Heard on the ferry this morning, a new euphemism for falling off abicycle (or anything else for that matter): "unintendeddismount."Sarah and I worked outside yesterday. She washed her car andvacuumed the interior while I made a "tortoise coop" in the halfof the garden that we’re not using. First, I had to dig a trench noless than nine inches deep around what would become the interior of thecoop. Then, I embedded chicken wire in the trench. The wire hadto be set that far into the ground because Ira’s species has been known todig some reasonably deep tunnels. Then, to make the coop cat-proof, Ihad to install a chicken wire roof. I decided to do this by cuttingwood and hammering it into the earth to provide kitty-load-bearingsupports. Then, I cut slats and nailed them to the tops of theload-bearing supports. These are basically upside-down wooden U’s withsquare bottoms instead of round. Across these supports then, I laidmore chicken wire. I used tie-wraps/cable-ties to then link the roof tothe walls on one side and plastic-coated twist-ties on the other side sothat we could reach in and get the tortoise out when it was time for him tocome back inside. While the end product isn’t very pretty, it only hasto work for a couple of months and then we’ll be gone from this houseanyway. The idea was to create an outdoor space for Ira where he’d besafe from the neighborhood cats and yet still able to get sun. Thesurface area enclosed by the coop is about fifteen-hundred square inches (alittle over 10.5 square feet). That’s plenty of room to roam for alittle tortoise who is about five-inches by three inches. Inside thecoop is a big bushy nasturtium which provides Ira with both shade andfood. When I had the coop finished, I put Ira in there while I helpedSarah with her car and while we made a salad and dressing which we took to abarbeque last night. Ira spent most of the time trying to findweaknesses in the fence that he could exploit to gain his freedom. Our garden is coming up, for the most part. Carrots and beets arepoking up in abundance. The potatoes have yet to show their sprouts,however.