It’s Sept 1, summer is all but over, the days are still warm but the nights are cooling off quite a bit, I notice the cottonwood trees in town are starting to turn that crisp yellow color, in a few more weeks it will be a riot of yellow with some reds, rusts and burgundy from some of the other trees.
The animals are putting on their fall into winter coats, adding weight to make it through the cold winter that is about to beset us. I just saw a fluffy squirrel looking in the window at me, this year has been a banner year for the squirrels, they are still fearful of us, but don’t get too concerned over our daily coming and going. The reason the squirrels have been so prolific is because some of the people who live out here have declared war on some of the predators, namely the coyotes, they had been really building up their numbers, personally I enjoy hearing them yipping and howling at night, but when they are taking chickens and pets, it is time to thin their numbers… so when that happens, the prey species are allowed to proliferate… thus the squirrel population explosion. I expect that the predators will come back in numbers and take care of it, it’s one big cycle.
Last night, PB mentioned to me that the days were getting noticeably shorter, during the peak of summer, it’s light until nearly 10pm, now by 9 pm it’s getting dark, that is a good thing in some ways, I enjoy the cooler weather in winter, we have shorter days which means less power being collected by the solar panels, BUT it also means less clouds usually, which offsets the longer but often rainy/cloudy days of late summer.
It also means cooler temps, so PB will be able to get more done around the sky castle. Right now the next big project is making a composting container for our human waste, he took an old metal water barrel, it was rusted in places, he cut it down, it’s half as tall as it was, he is sealing it and will mount it so that it can be rotated, it will be like a massive composting container. We should be able to contain AND compost our poo and any food scraps… that is the major project for this winter.
PB has been doing a lot for other people around the neighborhood, our friends and neighbors have discovered that he is good help, he gets things done quickly, efficiently, inexpensively, and very well.
Another thing we have been able to do recently is burn trash, I know that’s not very “green” but we never claimed to be green… we have been under a burn ban for a solid 3 years, it rained enough this summer for the burn ban to finally be lifted. PB’s burn barrel isn’t like anyone else, it started out with metal 55 gallon drums, it’s 3 drums high, double wall and wrapped with another layer of metal, it is sporting a new cap of expanded metal lath and a metal top to keep the ashes in and the rain out. He prefers to burn during rains, it’s just safer that way. The burn barrel sits over a 6 foot deep and wide pit, there is metal over the edges of the pit to keep out stray animals and unobservant humans. It works much like a giant rocket stove, burning very efficiently with little smoke after it gets going. As he burns, the ashes are dropped out the bottom into the pit.
This is the beginnings of the sky castle II, PB works on it every now and again when he’s not doing other things. Right now it’s not much more than a tall platform, we scavenged some used telephone poles and used those, they are strong and will not rot.
Here is some future heat for the Sky Castle, at the beginning of the summer, we had the forest department out cutting down trees along the main road, they allowed anyone who wanted wood to come along and take what they wanted, we got a LOT of wood, this is just a tiny portion of what we snagged along the roadside.
Here is Casper, the dog who adopted us, he accompanied me out to take pictures and obliged me one snapshot. :) He is such the gentleman.
And here is something you rarely see, my nekkid feet, well almost nekkid, once I got home from church today, it was hot, all I wanted to do was take off my boots, I wasn’t about to put them back on to go out and snap some pix of the place, so I grabbed my “slippers”, these are what I wear around the house but not usually outside the house. :) All too soon, it will be too cold for these, I’ll put them up for the winter.
That’s about it for now, with the changing season, I’ll be snapping more pix and posting them here. If you have any questions about our off grid life, please feel free to ask, I certainly don’t mind answering questions. :)
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