Caroline has truly made the house into a home. Mark, John, and I took a long weekend to see how Caroline and Audrey have been, to take care of a few odds and ends, and to see how the house is working. They really love the place and save for a few issues, the house works pretty well. There is a distinct temperature difference between outside and inside, the interior being warmer. That good since it’s winter down there now. Caroline says that the house keeps a pretty consistent temperature, but the mornings are cool which is expected. They said that they usually start a fire in the morning. They are still waiting on electricity, so they aren’t able to use the cistern yet, but they are using the water runoff from the scupper on the south end which they currently collect in the blue can in the photo. Even on an overcast day the house is well lit and didn’t need extra lighting. They also hooked up a propane tank so they are able to use their stove to cook. The space between the trombe wall and glazing warms up nicely and Caroline has made good use of the space to grow a number of plants. She was even able to get a cutting to sprout from one of the largest trees in the grove. The green and other colors of the plants look great against the rammed earth wall. We might have made the wall too thick however, as they have noticed that the interior bedroom side surface of the wall doesn’t warm up as much as the glazing side. I wonder though if it does during the night while they’re asleep? The copper on the gutter looks nice with the patina that is forming. Caroline also was able to get some trees planted around the site.

Sorry to crash your party, here are some photos of Caroline’s house after she moved in. Sounds as though they are very happy.
Mark and I are very sad not to be down in Bluff again, hopefully we’ll make it down before the semester is over to lend a hand.


Thank you Caroline and Audrey (and Dottie) for making our experience down there so memorable.
Tristan (T1T2)

The west side of the house at sunset


The dining room with light from the Solartube washing down the plaster wall.
Tristan (T1T2)


Caroline’s own little utopia in the desert.
Tristan (T1T2)


The bathroom with reed ceiling. The reed door has a translucent plastic on the interior for a little more privacy.
Tristan (T1T2)