JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Hedgehog housing

This week DW got lumbago. It dominated our week. On Sunday, we had an event where we came together with neighbors to build hedgehog houses.

Monday 19 September

Perhaps Monday evenings, I play with my scaffold. Last week I made a six-sided shape. If I wanted to make that shape into a tent, it would require a lot of sewing, and I don't have the time for that right now. Is it possible to create some rain cover based on a simple shape?

We had three tarps lying, and I decided to try one with good size. Then I modeled a scaffold shape around it. It would have been nicer if I could make the scaffold fit better, but this was what I had to do for this experiment.

It got dark, of course, but that did not stop me from building the construction.

I hung up the tarp so that it sloped down. I used ropes from a nephew-in-law who recently moved to New York. He had an extensive collection of ropes that he decided to give away. We had bought simple fence strain devices for our sheep fence, which were handy for this project. I put each rope under tension with the fence strainers. The tarp got suspended in the air, completely flat. It will be fascinating to see how the tarp survives wind gusts and storms. Probably not, but we will see. I am curious to see what we can do here under the tarp and how that feels.

Tuesday 20 September

The tarp roof survived the night. I worked from the office today.

In the evening it was nice weather. There had been no wind today, so the tarp was still hanging majestically in my scaffold construction.

We decided to work in the garden. To remove some thistles along the north part of our dyke.

DW has been working on this dyke several times, and it already looked nice. Here is a photo of DW with the thistles she had collected. She is smiling but already here; things are not okay with her. Early on, she strained her back when we got out in the garden, but she did not surrender to the pain. She continued and did not complain until we had been working for a while. I noticed she was not as quick as she used to be, which surprised me, but I did not want to say anything about it. When we were almost done, she said that she got back ache. She wanted to collect the thistles in the wheelbarrow and go in, but I said I would collect the thistles, and I suggested she would just stand and watch.

Wednesday 21 September

In the morning, DW stood up, and all was fine with her back. After the shower, she got lumbago. That is a pain in her lower back. In Dutch, it is called Spit; in Swedish, it is called Ryggskott. The English word is derived from the Latin word Lumbus meaning lower back. So, now what? Well, this was DWs weekly day off, although she had a couple of tasks to carry out even today for work. She practiced by strolling. I figured that pretty much the rest of the week would be defined by DWs backache, but I had hoped things would be fine.

On Sunday, there will be a neighbor activity event. DW is organizing this together with two other neighbors. The idea is to do something together with neighbors: build hedgehog and insect houses. Two large panels were brought to us, and the panels had to be cut into the building blocks of the hedgehog houses.

Now with the lumbago situation of DW, I volunteered to pitch in on this task and cut the pieces. It was lovely weather, so there was no need to use the rain roof per se, but I liked to try it, so I decided to work below the rain roof. It now became the hedgehog housing headquarter. I cut two plates into parts for eight hedgehog houses. It took me the afternoon to finish this task. When I was done, I had sawdust even in my underpants.

The sawing machine rips the plate when sawing perpendicular to the grain. To avoid that, I taped the seams with paper tape and sawed them slowly. After some practice, it worked pretty well.

The hardware stores in the city stopped cutting plates. They outsourced that task to another company making it expensive. This is a pity because it is handy to have the plates cut to the correct size already in the hardware store. Now we had to do this ourselves; it was not convenient.

This was not the only thing I had to do this afternoon. The sheep had to get a new area to graze from. Until now, they grazed the entire area on the south side of the house. This afternoon I set up two nets on the west side of the house. Usually, we do this together, DW and I, but she was resting, and her lumbago was not over yet.

Thursday 22 September

Today DW stayed at home. Not so that she was lying in bed and did not do anything for work. No, she was so sick she could not go to work to hold a course, but it was possible to do lumbago-friendly tasks for work at home. I arranged boxes so she could stand working.

I had my work at home as I usually do on Thursdays. DW took an afternoon walk in the neighborhood. The weather was nice today. I had so much to do that I couldn't join her.

The sheep are eating eagerly. They will need a new area in a couple of days. I think we will do that on Saturday.

