Saturday, November 19, 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like winter

Now that we can officially claim our first snowfall...

...we've been busily battening down hatches for the winter. This is something of an ongoing process all through the fall, but snow makes it seem more pressing.

The snow didn't last long, but it did serve to illustrate some interesting contrasts in the garden:

Snow on the "amazing" peas:

Snow on strawberries:

Snow on wildflowers:

Yesterday Don cut and split some firewood. Today is cold (35F) and miserably rainy, but we got the wood stacked on the porch.

Since we heat the house exclusively with wood, having a nice supply is essential.

We're also at an age where a log splitter is a godsend.

We already had a moderate supply on hand... Don loaded the wheelbarrow with what he split yesterday and trundled it to the porch, where I stacked.

This should last us three weeks or more.

Last month, while renovating the little greenhouse into a part of the chicken coop, we salvaged a wooden crate that had been tucked inside. It turned out to be the perfect size and shape to stack kindling. Before this, we just jumbled the kindling on the porch in an annoying pile.

We keep the hatchet on the porch as well, for times we need to split the kindling into thinner pieces.

Yep, it's beginning to look a lot like winter around here.


  1. Wind, rain, sleet and snow here today, and only 39 degrees a little bit ago. Not my favorite kind of weather!

  2. Something inside me loves repetitive, mindless, manual labor, and looking at all those logs wanting to be bucked and split just looks like loads of fun ... and then I go try splitting some of my own bucked logs and decide that maybe it's not all that fun, after all.

    Does the little notch in the bottom of the hatchet blade, near the handle, serve a particular purpose? I've never known of one...

  3. I still box up my kindling, but I have started a couple years ago to put the kindling in with the firewood in the stacks. Sounds odd I know, but the amount seems to be about right every morning when I build my fire and it is quite handy.---ken

  4. We purchase our wood now, just got to old to do the labor. This year the cost of propane has gotten low enough that we will be burning a lot less wood. The propane is actually cheaper than the wood although the last 6 years or so we set the thermostat to 69 so I do not have any idea how much propane we will use this year. The 69 degree meant that we did not have to worry about keeping the stove full when we go to bed. It would be down to a few coals in the morning at that but would still be warm. The price of the wood has not gone up for 4 years it is just that the propane has gone down.

  5. careful about hatchet. if metal is too cold it may shatter when you strike a blow with it.
    should be kept inside.

  6. Four more months til spring! From a fellow Idahoan.

  7. Hi Patricia,

    I tried posting yesterday on a mobile device and it didn't make it through the blogosphere.

    The Kindling Cracker is a marvelous tool and we have used it for two years. It is much quicker to make kindling than any other tool I have used. Over the years, I have used different hatchets, each loaded with good chops, and yet I can make more kindling with any type of wood faster with the Kindling Cracker than with any of my hatchets or other devices. I don't worry about chopping with a sharp hatchet or axe because I was taught how to use them properly. Time is another matter entirely and the cracker makes kindling quickly.

    You should try out and write an article on how easy and quick it is to use.