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Eliphante: Michael Kahn’s Sculptural Village in the Arizona Desert

In 1989, I drove my Tacoma truck to Arizona to visit my cousin Mike, who had created a sculptural complex in the desert near Sedona. Mike and I had hung out together as kids; he was a year younger, and we looked a lot alike. He was an artist from early on. We'd each gone off with our different lives, then got together in the mid-60s when we were both feeling the stirrings of the cultural revolution, and this was the first time I'd seen him since then.

He told me he'd been influenced and inspired by our book Shelter in building what he called Eliphante. I stayed there for a few days, visiting Mike and his wife Leda and shot the pictures that appear in our book Home Work, and here on our blog: http://www.theshelterblog.com/eliphante-michael-kahns-sculptural-village-arizona-desert/#wrapper.

He created the room shown here out of used automobile windshields, with stained glass glued on with silicone caulk.

Garden Visit From Great Egret

This guy has discovered the fish in our pond. Strangely enough, he's hard to chase away, letting me get to within 25-30 feet. These birds, along with great blue herons are usually very wary and suspicious. Look at the long black legs!

Monarch Butterfly Magic


Swarms of monarchs used to pass through town on their southerly migration, but in recent years there have been hardly any. This chrysalis appeared in our garden a few weeks ago and when it got knocked off the plant, Lesley tied it back and put the pot in the greenhouse. (Note the gold dots.)

We kept watching it and a few days ago, the transformation had taken place. (The second shot is a bit blurry.) Within a day or two, it had taken off into the wide outside world.

Very strong storm–perhaps strongest since 2008–will arrive in California late Wednesday

Californians, tighten your seat belts!

"…The numerical weather models are now in strong agreement that a powerful Pacific winter storm will slam Northern California later this week, bringing very heavy precipitation and very strong winds. In many ways the upcoming event is a textbook major storm setup for Northern California, with an impressive strengthening of the East Asian jet extending clear across the Pacific Ocean and driving a rapidly-deepening surface low pressure area off of the coast of far northern California.…

Associated with this well-defined trough and strengthening low is a rather impressive atmospheric river–or narrow region of highly concentrated atmospheric water vapor transport–a phenomenon that is often linked with extreme precipitation and flooding along the West Coast of North America when other atmospheric conditions are favorable. This week, it does indeed appear that all the ingredients may come together for a very high-impact storm event, especially across the northern half of the state. Preliminary indications suggest that wind speeds with the upcoming system may be of a similar magnitude to those experienced during the noted January 2008 event, which brought widespread significant impacts to a broad swath of NorCal. Precipitation from the upcoming system may be even more impressive than that experienced during the 2008 storm, as some of the models are spitting out very impressive 36-hour totals for California’s lowlands and urban areas.…"

From Lew Lewandowski today

Ultra Long Dodge Xplorer Camping Van

Saw this in San Francisco out by the beach last week. I believe there are outfits that do conversions like this. In this case, they went horizontal and not vertical with the addition, the former more aerodynamic than the latter.

When It Rains,It Pours/Oak Firewood

5-1/2" in the last few days. There are those of us who are overjoyed. The woods are alive, creeks are bubbling, mycelium are searching for healthy oak roots. BIG storm forecast for mid-week. Low pressure seems to be predominating, allowing the storms to come in off the ocean. There will be flooding, trees down --  speaking of which I got about a year's worth of nice oak firewood by the side of the road this weekend.

Every Drop of Rain by David Byrne & Fatboy Slim on Grooveshark