After a multi-month hiatus, I've returned to the blogosphere with some autumn updates from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. Over Halloween weekend Cynthia and I headed west, winding through rural roads, just in time for Friday lunch in the village. We were met with big hugs and a beautiful landscape, made more visible by the thinning trees. It was wonderful returning to the community and it felt as if I had fallen asleep one day in the summer and woken up to find that the leaves were gone, my project had progressed, and my girlfriend present. In other words, it was like I had never left. Dancing Rabbit has been on my mind pretty consistently since August, and I have made a point to integrate into my studies. I've also made multiple presentations on the place, nesting it as an untapped "socio-technical niche"- a place in which radical new "rules of the game" allow for innovative technological and sociological arrangements. I'm sure you'll hear more from me on this later...in a dissertation.
One my favorite changes in the community from summer to fall is the ability to see a much larger portion of the village at once. As trees tend to concentrate in the center of the community, they block the line of sight during the summer, but they open up in autumn, and I've captured the sight in the photos below (click to enlarge).
A view from the northwest. On our walk back from the pond, we came across the full view of a corner of the community. During the summer, it's hard to ever see an entire cluster of buildings from a distance.
A sacred place at Dancing Rabbit, the pond. Unfortunately, the source of all summer hygiene was hyperthermic. Temperatures in the previous week had descended below the freezing mark, rendering the pond too cold for most humans. This didn't stop us from hanging out on the dock in the very amenable 60 degree weather.
It was wonderful to see progress on Ted and Sarah's house. This may look like World War I trench warfare, but in fact, it is earth bag construction which requires barbed wire between each layer of earth bag to keep the structure from slipping out of place. The depressiong that you see will be a root cellar and storm shelter, kept cool by the constant temperature of the earth. In the background, you can also see some visible progress on the main portion of the addition. This has really come a long way since June, when we hadn't even inserted the posts in the ground.
Bear, Alyssa, and Zane's new home, with walls! The interior still has a ways to go, but the finished exterior walls allow for winter time progress. When complete, the home will have a fully functional kitchen.