Showing posts from October, 2008

Fire on the Mountain

This picture shows the mountain across the valley from us. It's "the Mine", Endako Mines, to be exact and the fires are some slash piles that are being burnt.

The clearing is to make way for an expansion of the tailing pile. It's petty huge, probably several kilometers long. Fortunately the way the mine is laid out it isn't visible from the valley on either side. The burning looks pretty spectacular at night. This time of year is the traditional time to burn all the slash piles -- the ground is wet and there is no danger of the fires getting out of control. It does make you wonder tho - all that wood fiber just being burnt to get rid of it. Just doesn't seem very appropriate given this energy conscious age we live in. I wonder if someone a few generations from now would react when we tell them: " wood - we had so much we burned anything that we couldn't make lumber out of"?

We have the chickens all battened down for winter now. The "c…


I haven't been keeping up with the blogging lately as I have been pretty busy around the joint doing the last minute things before the real snow comes. We've had a few warnings. Both of the main vehicles, the Toyota and AWD van now have new, studded winter tires complete with rims. After a quick trip to Prince George to the local Kenworth dealer I've ordered the parts to get the skidsteer back up and running. And humming and hawing about an eight foot plow that would fit the skidsteer. In between all this I have been working on a few other projects.

My brother Tom came up a few days ago and we spent the whole day studding the shop/garage. Normally it wouldn't take so long but we had to notch just about every stud to fit a plate that was from the old pole barn construction. When we were done we had it done and even hung the side door.

Today need to do some wiring so I can put a vapour barrier on the ceiling so I can put some OSB on the ceiling so I can put OSB on the…

Strawberries in October

Two of them anyway. What a surprise. The weather was looking a little dark in the West so we spent the day cleaning out the garden, digging up the last of the yard turnips, cabbages, and getting the tires covered for winter. The lettuce, spinach and Chard still holding up in their tire cold frames.

Last season the mice got to the parsnips before we did and devoured every one, leaving just the tops - just like that rascally wabit in the cartoons. This year we had plenty of yard patrol with the cats and dogs and that definatly put a damper on the mice's vegetable smorgasbord. We found one little turnip that had been someones lunch but that was the only damage.

The moment we brought the last of the produce into the house the skies let loose.

The warmth from the fireplace was especially nice that night.

We are the most prepared for winter that we have ever been. Garden hoses all brought in. Yard tidied up. Snow dump paths cleared. Chicken runs and tractor all insulated. Even the wi…


We spent a couple of days with our friends RT & Rhoda, Tommy and Molly in Prince Rupert. Prince Rupert ( called Rupert by the Ruperites) is a seven hour drive along highway 16 to the Pacific ocean to the West. We went from +2500 feet and -7c late fall conditions to sea level where the trees were hardly changing colour. And no bug kill. The coniferous forests are all Spruce, Hemlock, and Ceder and delightfully vibrantly green. We had a clear sunny day until we passed through Terrace when we made a change to grey overcast and rainy coastal weather.

'Rupert is a very funky town. Smaller houses from the War years and earlier. When a family of four lived in under a thousand square feet. Many of them lovingly restored. Some melting away in moss covered disrepair. We want to spend some time doing a photo shoot of the place.

RT, Molly and the indifatigable Tommy showed us all the great trails. Some spectacular runs through West Coast rain forest, Ghosts of the old giant ceder a…


When we got up this morning it was -7c. Time to start scraping the windsheilds.

I also decided it was time to "winterize" the chicken "A" frame and run. This year I just covered the A frame with Tyvek. It's tougher than plastic but not as transparent. I may tuc tape some clear windows in. The north side has canvas on it and I will add a couple of inches of insulation before the temperatures drop too far.

One more "before it snows" job.

Super Septic Sucking Service Success

Late last evening, just as we were lugging in the bounty from the re-tired garden, we heard the septic sucker truck crawling up the driveway. Excellent timing as: (a) The tank was full to over flowing and (b) Today it's raining cats and dogs. A couple of phrases you don't want to hear from your friendly sucking service: (1) "This is the worst one I have ever seen." and (2) " We'll see if I can get it out- I just don't know.."Fortunatly, with the help of our rather high water pressure, and a couple of dozen flushes, to say nothing of a giant vacuum on a Kenworth truck--it all came out. Right down to bare fiberglass tank. Whew! what a releif. I didn't fancy digging up a full septic tank. Just a shitty situation. One more "before snow" job complete.

Earlier, well practically all day, we spent in the garden. Harvesting Spuds, Beets, Kohlrabi, 'Nips and some carrots. We put some lids on tires of Spinach and Chard, which are st…

Instant Root Cellar

Yesterday (Saturday Oct, 4) I was in a meeting from 8:AM until about 1PM. A friend of mine and his strapping sons gave me a hand, well actually lots of them, to move a huge commercial type fridge from the Endako hall to our place. It doesn’t work very well as a fridge. The compressor is probably shot but I don’t care about that. I am going to mount it on some pallets outside downstairs under the balcony, and put a light bulb attached to a thermostat in it to keep the temperature around 10C. Then we can use it as a stand up cold storage. It’s about six feet high and a couple of feet deep.

I may glue some styrofoam to the sides and top and doors to increase the thermal efficiency, and a pan of water inside should keep the humidity fairly high. I do have warning bells going off about the door seals freezing shut if it gets to -30C but we’ll see.

It is a heavy beast, far more than me and Jo-Ann could of handled. I want to get the garden cleared out except for some test patches tha…

How Much Wood Can a Woodchuck..

I have the pipe and conduit installed for the green house and we took a break from that project to get some of the winter wood in.

That's what we did yesterday. And a special place in Hell is awarded to people who put nails in trees.

This necessitates a lot of this.

By the end of the day there was some groaning, and when I got back from a meeting in town it sounded like some one had started a chain saw in the living room. It might have been Jo-Ann flaked out on the couch. Xena doesn't snore that loud. I did manage to catch her in a very restful pose: " When I slick my ears back does it make my butt look skinnier?"

It has been unbelievably warm weather here. It got up to 20C (68F) yesterday with a warm wind blowing. Threatening rain, but so far it hasn't come. The wind picked up last night and knocked a bunch of poplar leaves down on the road, and today the temperature plumeted to 5c(41F) with a forecast of rain for the next couple of days. A 15 degree drop in …

Dig We Must

Yesterday we started to underground the electrcal and water lines out to the garden close to where the green house is going. Tiny's excavator made short work of that. And then I had to scramble to town to get some more pipe so that I can extend the run.

Seeing we were digging the day we day lighted the septic tank. It's true, the grass is always greener over the septic tank. I have been nervous about the tank since we replaced the one at Grandma's as it was newer than the main house. As it turns out tho the tank at the house was fiberglass and looks to be in good shape. However it was full to the brim with grim. We have a call into the local septic sucking service ( you gotta love how that sounds..) That last thing I want in January, when it's -30C, is a plugged up septic system.

Of course it took Xena but a few minutes to find the wonderfully odoriferous contents of the septic access clean out and roll all over in it. Gotta love that perfume. " And look h…