ants in my way
Saturday, July 21 2012
Today I installed the last of my Connecticut windows, leaving the south wall of the greenhouse upstairs glazed over about 4/7 of its length. What remained was a hole measuring about 74 by 58 inches that needs to be filled in. Unfortunately I have no windows that can fill it perfectly. The three windows of the bay window unit I'd gotten on Freecycle will fill about three-quarters of that remaining space if arranged in certain way. Beyond that, it might make sense to fill in any remaining holes with insulated plywood.
At some point this afternoon I tore that Freecycle bay window unit apart. Unlike the stuff I build, it had been put together with many dozens of nails, and the only way to get it apart was banging it with a sledgehammer. One has to be careful when swinging such a hammer near glass, and (spoiler alert) I actually was careful and nothing bad happened. The wood came apart reluctantly, revealing small amounts of rot (mostly in the two thick sheets of plywood holding everything together). There was also a small amount of fixable insect damage in the wooden frame of one of the windows. It looked to have been caused by Carpenter Ants, indicating the windows had spent considerable time in a moist environment (beyond the two months they had been in front of our garage). The window units were now home to a large colony of some other species of ant, and their doomed-but-valiant battle to keep their environment intact made tearing it apart an unpleasant chore. A couple teaspoons'-worth of ant eggs filled a hollow channel atop one of the window frames, and once I'd exposed this to the air, the ants busied themselves carrying the eggs away. I have no clear idea of where they ended up, but the eggs were all gone within an hour and the ants appeared to have evacuated the remains of their former home.
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