tolerable, I'm not (in general) a fan of temperatures above 70F, save for under very dry conditions.

Yesterday was hardly what one might consider cool and dry (unless the referent was a steamy tropical rain forest). Still, I shaved away a few more swaths of tall grass in the front lawn, piling up the grass clippings near the Roth stone. (Brambles and burdock have started to take over the groundcover in this area, and I'm thinking that perhaps a load of grass clippings will help discourage growth next year. We shall see.) After thirty minutes of mowing in the sun, I was completely drenched with sweat and parched.

Following the quick downing of a liter of water (and refilling the bottle), I headed back outside. The temperature at that time was skirting 90F; a record temperature for any August 15 on record, and, shirtless, I slowly raked up the mounds of grass clippings that would be used for blanketing the ground elsewhere. Was it just me, or did the extreme heat also discourage the mosquitoes? I don't know, but although I was working for the next hour sans shirt, I wasn't subjected to vampiric insect attacks.

The evening brought cooler weather, which was a reprieve, and an opportunity to open up some of the windows to let in the breezes. This brings me to a quibble point about the layout of the cabin. The north wall (where the "kitchen" is) has a counter and oven. The oven is in front of the window, but blocks the ability to open the window (which opens inwards), due to its design. Furthermore, the large refrigerator along that wall also blocks half of the second window along that wall. This means that - of the six windows in the main room - 1/3 are blocked, which represent 1/4 of the sides of the house, and short of opening the door, blocks the movement of north-south breezes through the house completely.

Next is the problem of the west-facing window, located behind the gas furnace and the stair; and awkward position that - although not blocked - creates a disincentive for actually using that window. If either the gas stove or the stairs were in a different location, then the window would be better accessed.

The other windows (one in the loft, one on the south wall, and two on the east wall) are fine. Of course, all the windows could do with upgrading, perhaps to a modern sash design (which would facilitate their use without having to rethink layout) with double glazing and UV and IR reflection (as opposed to single pane windows).

(TANGENT: Of course, if a narrower refrigerator or lower stove had been purchased, then these windows would see better use. And while I do utilize much of the stove, I haven't really ever needed the entire volume of the full-sized refrigerator, and perhaps a more modest sized one could work just as well.)

The need for an air conditioner in the cabin - while perhaps a nice piece of luxury - isn't needed, even with the much-warmer-than-average summer that Ann Arbor is experiencing this year, thanks to the shading from all the trees and thanks to the dehumidifier that has kept things at or below 70% humidity. The weather isn't supposed to get as warm as it was yesterday, however, the highs are expected to remain in the mid-80s. Still, with cooler nights (mid-60s), this shouldn't be so bad.

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