It took six months of working in the evenings after dinner for Carl Anderson of Visalia to build a replica of Noah's ark out of wine corks.
Built to scale -- there's even a miniature Noah inside -- the work of art is now on display at the Ark Learning Center at First Presbyterian Church in Visalia.
Anderson said he went through about 1,000 corks to get it right. About 750 are in the replica.
He used waterproof wood glue.
Thanks to an article last year in The Bee about Anderson and his Noah's ark project, "corks were not a problem, as they showed up in droves from all over the area," he said.
"I'd come home in the evening and sometimes find a bag of corks with a nice note. That made it fun. I met a lot of nice people."
A lady in Fresno County mailed him a box of corks, and David Vartanian at The Vintage Press restaurant in Visalia gave him corks, he said.
"Some of the corks had dates as far back as 1978, so I can only guess that people don't like to throw away corks," Anderson said.
About the most unusual donation came from a woman in Southern California: "She mailed me one cork and wished me well," Anderson said.
At four feet in length, the replica is too big for long-term storage at the learning center, so Anderson is looking for a permanent anchorage.
It'd be a nice attraction in an upscale bar, he said: "Noah had an affinity for wine."
END OF ERA: The era of Visalia's innovative trash can is coming to a close, city officials told the Visalia City Council.
Visalia uses a "split container" can with a divider down the middle. Garbage goes in one side, recyclables in the other.
Former city employee Mike Ramsey designed the can, which has been in use since the mid-1990s.
A major advantage of the design is that a garbage truck needs to make only one trip, or "pass," saving money on fuel. For the homeowner, it means hauling out only one container on trash day.
But recycling has become more popular in recent years, and today there's not enough room in the can for all the recyclables people put in, solid waste manager Earl Nielsen told the council.
The city will study the options but probably go with three containers: one for garbage, another for recyclables, and a third for yard waste -- which is already in use.
A new system could be chosen this year, with a rollout date to be announced.
Lewis Griswold covers the news of Tulare and Kings counties for The Bee. His column runs Sunday. He can be reached at (559) 441-6104, firstname.lastname@example.org
or @fb_LewGriswold on Twitter.