What a tangled web we weave……

28 03 2016

John Weber, whose excellent articles about the fossil fuels needed to make renewable energy I have published here before, led me to a Jo Nova item on her website titled Renewables industry collapsing in Europe.  Nova is the penultimate climate denier, as you will quickly see if you visit the link to her blog. She based her entire article of the following interesting graph……:

eu-investment-renewables

When I see a chart like that, I don’t see the collapse of renewables……..  I see the collapse of Capitalism!  The difference between Nova and I is that I am utterly convinced climate change will destroy civilisation and most of life on Earth as we know it, no matter how much renewable energy systems we build, whereas she thinks AGW is crap, and we’re wasting precious dollars propping up an unnecessary industry.

Now I don’t care how much money we ‘waste’, it’s all monopoly play money; but all the same that chart is interesting because we are continually told about how great Europe’s renewable energy systems are, how Denmark, or Germany, or [insert your favorite EU country here] generated 50% or 100% or whatever of its energy demand (when of course it’s only electricity demand) on some days, as if that was some great breakthrough…..

Nova makes interesting comments, like this……:

Here’s a detail that tells us how big the malinvestment is here. There are nearly half a million people in Europe working in wind and solar to generate expensive electricity:

Jobs are being lost as a result. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, employment in solar photovoltaics in Europe fell by more than a third to 165,000 jobs in 2013, the last year for which it has yet collated figures. Jobs in wind energy rose slightly, by more than 5% in 2013, to nearly 320,000 across the bloc, with more than half of these in Germany.

Imagine if those people were doing something useful?

Yes……. imagine if all those people were doing something useful, like ending consumption and running their own permaculture farms……!

Here’s $329 billion very committed dollars worth of vested interests pushing the Climate Scare. Unlike the fossil fuel industry their profits depend almost entirely on government policy.

As Oil Crashed, Renewables Attract Record $329 Billion

renewables-investment-2004-2015

But does she mention the amount of fossil fuels subsidies…?  Of course not!

Here is a chart of fossil fuels subsidies……:

fossilfuel-subsidy-reforem-by-petar-vujanovic-2-638

Hmmmm……  looks like it’s double the renewables subsidies to me. And that chart is now 3 years old, I can’t help wondering if it’s not doing a cliff dive of its own…. oh wait, it IS!

There’s one thing Nova gets right…:

Whatever you do, don’t graph renewables output in actual megawatts. Don’t graph it in CO2 tons saved. Never ever even mention the number of global degrees of cooling.

The rest is pure bias on her part……

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Our power station is started…..

27 03 2016

All along, the shipping container at the very back of the Fanny Farm was going to be our ‘power station’. It’s where the Nickel Iron batteries due to arrive soon will reside, along with the inverter (which is now here) and electronic peripherals.  I will have at least one power point in there, and a fluoro strip light hanging off the ceiling, and I plan to move my freezer there to keep the batteries loaded because NiFe batteries prefer to not be floated.

20160324_124802

Setting out footings for frame

Initially, I had planned to put two rows of 250W panels on the roof (a total of eight), but changed my mind and am now putting a ‘lean-to’ frame against the Northern face of the container, reserving the roof space for header water tanks instead.  The PVs will assist in keeping the container cool by shading it; you’d better believe that even down here, it gets hot inside….. so I have also started cutting holes in the sides for vents, and hopefully after Easter I will have a whirlybird on the roof to vent the whole thing. I will be picking up the solar panels on Tuesday.

The frame I designed is built of 50mm angle steel, which one of the local talented men cut and welded for me.  Pete’s a blacksmith and boiler maker, and the quality of his work is second to none. I could have tried to do it myself, but I didn’t have a large enough (3.5m x 4m) flat surface that would not catch on fire to do the welding, so decided to let the expert do it……

Pete only lives maybe one kilometre away, but moving this frame proved challenging. Pete’s neighbour owns the local hardware store, and he used to own our property to boot. Andrew has gotten to know me well after spending many hundreds of dollars in his shop, and when Pete asked him if we could borrow the store’s flat tray truck, Andrew agreed. Free of charge too!

