CIGHE Gallery of Evidence
Center for Independent Graduate Home Education

Habitat infrastructure project in progress for management of
excess storm water to protect the wetlands, without dispersing
desirable higher groundwater and normal precipitation.

Current testing of solar heat collection for a dryer crawlspace by keeping
thermal mass below house belly above dewpoint, spring & summer, just a few degrees.
Nice heat addition possibly in winter too. Cool in this photo in evening shade.

Note the simple crawlspace skirt for precipitation protection with the fencing
for protection from unwanted interlopers. Affordable effectiveness while
berm-designing is in progress.

Normal blackberry thicket (Sep 8th lush and green like the front blackberry thicket was the day before the toxic-interloper incident) -- here with joe-Pye-weed, thoroughwort and vernonia -- all adjacent and protective of the pump works providing fresh water to our frogs' and toads' vernal pond area and for wetlands control, constructed and natural.

Solar/ThermalMass Shed with raincoat. Plus construction equipment under tarps and a sheltered bin for recycling/reuse materials on the edge of the beautiful 'weedtree' woodlands. Maple, oak, ash, mostly. With the winter's stunning visions of dancing coral beeches and occasional arborvitae.

About the last week of August, we thought our habitat's raccoon had become a rascal and had explored the front area of the habitat, instead of staying in the back woods where he usually roams at night, because the house's skirt had been pulled loose to expose the thermal mass barrels, not very interesting to a raccoon, so he had left the underside alone -- other than (to reach the skirting) possibly trying to climb on the fencing since it was somewhat bowed -- and instead had tinkered with some composting materials from last year's harvesting work, nothing dangerous, since our thermometer monitoring had shown the microbe activity in that biobin would have long ago finished the main chemistry work. The raccoon has not done any such raucus exploring since or before, only offering to share his own hunting bounty once in a while, around the shed..
After the 7th of September, we conclude the raccoon was innocent and a two-legged criminal had been nosing around and then later had not been satisfied with his invasive damage from the first incident and had returned with serious intent to majorly destroy our composting area, the finch nesting & thistle area, and the hummingbirds' bower. Evil and reckless destroyer with toxic chemicals to burn vegetation, kill peaceful microbes and to disrupt our progress, and/or other motives, as you will see for yourself.

In the incident blamed on the innocent raccoon, the vandal had not been able to disturb this one of the bio-bins, and had only disrupted the middle bin. Possibly he was not able to do more -- because of time or discovery risk problems?
Apparently that one earlier disruptive sampling was not satisfactory for his goals -- whatever those were -- so a few days later his next target came as a temper tantrum in which he ripped off our mailbox, suggesting strongly that his first sample from the adjacent biobin did not please his purposes. Vandalism is very infrequent in our Locust Ridge area, making the idea of unrelated incidents just accumulating simply untenable for this neighborhood, with its nighttime watch. And the next incident -- the toxic herbicide intrusion -- was definitely daytime while we were shopping, and still relatively close to home.

After the mailbox episode, temper soothed, he may have had another idea, this time to do more damage and thought he could get something more troublesome from the biobin where he had been thwarted by our blackberry patch, growing over it. So, on the next intrusion, the herbicidal visit, the vandal was determined to try to get at the materials in the bin he could not break into on his first outrage.

In order to disrupt that biobin this time, he mangled the remesh of the sidewall to get into the composting materials though he didn't likely know that those materials were about 6 months from the end of their 24 month composting experiment, and the vandal appears to have taken some of that material with him.

Not satisfied with killing the vegetation that had thwarted his first outrage attempt, in his anger, the vandal chose to also ruin the peaceful chemical and microbial processing by toxifying our compost in that bin, as well as in the adjacent bio-bins.

Fortunately, we have been told by a genuine, responsible licensed herbicide user that the usual best way to undo such evil when the toxin is not known, is to apply more composting process over the top. And, importantly, that licensing was a requirement for legal use of such herbicides.

Unfortunately we did not realize how clumsy the vandal had been in his hasty handling of his toxic herbicide, since he even got it onto the tarp roof cover which we were subsequently handling and that contact was spread to my skin while working. That was when we saw that the thermometer in the bin alongside showed no activity and we realized the extent of his evil-doing. It was hostility toward our success.
We continually monitor the progress of our thermophillic composting using a standard method, namely observing the heat of the chemical reactions with a deep probe thermometer. Visible below.

To be conservative on the first round of composting experiments, we chose to measure the extent of compostability of certain paper products (waxed paper bagging especially) in household waste streams, confining those test materials to that initial test biobin.

Further we added layers of cardboard, mostly, around the bottom edges of the bio-bin to watch for dampness to see whether any leachate was capable of escaping the landscaping straw-packing that we use for our biobins.

Our composting structure is designed for a longterm two year maturity schedule for total thoroughness, not 6 months or less like commercial batch processors, nor 12 months like ordinary continuous-addition thermophillic designs so nearly all paper waste was reported to be doable over 24 months, though not 18. Nearly all that precautionary experimenting has shown enough results -- favorable for designing -- to thwart the damager's intended disruption of our work.

The vandal disrupted peaceful processing as well as the doability testing in the herbicide incident. Some waxed paper and corner-shaping (for the now-disintegrated cardboard) is visible on the right edge
Considering the fact that the vandal returned yet again the next week and stole the driveway safety reflectors, we'd estimate that his damaging intent in taking samples was again thwarted and no hazard did show up to gratify his evil purpose. Unfortunately, the idea that he is only left with falsifying a sample is still open and his propensity in earlier battles to falsify information, leaves that possibility open, should the perpetrator be the one we have concluded is the primary suspect.

Poisoned Soil

Considering the proximity of our meandering creeklets that border this area of our habitat, it's quite likely that toxins have washed into -- if not actually been viciously spread intentionally into -- the streambeds. The idea that people's pet dogs and neighborhood cats (like the couple of beagles we saw just this weekend, amiable fellows exploring and not troublesome) could have had contact with toxins because of the evil vandal, makes this vandal clearly indiscriminantly reckless and uncaring about *anyone*, not just the targets of his viciousness. Everyone is devalued. This vandal acts in the name of the law, if he is the primary suspect.

Not trivial toxins.
Closer-up views.

Blackberry patch scorched to burnt sticks at soil end.

Samples of vegetation, soil and creeklet streambed will be taken to the OSU Extension Office for consultation, as well for opinion. Outside experts on thermophillic composting are also willing to help in such confrontations. None of our projects are illegal so tax dollars would sacrilegously be being worse-than-wasted by any standard of governance, should the primary suspect be the perpetrator. Working supervisors would rightly not tolerate such malfeasant employment and unlicensed use of herbicides by said vandal suspect in current cash-strapped work-operations' budget-circumstances.