Building a Nature Pond Part 5: Filling and Tidying the Edges

Edging Types The edge of a wildife pond is part of the pond that does need a bit of thinking, and it can be the part which is hard to make look nice, at least straight away. The edging serves the following purposes: To hide the unsightly liner / overlay and give a more natural and attractive look. To protect any exposed liner, although ideally there shouldn’t be any liner exposed. [Read More]

Building a Nature Pond Part 4: Laying the liner

Installing the Underlay Unfold or unroll your underlay and drop it into the pond, push it into the corners and shelves as neatly as you can flattening out any large creases. If you are using thick carpet it maybe a little more challenging than other materials to get flat and in the corners. If it is too difficult then a sharp knife, can be used to split and overlap any bulges. [Read More]

Building a Nature Pond Part 3: Digging

Depth and Shelves A nature pond doesn’t have to be especially deep, you can dig a pond out as shallow as 30cm deep and nature will use it. However, I think there is a good reason to dig it deeper than 30cm either in the middle or at one end. Basically, the deeper it is, the more water there is and when we have pro-longed hot spells the pond will still have water for those animals and plants that need it. [Read More]

Building a Nature Pond Part 2: Getting Started

Getting Started Measuring out This guide is about building ponds with flexible liners. Although the flexible part of its name comes from the flex in its material you can also be quite flexible about measuring out the shape and size your pond is going to be. If you are planning a small oval shaped pond, then measuring out is so simple as to almost not be required. You can just start digging with your spade, being mindful of the size of liner you are planning to purchase or have purchased. [Read More]

Building a Nature Pond: Part 1

Mankind has all but won the war on nature. Species are in retreat all over the world and here in the UK the situation is no different. However, although the outlook for nature looks a bit bleak, all is not lost and there is one direct and simple action that you can take to help call a truce with nature and that is to dig a pond in your garden. [Read More]

Silly Science Fiction Hair

The aliens and civilisations in movies from the 1960s, 70s and 80s often sported a Sci-Fi bob. Before I compiled this blog post I couldn’t put my finger on which films and TV programmes featured characters with space bobs but even so I kind of knew they existed. The list 1. UFO UFO is a British TV series created by Thunderbird’s creator Gerry Anderson. I have never watched this series, although it gets a respectable score (7. [Read More]

Setting up an AWS EC2 Auto-scaler and performing a simple scaling up event.

AWS auto-scalers, to me at least, are the service that standout as being one of the most “Elastic-y” in the Elastic offerings from AWS. They can be configured to automatically expand and shrink on demand. Which by most definitions is pretty elastic. Auto-scalers can be configured to fire up more ec2 compute instances when demand on already running instance(s) reaches a user definable threshold. For example if you have a group of ec2 compute instances working on a queue of jobs and that queue is keeping all of the server’s processor tied up consistently for say, 10 minutes the auto-scaler will detect this and launch up another ec2 instance. [Read More]

Tweaking your PHP via php.ini and Puppet Augeas

If you have ever wanted to make a change to some of the settings to your php setup via PHP.ini file then using puppet and the augeas type could be the perfect solution. Augeas will read in a configuration file and allow you to specify changes and save them for you. Augeas is not actually a puppet specific tool and can be used generally for configuration file alteration. Of course, you could use an ERB template to build the php. [Read More]

Delete Pyrax Cloud Block Storage Volumes Snapshots Older than N days

If you find yourself with a lot of rackspace cloud volumes you need to remove, you can do this manually or you can run a simple python script. This very simple example shows you how to delete snapshots taken of rackspace cloud volumes older than N days. In this example N days will be 7 days. This example makes the following assumptions: you have a Pyrax installed you have your Rackspace API credentials key. [Read More]

Snapshot Rackspace CBS volume with Python Pyrax

This very simple example shows you how to take a snapshot of a Rackpace cloud volume. This document makes the following assumptions: -you have a Pyrax installed -you have your Rackspace API credentials key. -you know your Rackspace volume uid – which looks like this: 56568786-4659-67575-9ab3-6767968 Add the pyrax import import pyrax Prepare to initialize your pyrax by setting the identity type and add your rackspace api credentials pyrax. [Read More]