Only after we had loaded the frame on the truck did it suddenly occur to Pete that it might not fit through his front gate opening!  Miraculously, it did, scraping on the steel gate side, and scratching the wood off his gate post on the other……  We could not have done this on purpose if we’d tried!

20160326_095111

Now of course the widest legal vehicle in Australia is 2.4m wide.  Wider things are allowed on the road, but they need an escort with flashing lights, and sometimes even police…. but this is Geeveston, and being Easter, traffic was down quite a bit, so we decided to make a run for the 600m or so down Arve road unescorted!  Except for me at the front, pretty much in the middle of the road with headlights blazing and hazard lights flashing.  In the end, only one car came the other way, and I simply waved him down and asked him to park off the road as we crossed paths.  No problem.

Until as I drove through my own gate opening, it struck me that the frame might not fit through that one either….. but like at Pete’s place, it did, just, with one millimetre to spare .  That entrance width must be a standard Tasmanian dimension!

Mark who is from Cygnet way and is going to help me wire the whole thing up was waiting for us at the shed, and we all drove up together to unload the truck at the container. I painted the edge that will be in permanent contact with the container, and while waiting for the paint to dry, Pete took the truck back to the hardware store, and Mark and I started discussing solar energy and energy efficient houses…… it’s amazing how I keep meeting people who are on the same page as me!

Mark and I then lifted the frame into position, and he left having things to do elsewhere….. which of course is when my new wwoofers arrived.  Talk about a rollercoaster morning….

Simon (who is Danish) and his girlfriend Annéa (who is French) settled in and had lunch.

20160326_142633

Simon working on my frame

Simon and I later tackled screwing the frame to the container, which turned out harder than either of us thought. The legs were concreted in, and as I type, the pair of them are painting the bare metal with killrust.

So now, all I need are batteries…… you have to be patient in this game.

 

20160323_095025

How can you not love my Huon Valley………?

 





Tasmania’s Greek Tragedy…..

23 03 2016

Just when I thought Tasmania’s electricity woes could not get any worse…….  they did. And they haven’t just gone from bad to worse, they have morphed from tragic to farcical.

Tasmania’s dam levels are dropping fast, some so critically, like the Great Lake, that it has been shut down altogether.  There’s talk of draining Lake Pedder to raise water levels elsewhere in the system, but would you believe it, the morons in charge are actually balking at the idea.  There are rumors that if Lake Pedder’s iconic beach was brought back from the dead, Hydro Tasmania would not be allowed to flood it again.  But if you think that’s weird, wait, there’s more…..

Here is a chart showing the flow of electricity through Basslink, the electric cable, now down for several months, joining Victoria to Tasmania…..:

basslink-flows

If you’re paying attention, unlike the morons in charge of Tassie’s electricity, you will notice something odd happened on the way to the market…..  the electricity market that is.

Until 2010-11, Tasmania was overwhelmingly a nett power importer. Then, during 2010-11 and 2011-12, Tasmania dramatically increased its exports to the point of equaling imports. Suddenly, in 2012-13, Tasmania’s Basslink’s imports plummeted to 2.6% of its electricity consumption (see page 130 of the link).  By 2013-14, Tassie was importing almost nothing at all via Basslink – shedloads of energy was going the other way.  What was going on you are likely to ask?

Well, remember the Gillard government? (yes I know, it’s a lot of Prime Ministers ago….) In August 2010, Julia Gillard cheerfully introduced a ‘carbon tax’. Gillard’s scheme (not a ‘Carbon tax’ according to the ALP) made ‘renewable’ hydroelectricity artificially more price competitive in the energy market. In turn, Tasmania’s government, who owned Hydro Tasmania became decidedly giddy with excitement… and greed.  After all, why worry about Tasmanians’ electricity requirements when you can make money hand over fist, seemingly for free?  (you knew the environment comes for free, right??)

