Archive for buildings

Faery Architecture

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Fictional Stories, Sculpture, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 10, 2016 by Drogo

Faery Architecture – from Harpers Faery Chronicles

Homes are often an important part of our life sagas. Also homes can tell stories through the architecture and art on the walls. Dwellings are places where stories are told and rigamaroles take place, which we interpret. Faery architecture uses organic shapes and natural materials, altered by magic.

Faery home shapes are traditionally round in various ways. Popular inspirations for circle plans with curved walls and domes include the Sun, the Moon, and tree trunks (cylinders). Ovals and ellipses are found also, like giant eggs.

Faery earth building materials are usually wood, stone, and mud. The mud is best applied as a mortar or stucco clay plaster. Wooden branches, sticks, rope, and décor are gathered from bushes, trees, vines, river reeds, meadow thatch, and wild flowers. Rock is often quarried or mined by dwarves or gnomes, and used to with or without wood or mud. Rock can hold wood, or be held by wood. These materials were used independently, or in any combination.

Faery style: ‘Round Rock, Round Mound, & Bound Bough’

Round – sun, moon, tree trunks, eggs

Wood – bushes, trees, reeds, vines, flowers

Stone – shale, lime-stone, and calcium-quartz

Soil – mud, clay, mound, berm, silt-gravel, sand

Faeries can build and live in more human types of buildings, and will still make their mark on them. Rectangular masonry, timber-frame, and half-timber structures may be modified to distinguish them physically as ‘fae’. One way is to add ‘eyes’.

Faery gypsies, pioneers, and scouts often craft make-shift structures that look like fallen branches or vine covered bushes. Moss is a very earthy plant, and lichen is an algae fungus; both of which are used along with ferns commonly on faerie mounds or berms.

Smaller faerie homes were often just hidden from sight; in trees, mounds, or under cliff rocks called mini-bluffs.


LH 38




House On The Rock – Wisconsin Architecture

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by Drogo

Villa Saint Francis of Deer Shelter Rock

Casa Del Roche

Little Switzerland

Castle Island In the Sky

Alex Jordan Jr. was the chief artist, architect, poet, master builder, owner, pioneer, innovator, and creative driving force behind the marvelous architectural wonder known as ‘House on the Rock’ in Wisconsin. The idea began around 1920 when his father, Alex Sr., was returning from a visit with Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) where Wright had insulted Jordan’s designs without bothering to be polite. You see, the Jordan family had been fans of FLW since they lived near one of his houses, and Alex Sr. had been building the house of their dreams called “Villa Maria”. Alex Sr. had probably not expected someone that he respected and admired to be so personally rude to him. So Alex Sr. was understandably mad at FLW, and swore to put a house on the rocks nearby that would spitefully compete with FLW’s Taliesin, his architectural style, and perhaps most of all…his titanic and competitively selfish ego.

In 1945 Alex Jr. had been turned down for service in the US Military because of a heart condition, so he began camping, drinking, picnicking, entertaining, blasting dynamite, building, and hauling mortar and masonry up to the site for the House on Deer Shelter Rock. After 15 years of work, around 1960, Jordan was satisfied enough with the construction to formally advertise and open it to the public for tours. House on the Rock was written up in newspapers and magazines, and became a self-funded tourist attraction. As a true work of art, the house would never be ‘finished’ during Jordan Jr.’s life, and continued to grow.

During the 1960’s the Main House, Gate House, and Mill House opened and introduced collections of curiosities and antiques. In the 1970’s the buildings for ‘Streets of Yesterday’ and ‘Music of Yesterday’ opened. In the 1980’s ‘Carousel Room’, ‘Organ Room’, and ‘Infinity Room’ opened. Alex Jordan Jr. died in 1989. A year after his death, the ‘Heritage of the Sea Room’ and ‘Discovery Center’ opened in 1990.

The entire site is so immense and such a dense labyrinth, that no description can take the place of actually personally experiencing the complex. Alex Jordan Jr. may have shied away from personal fame, but by building the ‘House On The Rock’ for the public he also achieved a public immortality that few people achieve. He was a creator that never stopped building, collecting, and making art, architecture, and artifacts to share with other people. Alex Jordan Jr. may not have finished making additions to ‘House On The Rock’, but he did complete and surpass his father’s dream in the process of his life’s work.




















SCOD Thesis 2000 Spiritual Phases

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Organic Agriculture & Horticulture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2011 by Drogo

music by Shepherdstown Band:  BRUHA

CAHOKIA: North America’s Largest Woodhenge & Temple Mound

Posted in ecovillages, Historic Architecture, Pagan, Trips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2010 by Drogo


Cahokia Mounds is currently a State Historic Site. Cahokia is the area of an ancient city built around 600–1400 CE. It is near present day Collinsville, Illinois across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri.

The Cahokia Mounds were named after a clan of historic Illiniwek people living in the area when the first French explorers arrived in the 17th century. As this was centuries after Cahokia was abandoned by its original inhabitants, the Cahokia were not necessarily descendants of the original Mississippian people. The city’s original name is unknown.

