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We’ve been a little disappointed by the contribution of our wind turbine. A Chinook wind came through a few days ago, warming us into the low 40’s. The turbine spun and hummed enthusiastically, but whether the tower’s too short (because we couldn’t manage to get that last ten-foot segment on it), or due to interference from nearby trees, or simply not enough steady wind, the turbine isn’t generating much power yet. That leaves us almost entirely dependent on solar power, though we do have a gas back-up generator.

This is what 11 a.m. looks like!

We don’t use much electricity; we’ve switched back to using propane lights almost exclusively. We might turn on the radio for news in the morning or music in the evening, but that takes very little power. What does require energy is charging batteries on tools and computers, and our internet connection. So I’ll make this post a short one.

The sun’s trajectory is starkly lower now. No longer strong enough to make the climb over the trees, the sun now peers lazily through them. We discovered that shade was putting the panels to sleep by mid-day. As much as we hated to do it, we had to top off several nice trees and cut down a large old stand entirely. Gary being the only one actually doing anything, he really hated to do it.

Gary on the ladder with his hand saw topping an offending tree

The spruce forest has grown up fast around our place; pictures from the sixties show very few trees. Now hundreds of shrub-high trees foretell an increasingly forested future, so we know what we cut will grow back. Still, it doesn’t escape us that no matter how small we try to make our footprint on the environment, we are cutting down trees for lumber, firewood and, sometimes, simply because they are in our way.

Sunrise:  9:20 a.m.
Sunset:  5:59 p.m.
Weather:  High 10, low -2, sunny and hazy. No wind.