Category Archive: Orcas Island

A Thud, Then a Gasp

A Thud, Then a Gasp

There comes a time in every vehicle owner’s life when they are forced to test just how far a tank of gas will go. We see the gauge point to the upper case “E” and say it’s arbitrary; just a label. What matters is what’s inside the tank. We can push it a little...

Where is the Salish Sea?

Where is the Salish Sea?

Since moving to Orcas Island, I've become fascinated by the geography of the area, which is quite complicated. The island is part of an archipelago in an inland sea stretching across two countries and hundreds of islands. To describe the region doesn't do it justice,...

The Search for Smart House Siding

The Search for Smart House Siding

If you picture a Japanese village in your mind, you’re likely to imagine buildings with a dark brown or black appearance, with a lot of character. This appearance, comes, in part, from an ancient Japanese method of charring wood to make it more resilient. The final product is called “yakisugi” or “shou sugi ban”. The Japanese found that charring the wood gave a unique character made it last longer.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Female Rufous Hummingbird (I Think) Since moving to Orcas, hummingbirds have become part of everyday life. Our neighbors all have flowers and feeders, so they buzz around like they own the place. I've never seen them so curious. They will come right up to your face...

Powering a Home with Batteries

Powering a Home with Batteries

We live on Orcas Island in Washington State, which is serviced by ferries and has about 3,000 year round residents. For most of the time it's been developed, the power infrastructure has been fragile. It's a densely wooded place and trees often fall on overhead power...

The House Project

The House Project

In the spring of 2017, Sachi and I became consumed with an idea. On a camping trip to Orcas Island, which is off the NW coast of Washington State, we started to ask serious questions about the future. While drinking wine from a box by a campfire, we first started to...