The 2,200 acre site originally included 120 man-made earthwork mounds over an area of six square miles, although only 80 survive. Cahokia Mounds is the largest archaeological site related to the Mississippian Late Woodland culture, which developed advanced societies in North America, centuries before the arrival of Europeans.

It is a National Historic Landmark and designated site for state protection. In addition, it is one of only twenty UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the territory of the United States. It is the largest American Indian earthen construction in the Americas north of Mexico.

They used woven baskets to move most of the earth to build the mounds and plazas. In every culture there are usual social, political, spiritual, and defense reasons to place buildings on raised bases. In the case of Cahokia, there is an added reason: the site is on a flood plain near the Mississippi River.

Monks Mound

Monks Mound is the largest structure and central focus of the city. It is a massive mound with four terraces, 10 stories tall, and the largest man-made earthen mound north of Mexico. Facing south, it is 92 feet high, 951 feet long and 836 feet wide.

Excavation on the top of Monks Mound has revealed evidence of a large building, likely a temple used by the Chief and shaman for residence and public functions. This building was about 105 feet long and 48 feet wide, and could have been as much as 50 feet high. It was about 5,000 square feet.

Cahokia Woodhenge

This woodhenge, like others found in Europe, was a circle of posts used for cosmic alignments relevant to agriculture. It stood to the west of Monk’s Mound. Archaeologists discovered Woodhenge during excavation, and noted that the placement of posts marked solstices and equinoxes. Woodhenge was rebuilt several times during the urban center’s roughly 300-year history. There were probably other woodhenges in America over the centuries, as one was discovered near Mound 72, south of Monks Mound.

A beaker found in a pit near the winter solstice post bore a circle and cross symbol that for many Native Americans symbolizes the Earth and the four cardinal directions. Radiating lines probably symbolized the sun, as they have in countless other civilizations. During excavation of Mound 72, archaeologists found a birdman burial for a leader, and 250 other skeletons from around 1000 CE. Other mounds had workshops for copper smiting and trading.







Brown Stink Bug Plague

Posted in Historic Architecture, Organic Gardens, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2010 by Drogo

The Brown Marmorated Asian Soldier Shield Stink Bug

Kingdom: Animal

Phylum: Arthropods

Class: Insect

Insect Order: Hemiptera

Family: Pentatomidae

Genus: Halyomorpha

Species: Halys



“The Dreaded Brown Stink Bug”

For 4 years now, the Brown Stink Bug has infested many of our homes in the metropolitan DC area. Some comfort can be gleaned from knowing we are not alone, they do not attack humans, they do not eat everything, they can be killed, and they are not poisonous. Never-the-less these pests are awful nuisances due to their over-population, ability to get into houses, and tendency to release foul odor anytime they are alive and when they die. This odor is not just unpleasant for humans, but it acts as a odoriferous beacon to other brown stink bugs.

Brown stink bugs are hemiptera (half-wing) insects. Like the Nezara viridula or Acrosternum hilare (two varieties of Green Stink Bug), it is plant-seed feeding. Both green and brown stink bugs are in the same Family of Pentatomidae Hemiptera. Why are the indigenous green stink bugs not invading us in our homes? The green stink bug is very easy to control with pyrethroids, Orthene, Bidrin, methyl parathion and Vydate. The brown stink bugs seem to be more resistant to our pesticides. The green ones came from Africa hundreds of years ago, and the brown ones are from Asia. Both were stowaways in crates.

Brown Stink Bugs lay eggs on the underside of plant leaves. They love to reproduce on Soybean plants, and those are more common than ever before. The practice of bringing plants inside during the winter worsens the epidemic, as eggs can be already laid on the plants while they were outside. They lay masses of 10-100, barrel-shaped compact eggs.

Stink bugs are susceptible to insecticides that were used to spray boll weevils. From the success of boll weevil eradication, Bt cotton and the use of more selective insecticides for plant bugs, we’ve opened a window for other resilient bugs like brown stink bugs. DDT would do the trick, but it’s all a question of how willing we are to poison ourselves in the process.

Expert exterminators recommend a mixed approach to defending against bug problems. I will recommend an approach as non-toxic as I can.

1. Clean and caulk around windows and places they might have gotten into the house

2. Spray Frebreeze de-odorizer on surfaces

3. If more bugs come, try to gently collect them and toss them outside (so they wont fearfully spray their stink, or release it from dying inside). This does not work that well on numerous bugs, as they can leave a scent behind on anything they land on. Killing them immediately may be the better solution, considering each one is a potential breeder, and if released is free to spray more. Once you kill them, clean up after them!

4. Continue the first three steps with patience. If one generation of bugs is released in a house, it will be years before extermination will have any affect. More bugs will continue to want entrance to the house because of the mass odor from the last batch. Also they seek warmth inside any structure.

They have invaded historic homes, as well as new homes. They can enter air conditioning units, not just cracks in siding or open doors or windows. There is no quick fix to an invasion. Even praying mantis don’t like them.