I'm back at Wheaton Labs and have some more photos ready to post.
Miles - Yes the stovepipe goes up through the hole at the top of the teepee. I guess we didn't install it until the day after i took that last teepee picture.
Spring is well under way. Everything seems to be blooming, leafing out, and doubling in size when you blink.
First i have a photo of what looks like Slender Woodland Star (Lithophragma tenellum). The other woodland stars look very similar, but have slight variations on leaf and petal divisions and blossom size. These small perennials were popping up everywhere on the dry grassy hillsides.
The second photo is of a buttercup. As there are about 40 different buttercups in the Ranunculus genus that grow in Montana, i wasn't able narrow this down to the species. These are poisonous when fresh but rarely are eaten in large enough quantity. The foul taste and blisters it causes in the mouths of animals, means it is usually avoided. Some animals will eat it in desperation if all other plants have already been eaten.
The third photo is of a Yellowbell (Fritillaria pudica). The small bulb of the yellowbells is edible raw or cooked. It can also be dried for later use. There will be tiny bulblets attached to the bulb. When harvesting, you should spread those bulblets back in the hole to ensure food for the future.
While I do think all of the people you mentioned are indeed lovely people, I don't think you or they would qualify for the 1%. This is what Google says: "The latest numbers from the IRS—based on just-released data from 2013 tax returns—show what it takes to be among the top 1% of income earners: At least $428,713 of adjusted gross income." That is after many deductions, I'm sure, so their actual income could be much higher.
It might not be an issue in BC, but for anyone else considering putting bat houses on poles or trees, be sure to include a snake guard. Otherwise, a snake can drive away the bats by munching on them and their young.
"Not self fertile" just means that if you have one tree (or all of one grafted clone) you won't get apples. When you grow trees from seed, each is a different variety and will be able to pollinate each other.
The first photo is the finished teepee. It now has the stovepipe for the rocket mass heater and the new door installed. While Kai and i were installing the stovepipe on this sunny day, we noticed how nice it felt inside. It was warmer out of the wind, but even more noticeable was how good the quality of light coming through the canvas felt. If you are looking for a weekend to reduce the toxins in your life, consider coming for a stay in the teepee and sleeping on a buckwheat hull mattress kept toasty warm over the cob mass of a RMH like they are talking about in this thread.
The kitchen counters in Wofati 0.8 are unfinished wood and they started to get stained and were pretty dirty when i moved in. I started sanding them. In the second picture you can see the difference between the upper newly sanded counter and the lower counter. The wood of the lower counter has never been sanded and probably looks a little worse that the top one did. After sanding i used pure raw linseed oil to help seal the wood.
The third photo is of the beets i started fermenting in this earlier post. They came out good. They were fairly sour, but still crunchy. The water rim crock seems to have worked to keep mold from growing on the top of the brine. One disadvantage i found was the need to monitor the water level in the rim. Usually i had to add water every few days, but sometimes i had to add it daily. The other disadvantage was that the rim made it hard to wash the crock out. Even when completely upside down, i couldn't get all of the water to drain out. Overall, the lack of mold is a big plus. I'll be sure to use it again next year and see if i get the same results.
Miles, the first picture is of the top of the teepee door where they marked the spot for the holes, but didn't punch them. I asked the manufacturer if i could just punch holes where they marked them. They said it needed some stitching around the holes and they would send another one that was finished.
While i was in Missoula, i picked up some of the bikes that Freecycles donated to Wheaton Labs. They are an awesome organization that does a ton of stuff on a tiny budget. This thread tells about them and the latest fundraising push that was mentioned in the daily-ish (which is why they are sending us bikes). If you haven't already, head over to their fundraising page and be sure to mention permies in your comment to thank them for sending awesome bikes for guests and visitors to the Labs.
The snow we got earlier was still on the ground when we had a bit of rain. The rain made a nice sheet of ice on the road when the temperature dropped back below freezing at night. Everywhere that car tires had packed the snow was too slippery to bike on, so i was biking through some undisturbed snow at the edge of the road. I felt like an ice-class ship breaking through the ice as the tires crunched through the crust on top of the snow. I stopped to take off a layer and noticed the shattered ice chunks where my tires had been.
