This week’s focus was firewood. We are terribly behind on putting up enough firewood to heat the house for the winter. We have been blessed with an opportunity to gather already bucked-up rounds from someone’s property where they took out a bunch of trees several years ago to put in a road. So we have been collecting those and bringing them to our property to split. So far we have been hand-splitting with an axe because we didn’t yet have enough rounds to warrant renting the splitter for the weekend. But we have now collected enough and next week we will split, split, and split some more…oh and stack too. We need about 5 cords of wood to heat our house for winter.
Meanwhile, while we were focusing on firewood, a surprise came our way. Last weekend we finished the retaining wall for Mr. Smiles’ play area.
We were surprised to see how huge of an amount of fill dirt we are going to need to fill in what is a pretty shallow hill grade. But we weren’t planning to deal with filling it until spring, so we figured we needed to start saving up and would deal with it later. Then very suddenly on Tuesday, Mtn Man came upon an opportunity for some free fill. He called and told me to get ready because it was coming that afternoon. We were able to fill about 1/3 of the area with the free dirt! What a blessing! He also arranged for us to hopefully get some more free fill over the next few months to finish it off. That will be so wonderful!
I wanted to put a pic here with the dirt fill in the play area, but wordpress keeps giving me errors when I try to upload them.
And then we got a couple more surprises that changed our plans – we filled two of our buck tags for the year. All of our red meat to feed our family comes from hunting deer and elk, so that was a nice step towards having the meat we need for the next year. We stopped our firewood efforts to deal with butchering those and getting them in the freezer.
We have been working on using the lumber from the huge trees we took down for someone to build the raised beds for the second veggie garden. We were able to finish about 2/3 of the boxes with the lumber we have. Next spring we will fill it with soil and compost and get the wildlife fence up around it and start using it. At some point, when we get some more lumber, we will finish building the rest of the boxes.
Again, was going to put before and after pics here, but for some reason wordpress won’t upload those specific pics. I’ll share them in a future post.
This new garden will more than double the amount of vegetables and herbs we are growing to feed our family. What a blessing!
We had a breakout this week. Someone forgot to caribener the gate latch and one of the animals got it open. The LGD, sheep, and goat all got out. Thankfully, the goat and sheep were happy to start grazing right outside the barnyard, and with 5 of us we were able to get them back into the barnyard. The LGD, however, was another story. She took advantage of her new found freedom and followed her nose on an adventure. Thankfully, we found her pretty quickly over in the forest behind our neighbor’s house. It was a pretty stressful adventure, that I hope we can avoid repeating.
I finished another pair of socks this week. These are again, the Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern. They are done with some yarn Mtn Man made me with CVM wool and dyed Bamboo. They are bulky and cozy winter socks for Young Man, and I am happy with them.
I also finished my first ever weaving project, and I am starting to warp the next one. More on that in a coming post.
Pine Seeds are Falling
Something interesting that happens every two years up here in the Ponderosa Pine forests is the pine trees release their seeds. The trees are covered with beautiful cones right now.
Some are still closed tight, but they are currently all opening and releasing their seeds. In this pic you can see the closed ones on the left, and the opens on the right.
And here is a close up that shows both closed and open.
The seeds have little sails on them to carry them through the air.
And they are EVERYWHERE. All over the ground, all over the cars, all over the buildings.
What I love most about this aspect of nature is listening to hear the cones open up. If you just rush through your day and don’t stop and listen you wont even notice them. In fact I lived here for YEARS and never heard them. And I have talked to many people who have lived here for YEARS and never heard them. It is that subtle. But if you take time to stop, be quiet, and listen, you can hear the cones opening. It is a very quiet crackling popping kind of sound. So I have been making sure to take the time to stop and listen to the trees this week.