Bob & Ellen's Excellent Adventure

Black Sheep Tower House

Ant Farm or Modern Art?

August 25, 2020 Remember the scritching carpenter ant noise that we heard the first day we owned the house? What was hidden behind this strange black rubbery covering (and why was it there to begin with?)

The oil tanks are in a small room behind this wall, and once the black covering was removed, the ant farm was revealed. It looked nothing like those thin glass aquarium things filled with sand, where as a kid you could watch ants marching about their business in a safe controlled environment, right in your own room. No, this was a hot mess, with billions of big black carpenter ants swarming all over the place! Adam and Serge valiantly did battle, with ants crawling all over them trying to escape the Sawzall as the demolition commenced.

Who knew that carpenter ants liked foam block insulation? We thought they preferred to eat wood, but this is what it looked like in the aftermath, including a view from the inside out. For context, the extremely large concrete block you see from the outside and as the back wall behind the oil tanks is solid. The concrete footing formed with a really large Sonotube (leftovers in the basement) on top of the block forms part of the foundation for the 6 story tower above. Speaking of oil tanks, these are really nice ones, with internal bladders, and we have two 250 gallon tanks (does that double our carbon footprint?) BTW, we investigated, and sadly the topography and woods on the southern exposure will prevent us from installing solar. Too much ledge for geothermal, and it occurs to me that heating and cooling don’t have much to do with carpenter ant farms, so…

Just another day in paradise!

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