We got the poles set up. We used the last pole to lift the fabric into place. We used wooden pins to close the seam of the teepee. We Kai was on the ladder doing the pins, it looked like he was wearing a bit teepee dress. The door cover that came with the teepee arrived without the holes needed to mount it, so we couldn't attach it yet.
The fabric of the teepee that covers the rocket mass heater on the Lab started to deteriorate. To much sun and moisture and made the fabric weak. It started to get holes that could not be sewn or patched. Paul decided to get a new teepee to protect the cob of the mass. The new teepee is slightly larger than the old teepee, so it required new poles too. Kai and i set up the poles. A teepee is built around a tripod of the strongest poles. So first we tied them together and then moved it over the mass. Good thing the guy that sold the poles included an extra one for free. As we moved it, we lost control and when the tripod hit the berm, the top snapped off. Ouch. We tried again more carefully, and were successful.
Kai is building a skiddable shed for drying some lumber he plans to mill. While we were figuring out how to use the tools to make a mortise and tenon, we made a huge hammer. The first photo is of Kai wielding this massive hammer.
The weather started turning chilly and there was some pretty ice in the puddles.
Now you can't even see the puddles, because everything got covered in several inches of snow. This time it is cold enough and there was enough snow that it didn't just melt immediately.
Thanks Sue! I was surprised to see individual flakes here, because the only time i would see them in Minnesota was when it was very cold and pretty dry. When the temp is warmer and the snow is wetter, they usually just form clumps. These were a little lumpy, but you could still see the distinct shape.
Today's photos are of a few more unidentified fungi.
The first photo is of a female Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens). It was flying from stalk to stalk of the mullein and i'm guessing it was eating the larvae of some Mullein Seed-Eating Weevils (Gymnetron tetrum) that i mentioned earlier. It wasn't camera shy and let me follow it around outside of 0.8.
The second photo is of a little snow. Well, maybe little isn't the right word. I know Evan said he saw quarter-sized flakes, but occasionally i would look and see flakes at least 1.5" across.
With the snow falling, it was a good morning to pickle some beets. I packed as many beets as i could into this fancy new fermentation crock. It has a water rim that is supposed to reduce/eliminate the mold that forms above the brine. It even came with ceramic stones to keep the veggies below the brine. I've never tried one of these before, so i'm curious to see how things turn out. I want to peek inside to see what's happening, but i know that will just let in the microorganisms (and oxygen) that the water is designed to keep out. I'll just have to trust that it is working and see what comes of it.
The first photo is Hemlock Varnish Shelf (Ganoderma tsugae). This one was all old and wrinkled. It is used medicinally for suspected anti-tumor properties.
The second is likely the Gem-studded Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatuma) This little puffball is probably sending out clouds of spores when it gets hit with a raindrop. If you get them while they are white inside, they are edible, but not at this stage.
The third photo is of Orange Jelly Fungus (Dacrymyces chrysospermus). It is a rather flavorless edible fungus. It is usually added to soups for its chewy texture. This one looked like little corn kernels growing out of a log.
I went with a friend to do a little hiking at the not too far away Glacier National Park. It was raining and the clouds blocked the full height of the mountains around us, but we still saw some pretty views.
The first photo is of Avalanche Creek where it cut some crazy rock formations on its way down the mountain.
The second photo is of Avalanche Lake, where you can just make out some massive mountains that were surrounding us.
The third photo is of the exposed roots of an old tree that had fallen along the Trail of the Cedars.
Sounds like a good experiment. You could try it and let us know how it goes. I don't think it matters too much on the time of year for inoculation of a standing tree. But, if it has been dead too long, then it will already have another fungus eating it.
I drove with a friend to the nearby Jerry Johnson Hot Springs.
The first photo is one of the nice views along the road as it follows the West Fork Lolo Creek. Fall is fully underway!
The second photo is of Warm Springs Creek that the hot springs feed into. It has lots of pretty moss covered rocks. If the weather was warmer, i bet this would be a nice creek to walk in.
The third photo is one of the many mushrooms we found growing under the cedar and hemlock canopy. As the fall rains have shown up the mushrooms have started popping up everywhere. These are fairly distinctive, but i still couldn't ID them with google. Anyone know them?