The results look like this……..:

hydro-tasmania-storage-graph-2010-2016

You can clearly see the Winter inflows making the levels rise, and the Summer dry season making the levels go down…..  Now, before the Carbon Tax was introduced, levels rarely dropped below 30%, giving this state a relatively good safety cushion in case of a drought…. and seeing as Climate Change is going to bring us more droughts, then it’s a good idea to keep this buffer.  Right?  Unless of course there’s money to be made….!! Never get between a conservative government and a stash of free money, let me tell you…. they will run straight over the top of you (by the way I consider a Labor government to be conservative these days…)

Hydro Tasmania must’ve been licking its lips as it flicked the Basslink switch into reverse, and recklessly ploughed through more than half of its stored energy supply (i.e. stored water) during the carbon tax period:

The figures show that Tasmanian hydro generators have been selling electricity into the mainland market at unprecedented rates, drawing down storage levels dramatically since the carbon price was implemented in July 2012.

And if you operate a hydroelectricity plant and you flog off all your stored water much faster than the rain can re-fill your dam, you’re going to be in a lot of pain….

Along comes the drought we had to have (sorry Paul…)

You think the drought’s bad right…… well wait, there’s more!

According to the Mercury….:

BASSLINK owners sought to restrict Hydro Tasmania’s electricity exports and enforce a “cooling off” protocol during the period of the carbon tax to ensure the undersea cable was operated safely and reliably.

The news comes as Basslink prepares to cut the cable today [March 10 2016] and enable the cause of the fault to be pinpointed.

After three outages in July 2012, Basslink parent company Cityspring Infrastructure Trust sought to enforce what it called a “dynamic protocol” on the service agreement between it and Hydro, which enable it to transmit at “certain elevated levels”.

But the company said the outages came after Hydro transmitted electricity at levels above these in early July.

Yes, you read right, the greedy bastards fried the cable……… Look, I’m no electrical engineer, but I do know that if you put too much current through a cable, the black smoke locked inside that cable will be released.  Except you can’t see it underwater….!

The cable has been cut…….  but they still haven’t found the fault.  If you ask me, this doesn’t look good.  And a whole lot of other Tasmanians agree.  Just the other night on ABC TV news, Hydro Tasmania engineers were interviewed about why they are installing external plugs for running their houses off generators, and stocking up on batteries and, you won’t believe this, candles…….  only in Tasmania!  CSIRO is also planning for the worst.

Yes Tasmania, you are run by buffoons…….

On a personal level, my off the grid system is coming along.  Today, the Victron inverter arrived; I purchased the steel Pete the blacksmith will turn into a lean-to frame to be bolted onto the shipping container; and I have located eight 260W Trina panels for $2000 locally which I will pick up after Easter.  All I need now is for my Nickel Iron batteries to arrive from Russia, and I will be ready for the rolling blackouts now looming on the horizon.  As my freezer is the biggest energy consumer in the shed, I will move it to the container as soon as the solar power system is up and running…. and if rolling blackouts do eventuate, I will also move the fridge there, and maybe the TV too and abandon the shed to Hydro Tasmania……  they can all get stuffed.

UPDATE

This story got some airtime on ABC TV the other day, and to my utter disgust it was mentioned that the executives of Hydro Tasmania paid themselves $900,000 in bonuses at the height of the Carbon Tax frenzy, then $650,000 the year after, and $450,000 the year after that, for a grand total of $2,000,000…….

Not only should heads roll over this, but they should pay all that money back in my not so humble opinion.





Explaining the energy cliff

19 03 2016

While doing mindless tasks on the Fanny Farm, like dragging Macrocarpa branches around to clear the deck for the house building and stacking it on the back of the ute for removal, I tend to do a lot of thinking to keep the brain engaged…… and it occurred to me that very few people ‘get it’ when it comes to the predicament we here at DTM know as the Energy Cliff.

