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 "chicken tractor" is covered with tyvek and then I tuc taped windows so that the girls could look out.
The back side is covered with two inches of pink styrofoam and the bottom rests on 1/2 inch plywood on two inches of styrofoam. When the temperature gets to -14 or so we also cover the front at night. Even at freezing the temperature on the inside is +15C. Of course thats with a heat lamp providing some sun tan power during the night. The Chucks sure like it. They seem to be getting over a molt and back to laying eggs.
We essentially moved all the "good" soil from the old "normal" garden over to the re-tired one. What was left seems to have had a bunch of turnip seed left in it from last year because we got a pretty good crop just growing in a pile of left over soil.
Probably in the spring I will move it over to join the pile of clay I am amending with sand, cow patties, and compost. It's starting to look very promising. It's so big I have to use the excavator to turn it over.