View Full Version : Greenhouse Blues

11-08-2009, 11:27 PM
Last week, the greenhouse project froze to a halt under the biggest October snowfall in twelve years.


But I called on Huey, the Aussie weather god, and he sent a bit of the bright & barmy up our way. A day and a half, slam-bang-zip, and we had the covering on. 16 mm triple-wall polycarbonate walls and 25mm 6-wall roof. But the frame is wood. We have stunning, abrupt gusts, from the SW and NW, so I designed it with a clerestory row of vent windows that open inward, so the wind can't rip them off.


While I was perched on a skaty plyboard bridging the rafters, to finish off the moulding and clerestory vents, I suddenly flashed back to a poem I'd not read since 1986:

Child on top of a Greenhouse
The wind billowing out the seat of my britches,
My feet crackling splinters of glass and dried putty,
The half-grown chrysanthemums staring up like accusers,
Up through the streaked glass, flashing with sunlight,
A few white clouds all rushing eastward,
A line of elms plunging and tossing like horses,
And everyone, everyone pointing up and shouting!

—Theodore Roethke

The polycarbonate's certainly tougher than glass (and the roof is R-3.7, fancy that). But it was a nice moment.

That evening, the Wolf Goddess and I took our drams of whisky (Knappogue Castle, a fine Irish malt) out and sat under the new roof and drank to our good luck. Spilt a few drops for the fairies, a right and proper blessing.

It just occurred to me that I can sling a hammock and bask, on sunny days in winter.

Which, for some reason, made me wonder how Peter Sibley is coming along with his bushfire shelter.

David G
11-09-2009, 12:08 AM
Thanks for the Roethke. It's been a while for me too. Nice looking greenhouse, and very useful - I'd suspect - in your climate!

11-09-2009, 12:15 AM
This high, cold, windy country grows fine pronghorn, deer, elk, moose, and the like. But, with a 45-60 day frostfree season, it's damned hard on vegetables.

A ripe tomato is a victory! A hot pepper is a triumph!

11-09-2009, 02:31 AM
"But I called on Huey, the Aussie weather god, and he sent a bit of the bright & barmy up our way."

In my experience Huey is known more for sending inclement weather.

As in "Send her down Huey."

Normally screamed in the face of an oncoming storm.

11-09-2009, 03:39 AM
Jesus Christ's middle name ...in Oz only .Jesus H Christ .

11-09-2009, 12:33 PM
Huey is unpredictable— contrary people deserve contrary gods.

Peter— any progress on the fire shelter? I've been wondering what you settled on as a design.

11-09-2009, 01:41 PM
Jesus Christ's middle name ...in Oz only .Jesus H Christ .


It's my understanding that 'Jesus H. Christ' is a mild oath, with the 'H' standing for 'Hebrew'.

I like 'Huey' much better!

11-09-2009, 03:49 PM
Peter— any progress on the fire shelter? I've been wondering what you settled on as a design.

No progress but a design is pretty worked out now .Just a relatively simple earth covered shelter , double doors with a flash wall in front .

Glen Longino
11-09-2009, 05:04 PM
Jesus Christ's middle name ...in Oz only .Jesus H Christ .

It's been "H" here too, long as I can remember!:)
I think it's Horace!

11-09-2009, 05:12 PM
It's Hallowed. Says so in the book "Lamb, the gospel according to Biff, Christ's childhood friend".


11-09-2009, 07:12 PM
The research devil made me do it:

"The theologian will undoubtedly be familiar with "IHS," which stands for the Latin phrase 'Jesus Hominum Salvator,' which means Jesus, Savior of Man. Note that the J, as a separate character from the I, is only a few centuries old. This trigraph is frequently found in medieval and Renaissance art."

— Peter Kirby



More explanations and some inspired foolery at:


When I searched Google Image for Huey weather god Australia, I got this:


Which makes a strange sort of sense.