Friday, September 23, 2016

Splitting piss pine..

As noted earlier (Aspen Errors...7/8/15) we live in a mature stand of aspen, birch, and white spruce that (like me) are past their prime. This leads to an abundance of dead or dying trees that need to be bucked up and split. Haven't even dropped the dead ones from this past year since there's still wood to split from last year. The birch and spruce are no problem since they split, dry, and burn well. But the aspen's different. The bark holds moisture that keeps split wood from drying and it's distinctive odor is often euphemistically referred to as piss pine. I've tried different ways over the years, but finally came up with a method to split and debark the aspen.
Start a split an inch or so from the edge.

Then rotate and continue to split an edge until you basically create a square log.

Then quarter the squared log.

Finally, split near the edge of the outer pieces to peel off the bark. Some have to to cleaned up with an axe, but in the end, all the bark's off. While it takes a little longer to split, you wind up with wood that dries faster, burns hotter, and best of all, doesn't smell like piss pine.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fall colors...

Not much going on except trying to finish the summer projects before the snow flies. But we did have a decent sunset the other night...
And the backlighting from the sunset (alpine glow) turned the yellow aspen leaves orange...
Since his close call with the reaper, Ruty no longer chases squirrels and voles, but he still goes out to enjoy the fall sunshine. Instead of moving around to stalk critters, now he only moves to stay in the sun.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fall's coming...

HERE'S THE NWS MONTHLY WEATHER SUMMARY FOR AUGUST 2016 FOR FAIRBANKS

August 2016 was warmer and drier than normal. The average high temperature was 70.2 degrees which was 4.3 degrees above the normal. The average low temperature was 52.1 degrees which was 5.7 degrees above the normal low temperature. This is the warmest average low temperature in 110 years of record. The average mean temperature was 62.1 degrees which was 5.0 degrees above the normal mean temperature of 56.1 degrees. The warmest temperature in August was 79 degrees, which occurred on 13th. The coldest temperature was 42 degrees, which occurred on the 31st.

After the very wet months of June and July...August was the only month this summer with below normal precipitation of 1.56 inches .For the summer season of June, July, and August, 9.82 inches of rain fell at the Fairbanks airport which ranks as the 6th wettest summer on record.

Looking to September, sunshine continues to decrease by 6 and a half minutes per day with the daylight decreasing from 14 hours and 33 minutes on the 1st to 11 hours and 20 minutes on the 30th. The average daily high temperature decreases from 60.5 degrees on the 1st to 46.2 degrees on the 30th. The average daily low temperature decreases from 41.3 degrees on the 1st to 30.1 degrees on the 30th. The average rainfall is 1.1 inches and the average snowfall in September is 1.8 inches.

And the leaves are a turin'.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Mo' Taters...

Of course when you think of bringing in Taters...
  You'd think of this little lady (Growin' Taters 6/28/15), but no...

It's the time of year to harvest the garden. And this year, there's a bumper crop of red, yukon gold, and cal white potatoes.

Fall kind of snuck up on us this year, cause we had a relatively warm and dry August. But a cold front came through yesterday and we're supposed to get a hard frost tonight. So it's time to pick, pull or cover what's left in the garden.