Solarium Reptantis – building an outdoor sunroom for Ike to get him some fresh air!

A Saturday of rest, a Saturday of work

After a very tiring week (the drive back from Ohio last Sunday, while visually pleasing due to the scenery, was quite exhausting), I realized that the best cure for  that was to NOT rest on Saturday and instead build an outdoor play area for Ike!

extra materials = the devil's planning chamber, helps fuel the devil's workshop

extra materials = the devil’s planning chamber, helps fuel the devil’s workshop

More seriously, I watched something like 14 hours of BBC’s Planet Earth on Blu Ray, and re-rekindled my love for flora and fauna doing their best to be wonderful and amazing.  I also know that the IkeHaus, so cleverly designed to make it easy to take apart for transport AND cleaning ::smug:: needed some deep cleaning, especially of the tiles.  So my fate was sealed; another project was upon me, Ike needed an outdoor area to hang out in while I cleaned the IkeHaus, and generally so he could be used to more than one environment.  If I’m lucky, perhaps I will even begin feeding him out there and have him make his Ike-messes out there, too… directly down through the mesh floor and onto the lawn.

The build

A quick trip to the ‘Despot and some money spent (ughhhhhh), I had the industrial strength stapler, remaining lumber, and extra metal mesh needed to make the project happen.

industrial stapler purchased, as well as additional mesh, and it was time to start

industrial stapler purchased, as well as additional mesh, and it was time to start

The sidewalk cement around the back and side of my house is not anywhere close to level, but at least a few segments of it are flat and in the shade, so I had my workshop spot selected.

its been months since I last constructed L's from poplar for a reptile project. 3 months, specifically

its been months since I last constructed L’s from poplar for a reptile project. 3 months, specifically

It was hot outside when I worked, which meant Ike was going to love it outside… except I started around 3pm, so when I finished at 6pm it was in the 70s unfortunately, which is nighttime temperature for my scaly friend.

the solarium begins to take shape

the solarium begins to take shape

So, even though I have a shoulder injury and ought to use it as little as possible, I still had a great time (gingerly) moving the materials needed to build this little solarium…

zip ties are still a strong contender for The Best Thing

zip ties are still a strong contender for The Best Thing

The finished product

At the end of the afternoon, and for SIGNIFICANTLY less money than the IkeHaus, Ike had a new and outdoor-friendly home.  Not especially small compared to the IkeHaus, either – 5×2 foot of floor space, as opposed to 40 x 36 inches.

Ike seems to be enjoying some fresh air and natural sunlight

Ike seems to be enjoying some fresh air and natural sunlight

The weather was a bit chilly  by the time he got outside, but given how hot the next couple of months promise to be (and the autumntide arrival of a greenhouse which might allow him to still get fresh air outside the house), this is a project that will last for years to come, and make for a happier (albeit still equally dumb and cute) Icarus.

at 5 by 2 by 2 foot, Ike has a lot of space to sun himself and run around

at 5 by 2 by 2 foot, Ike has a lot of space to sun himself and run around

All that remains is to apply 3 or so coats of non-toxic water sealer onto the wood, so it lasts longer (though I am planning on covering it when it is not in use), and then this project is done. I also am going to fashion some kind of tent out of the spare canvas from when I built the IkeHaus, I am thinking… maybe a hammock as well.  This goddamned reptile is so stupidly spoiled.

On Saturday, Alisha came by to check out our thriving Victory Garden, and given that we weren’t frantically building and planting in the rain this time, finally got a chance to meet Ike. I think they became quick friends.

Ike always enjoys meeting new people, like Alisha

Ike always enjoys meeting new people, like Alisha

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