Now I expect nearly all my readers would know what I’m talking about, but likely have the same problem whenever trying to get people to understand what we are on about. So I came up with a metaphor that hopefully simplifies the concept for the masses.

I’m going to break some rules here, but the idea of this metaphor is not to come up with an accurate mathematical and/or physical model, rather a simple way to explain why we are fast running out of energy, even as we extract ever more oil and coal out of the ground.

It’s generally accepted that way back in the 1930’s the ERoEI of oil was 100:1; which means that for every unit of energy invested in finding, extracting, and refining this oil, 100 units were available to do work.  You know……. stuff like build the 20th Century!

This is where I start breaking rules.  I know that ERoEI is not an efficiency number, but I’m going to use it that way because in many ways it is like efficiency.  And for ease of using numbers, I’m going to say that that 1930’s oil had an energy efficiency of 100% – and yes, I know nothing has an efficiency of 100%.  Just bear with me….. this isn’t an exercise in maths and science, it’s a thought provoking process.

If you are unfamiliar with the energy efficiency calculations for a whole system, rather than a single part of that system, then the way it’s done is that you multiply the efficiency factors together (where 90% is 0.9, 75% is 0.75, and so on)

So if you have an energy source that is 90% efficient, running a motor that is 90% efficient, running a generator that is 90% efficient, and distributing electricity through a grid that is 75% efficient, then by the time the energy arrives at its destination, the efficiency of the system is 0.9 x 0.9 x 0.9 x 0.75 = 0.54675 or 54.675% efficient.  Three decimal places here is largely irrelevant.

This, by the way, demonstrates that complex systems made up of even very efficient components are not efficient!  And this is one of the dilemmas we face as we make our systems ever more complex….. even now.

This is not a problem when, like in the 1930’s, the system was not complex, and it was small, and the primary energy, oil, had an unbelievably high ERoEI to boot. So, to mine coal with an ERoEI of 90 in the US in the 1930’s had an ERoEI efficiency of 1.0 x 0.9 = 0.9.

Today, mining coal with an ERoEI of 50 with 12:1 oil gives us 0.12 x 0.5 = 0.06.

The nett energy efficiency available from coal has therefore dropped by a factor of 15!

Then consider this……  to use the above primary energies to make PVs with an ERoEI of 2.45:1 gives us nett energy efficiency of 0.0147.

And people out there actually want to power the world like this?

I know the maths are flawed, but is my thinking…?

 

 





Warming? What warming……?

19 03 2016

February 2016 was the hottest month ever measured on Earth. The Earth broke a heat record for the 10th month in a row in February, and it was broken it by a record margin as well.

The heat was nothing short of amazing with Alaska averaging out at over 6 degrees C above normal. That is nothing less than stunning. The odds that this warmth is part of a natural cycle have been shown to be at least 1500:1. More likely several thousand to a million to one. This heat is the result of rising greenhouse gas levels and the strong El Nino in the Pacific. El Nino events are always warm years globally, but to beat the record by this much is certainly caused by greenhouse gas levels being the highest in millions of years.

201602 (1)

More from NOAA:

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for February 2016 was the highest for February in the 137-year period of record, at 1.21°C (2.18°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.9°F). This not only was the highest for February in the 1880–2016 record—surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.33°C / 0.59°F—but it surpassed the all-time monthly record set just two months ago in December 2015 by 0.09°C (0.16°F). Overall, the six highest monthly temperature departures in the record have all occurred in the past six months. February 2016 also marks the 10th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken.

The average global temperature across land surfaces was 2.31°C (4.16°F) above the 20th century average of 3.2°C (37.8°F), the highest February temperature on record, surpassing the previous records set in 1998 and 2015 by 0.63°C (1.13°F) and surpassing the all-time single-month record set in March 2008 by 0.43°C (0.77°F).

