The tiny brick people are back.

For years now, in the winter, there have been very, very small people living under the brick floor of my grape arbor. Apparently.

I haven’t seen these people but I think they must be really quite tiny, to get around under there.  I know they are there because every winter they create constructions between the bricks.

Here you can see the brick floor of the grape arbor, covered in leaves: grape leaves, birch leaves, maple leaves.  More still falling.

bricks This is where the brick people live.

When I am not looking (it might be at night– I don’t know because I am not looking) they come out and build things.

They use mud, and sand from under the bricks, to hold up various bits of vegetative ornament.

brick people work DThe popular design usually includes at least one vertical element and several side-arms, usually composed of grape stems.  Some builders employ a few leaves, along with the other basic elements.

brick people project E

Some brick people are minimalists.

mud and leavesOthers  import exotic materials to add color and texture.

brick people project with lichenI think the simple ones are quite nice really.

just a leafBut perhaps the constructions are embellished over time.

fancy brick people workAre you acquainted with the brick people?

Their creations may be houses. I like to think they are art.  At the least they are artistic houses…

I look down at them and wonder.

But sometimes I look up.

winter sky


MYSTERY UPDATE: I’ve made a permanent page for my discussion of Uncanny Death, The First Ever Transatlantic Twitter Crime Novel. The link is at the top of this page.

I’m having a good time with this project. Of course my co-author, Kininvie, is semi-impossible, but I am mad with the power of controlling all those characters. (I’ve scheduled another seance, just for poor Fluffy…)

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About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
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30 Responses to The tiny brick people are back.

  1. Yes,we too have brick people….they like to lay down moss carpeting so that it hides any jagged edges around the paving slabs they may use… of course to trip us up!!! It’s ok ,I hear their laughter.E

    • linniew says:

      Oh my. Do you suppose they are EVERYWHERE? And maybe they are the real inhabitants of the planet, and we are only allowed to live so we can provide bricks and rocks? Just saying…

  2. b-a-g says:

    Linnie – I don’t have those brick people under my patio, just very long worms and dandelions. It’s probably for the best because some of those signs they made would be considered quite offensive in the UK.
    Re: Uncanny Death, I’ve enjoyed reading it but am still plucking up the courage to comment (non-gardening blogs are outside my comfort zone).

    • linniew says:

      Hi b-a-g
      Sorry my brick people are rude. I have no control over them…
      We would ADORE any comment you might make on the Uncanny Death blog– especially if you take my side in any authors’ arguments.

  3. Alberto says:

    Linnie when you look up the view is beautiful! How badly I want big trees like yours in my garden!
    I’ve never heard of tiny people living amongst bricks but I’d pay more attention to where I step, rather than looking at the top of very old trees…

    • linniew says:

      I don’t think you can step on the brick people (they may very well be nocturnal, perhaps with little flashlights) but you could smush their mud creations so yes,be careful. Wish I could send you a big tree, not that your glorious garden needs anything.

  4. kininvie says:

    I have to say that your brick people are remarkably artistic. Mine just make little sandcastles, and don’t even bother to stick any seaweed on them. Perhaps if you had one of those time-lapse camera thingies, you could capture them at work and make a career out of being a TV natural history star? It would probably pay better than being a Twitter crime novelist….

  5. Grace says:

    I’ve got “gravel people” in my garden. They live under the gravel that lines the pathways. I’ve never seen them, nor their flashlights but occasionally I hear them, especially after a rain when they empty their tiny buckets. Sometimes their creations can be quite elaborate.

    • linniew says:

      Well Gracie I hope you will photograph the gravel people’s creations some time. And I would love to hear the tiny buckets being emptied– My brick people are so quiet. Perhaps I should leave out a tiny harmonica or something…

  6. Simone Ehrhardt says:

    There is even a German tribe of the brick people! They live in our garden. 🙂

    • linniew says:

      Welcome Simone!
      I just peeked at your blog. It was fun because I know just enough German from school to read a little with help from the pictures you posted. I’ll go back and spend more time, maybe translate to English which I expect is a choice. So nice to have you here to report about the German brick people! (I just knew they would be everywhere!) My son-in-law is from Germany. He isn’t a gardener though so the brick people there will likely be a surprise to him…

  7. Sheila says:

    I have “flagstone people,” though I usually refer to them as voles. They pile rock dust on the flagstones while digging caves in the cracks. They also like to put acorns on the stones to deter unwelcome visitors. Gorgeous last photo!