Friday 23 September

Friday morning had a gorgeous sunrise sky. We got these wind turbines at the horizon. I thought it would be nice to take a photo with the tip of the turbine blades motion blurred but the rest sharp. I had not even gotten dressed when I started experimenting with making this photo. I suppose it is strange with an undressed man in the window with a DSLR camera with telelens. I had to dress first.

I got a Nikon camera with a knob. I can set that knob to many things, but the primary setting is M, A, S, and P. M is for manual. There I can set both aperture and shutter speed. I did not want that. I either had to have A or S, and this morning I had forgotten which one.

A stands for aperture preference. The camera selects the optimal shutter speed for the given aperture. Now when I write this, it is evident that this was not the correct selection either because I wanted to finetune the timing of the photo to create the perfect motion blur.

There is another smaller wheel for setting the aperture.

S stands for shutter speed preference. The camera selects the optimal aperture for the given shutter speed.

Now the tiny wheel is used to set the shutter speed. The issue is that one might need a tripod at hand to make the photo at slow settings, but I had one, so that was not a problem.

The challenge was that I had to get ready to start working and stop trying to remember the basics of photography. All this experimenting took time and the lovely sky dissolved before I had got it figured out. A neighbor got out to work, and I hope he did not wonder what I was doing in the window.

Instead of setting up the tripod, I gave up on the project. Another time I will have my photo of the motion blurred blades of a windmill.

I worked from home this Friday, and DW called in sick today. She had real troubles with her lumbago situation. Especially getting up after a night's sleep. I help her as well as I can.

My work went well. DW took a walk in the neighborhood. One should treat lumbago with a gentle walk to give the lower back some rest while keeping the rest of the back moving. I am not an expert on these matters.

I got some cheap wired earbuds. Lately, one earbud was not working so well. I got the idea to replace them. After work, I went to the shop to buy new ones. Just something cheap, not so important what it was. I found wireless earbuds, but it was difficult to see if they would fit my ears. The one I bought had a stick. Wireless earbuds are new to me; I am not so good at these things. When trying them, I had them sticking out in the wrong way, so much so that DW had a laugh attack and the sight. The problem was that in her condition, this was painful. She cried and laughed at the same time. I figured out how to wear the earbuds, but it was not easy. The ears start aching after a while. I don't know if I am pleased with these earbuds.

Saturday 24 September

This morning's DWs condition had not improved. She slept well with the help of paracetamol.

My first task today is to move the sheep to a new area. The previous area on the west side of the house is not finished, but it is not much left, either. I collected the nets from the south side and put them up on the north side of the house.

There was a bare part left that we sowed with new grass. The bare part came because we had a pile of Crab48 scaffold pieces lying in the grass. The pieces came there around 16 December 2020, and we removed the pieces on 17 May 2022. Since then, the sheep have been grazing and kept the bare spot open. It surprised me that they like the bare ground, but I have seen that before. They can make a bare spot by scraping the ground with their hooves.

Now we want to have grass here, so it has been sowed. That bare part got the chicken fence net for protection. We discovered it is easy to make a bare spot in the grass, but it takes more effort to make it green again. We also learned that it is better to have more accessible patches for the sheep to graze; otherwise, setting up the nets takes more effort.

I also gave the sheep access to the new rain roof, which they liked, at first.

The next task was to finish cutting the pieces for the hedgehog houses. Eight plates had to get a door opening. Then we went to the hardware store to get some last-minute supplies. Sitting in the car was not pleasant for DW. We bought drills, screws, and rings to make it possible to put a hinge on the lid of the hedgehog houses. There was not enough funding for a regular hinge, but we got orange bands that can be used as a hinge, so this will work anyway.

Sunday 25 September

All was ready. At first, we thought a municipality representative would come and visit our event, but her daughter got sick, so she could not come.

It was so much fun! All people enjoyed building and being together; so lovely to be part of this.

First, the actual members of the hedgehog committee held a speech, and then I explained how to build the hedgehog house.












































It is three sets of photos. Each set is kind of chronological, but altogether it appears as a mix.

Here ends this week's blog. DWs lumbago dominated this week, but she is gradually improving, which is nice.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.