Sunday, September 23, 2007

Equinox in Chacala

The Fall Equinox has begun, in Chacala, and all over the northern hemisphere. For me, that mainly means the Sun begins to go across the sky at a much lower angle. And rises and sets in different places. So it's time to adjust my sun-screening efforts in order to keep my room cool and my patio shady. And breezy.I have already changed how the woven reed mats on the east side of my patio hang. But it the changes aren’t quite right. And the taller ladder I need is being borrowed by someone else, so I will have to wait to re-adjust the mats.The south side of the patio has the lowest roof overhang, but it’s not low enough for about three months each winter. The sun comes into the patio for most of the early afternoon unless I find some a short something-or-other to block the sun as it comes in right below the roof line. The west side, facing the ocean, is the hardest to deal with. When the sun is low in the sky the sunlight and heat is really fierce. It comes into the patio from about 4 until the sun goes down. As late at 8pm. So I need to figure out a nice “permanent” shade screen for that side of the patio.I have a blue tarp up hanging across the whole space, with about 5 feet open to the view. But the tarp is getting really raggedy and I don’t live it anyway. My landlady wants the tarp there, I think because the blue tarps are a common sunscreen around here, and also because it kind of matches the blue trim on the house.

I guess I will have to wait until the tall ladder is back in the neighborhood before I do anything. But for now, I move my eating table around the patio as the sun moves across the sky, and that works out okay.

In the morning, as soon as the sun comes up it shines in my bedroom window, and it’s kind of blinding and heats things up. I have a sarong-style piece of fabric to pull across the window, but that also blocks the breezes. On the west side there’s a few hours in the late afternoon when the sun comes beating into my room. I have tried various shade solutions, but so far, nothing really works very well.Blocking the sun and allowing the breezes in at the same time is kind of tricky.

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