11 October 2007

Water and (predictably) fire

Dawn mist over the hayfieldThe mornings are becoming very autumnal now - stout shoes are required to avoid having soaking wet feet from the dew. Twice now there's been a coyote lurking in the hay field in the mornings when Mike has taken Toby for his morning walk. As we've found a couple of skulls of small carnivores - possibly foxes - in the field, Mike decided that the wisest thing to do was to put Toby back on the lead and take him home.

Pipes to water tankWe still have a water shortage in the house, so Mike ordered two huge tanks (they hold around 6,000 litres (1550 US gallons) each) with the aim of filling them from the roof of the big barn. The tanks arrived when I was in the UK, so Mike had to roll them up to the barn by himself. He says he looked and felt like a dung beetle. The barn already has guttering on the south side of the roof which is about 4000 square feet (370 square metres), but some of the guttering was blocked and they all emptied onto a patch of concrete, which wasn't much use. So on Tuesday Mike unblocked the gutters and attached the ends to one of the big tanks . It's a bit jury-rigged at the moment, while we make sure it works.

Big water tankThen we had to wait for some rain (a familiar activity by now), which finally arrived around midnight yesterday. We only had 2.6mm (a tenth of an inch), but that has given us 200 gallons in the first tank, which is great. Now we've just got to work out how to get the water from the barn down to the cistern in the house...

Wood-burning stoveOur new wood-burning stove was installed today in the living room, where before we'd just had a fireplace with glass doors. It looks great and we're both keen to test it out, although the temperature doesn't really warrant lighting a fire yet. I wonder who will crack first.

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