Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wood considerations

So, what I'd intended to talk about yesterday was the wood piles, and our wood situation in general. We're doing very well in terms of wood level this year which is a nice place to be. Of course, with the wood stove out of commission we'll be using even less than expected. With it being a warm winter we haven't been burning as much as we normally would to begin with. What that means is we're going to have a lot of wood left over.

For the most part having extra wood left after the winter is a good thing, but it does mean that we're going to want to go through the piles and find everything that is rotting or punky, and use it up in fun bonfires. Punky wood makes a lot of smoke, and creosote which isn't a good thing for burning in a wood stove. Even when you do clean the chimney monthly the way I have taken to doing. For burning in a fire pit though, that's not a big deal, especially when the fire is just for entertainment and sitting around with friends rather then warmth. The other side of things that is interesting is that wood can actually be "too dry" for heating. Essentially if the wood is too dry a lot of the heating potential of the wood will be wasted in the form of smoke which also becomes creosote. Wood being too dry for good burning is one of the things I never would have imagined before burning wood regularly.
Also outside, as you can see from the Top, and Right photos, the snow is barely still covering the ground. We are actually unusual in that our ground is covered by snow still unlike the valley. The biggest down side of this I've seen for the farmers in the valley is the loss of topsoil. On windy says instead of blowing snow, there are dust storms obscuring view instead. I don't know how much topsoil they are losing, but that is very much a problem I hadn't considered about not having snow. While I personally don't like snow all that much, especially in the ice everywhere phase of its life, I have been developing more of an appreciation for it this winter due to the many ways I've been learning that it helps.
For the past few days we've been in the 40s during the day, and in the 20s at night. The poultry has been enjoying the weather quite a lot, unsurprisingly. They've already started foraging in addition to the food we're putting out. With weather like this their water situation also hasn't been a big thing. I put out fresh water every day, but most days they don't even touch it. Unfortunately most of my poultry photos today didn't turn out so I'll have to see if I can get more before I next talk about them.

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