  8. Simone Ehrhardt says:

    Thank you, Linnie. There even is a little English part on my blog, and you might find out there, that I still have got a greenhouse on my wish list. I looked at yours in awe and with a little envy. Perhaps I can squeeze on into our next garden.

  9. Holleygarden says:

    These may be the same people that are making the crop circles!

  10. Lyn says:

    Thanks for giving me my Sunday afternoon laugh, Linnie! I want brick people too. All that happens between my bricks are weeds. Do you think they are related to Terry Pratchett’s Carpet People?

    • Debra says:

      Linnie, when you complete writing Uncanny Death, I think you have a promising career as a children’s author. Thank you for this wonderful tale!

      • linniew says:

        Hi Debra- Thank you for very kind words! I’m afraid there is an alarmingly large part of my brain that is stuck at an age 6 point of view. I have to work around it a lot, but not on this blog. (Such a relief.)

    • linniew says:

      I was not familiar with Terry Pratchett’s novel, but it looks like something I might enjoy. Thanks Lyn!

      I would encourage a party of the brick people to hop on a plane (or enter an envelope so I could mail them to you), but they are not prone to conversation. Or visibility.

  11. Greggo says:

    Is that brick people or stick people?

  12. Indie says:

    Very cute!
    I don’t have brick people, but I do have some sort of gnome or something that digs little holes in artistic groupings in my backyard (at least I’m hoping it’s a gnome..)

    • linniew says:

      Yes I suspect there are whole worlds of people we miss. ..more things in heaven and earth, etc. Likely you are right, you have a gnome. Underground variety. Which is nice, because then they don’t leave their laundry lying around in the garden or anything.

  13. cynthia says:

    Hmm, I would have guessed fairies. They are very artistic, you know.

  14. Fay says:

    I would love to be a brick person, petite, so skilled, smart and unchallenged by wind.

    Dearest linnew, you know I though you might like my old White lab coat, for your highly successful plant scientist career in research of root vegetables. Well, dear heart, perhaps you should have it, should the ‘men in White coats’* come to try and take you, then you can pop it on blend right in and they’ll never find you. Use the phrase ‘linnewho?’ too, that will confuse them.

    You are my most favourite insanely funnily blogger, I love the tiny stick men, thank goodness they are back. Where do they go for the spring through summer?

    *’men in White coats coming to get you’ is a common tale to tell young children here in the UK, when they are very silly, bordering on the wrong side of sanity. They normally come (free I think) in their own White van. But due to current petrol prices and their possible potential requirement to be more Eco-friendly these days, they might now cycle, walk or use public transport.

    I do hope they don’t visit.

    • linniew says:

      Dear Fay,

      It is such a comfort to me, knowing I can count on you to look out for my interests.

      I have heard of the ‘men in the white coats’ (I do hope some women can get the job these days) but I have had the good fortune to avoid them so far. I suppose exposing my view of the world here, on this public site, might increase the chance that they will come for me. Still, my house is very remote, and, as you say, oil prices being what they are, and cuts to social services being even worse, I’m not sure how they will get here or what they could do with me after the net fell, as it were.

      Then too, I have on occasion entertained the notion of making a little sign, to put on my house, something like “Dr. Linnie’s Home for the Mentally Deranged,” so then I could answer the door as either Dr. Linnie (if I happened to be dressed reasonably) or a resident of the hospital involved in Garden Therapy (if I happened to have my muddy boots on). It is my hope that I could pull this off without a white coat, but I will talk to Max and Mr. O about it and let you know.

  15. (Back-lurking again, but….) They’re ANTS!!! (Come on people, don’t let her confuse you!) Fay may have the right of this… and I have heard the jackets have been restyled recently for comfort-fit!

    Besides, if there are tiny people living under her patio bricks everyone knows they prefer to be called the Pacific Patio People.

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