Most of Earth’s land surfaces were warmer than average or much warmer than average, according to the Land & Ocean Temperature Percentiles map above, with record warmth notable across various areas of South America, much of southern Africa, southern and eastern Europe, around the Urals of Russia, and most of Southeast Asia stretching to northern Australia. Of significance, a vast region stretching from central Russia into eastern Europe, along with most of Alaska, observed February temperatures more than 5°C (9°F) above the 1981–2010 average, beyond the upper bounds of the Land & Ocean Temperature Departure from Average map shown above. A few pockets in Asia were cooler than average, including part of Far East Russia, with one area record cold in the upper Kamchatka Peninsula.

Select national information is highlighted below. (Please note that different countries report anomalies with respect to different base periods. The information provided here is based directly upon these data):

  • Australia observed its ninth warmest February since national records began in 1910, with a mean temperature 0.92°C (1.66°F) above the 1961–1990 average. The average maximum temperature for the country was eighth highest, at 1.43°C (2.57°F) above average.
  • New Zealand observed its second warmest February and second warmest month of any month since national records began in 1909, at 2.2°C (4.0°F) above the 1981–2010 average and behind February 1998 by only 0.1°C (0.2°F).
  • Strong west and southwest winds contributed to an average February temperature in Germany that was 3.0°C (5.4°F) above the 1961–1990 average.
  • February was the second warmest for Austria, behind 1966, since national records commenced in 1767, with a monthly temperature 4.1°C (7.4°F) higher than the 1981–2010 average. On February 22nd the temperature reached 23.2°C (73.7°F) in Pottschach in Lower Austria, tying the record for the warmest February day recorded in the country.
  • February was mild in Sweden, where monthly temperatures were generally 2–4°C (4–7°F) higher than the 1961–1990 average. In northeastern Norrland, February temperatures were as high as 6°C (11°F) above average. However, 2014 and 2015 were both milder than February 2016.
  • In Canada, both minimum and maximum temperature records were set during a “roller coaster” month, according to the Ontario Weather Review. Early in the month, on February 3rd, the temperature in Toronto reached 16°C (60.8°F), the highest February temperature ever recorded for the city. A little over a week later, during February 13th–14th, cold air shot down from the north, breaking minimum temperature records across southern and part of northeastern Ontario. The temperature drop over that 10-day period was extreme. Among the most extreme, the town of Beatrice, to the east of Georgian Bay, went from a high temperature of 8°C (46°F) to a minimum of -41°C (-42°F), a difference of 49°C (88°F).
  • In the United States, Alaska reported its warmest February in its 92-year period of record, at 6.9°C (12.4°F) higher than the 20th century average. The contiguous U.S. was seventh warmest in its 122-year period of record, at 3.18°C (5.72°F) above average, with the west and extreme northeast observing the highest departures from average.
  • The average February temperature was about 3.0°C (5°F) higher than the 1981–2010 average in Venezuela and northern Colombia, while temperatures were about 0.5°C (0.9°F) below average in southern Argentina.




February’s global temperature spike is a wake-up call

17 03 2016

Steve Sherwood, UNSW Australia and Stefan Rahmstorf, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Global temperatures for February showed a disturbing and unprecedented upward spike. It was 1.35℃ warmer than the average February during the usual baseline period of 1951-1980, according to NASA data.

This is the largest warm anomaly of any month since records began in 1880. It far exceeds the records set in 2014 and again in 2015 (the first year when the 1℃ mark was breached).

In the same month, Arctic sea ice cover reached its lowest February value ever recorded. And last year carbon dioxide concentration in our atmosphere increased by more than 3 parts per million, another record.

What is going on? Are we facing a climate emergency?

February temperatures from 1880 to 2016 from NASA GISS data. Values are deviations from the base period of 1951-1980.
Stefan Rahmstorf

El Niño plus climate change

Two things are combining to produce the record warmth: the well-known global warming trend caused by our greenhouse gas emissions, and an El Niño in the tropical Pacific.

The record shows that global surface warming has always been overlaid by natural climate variability. The biggest single cause of this variability is the natural cycle between El Niño and La Niña conditions. The El Niño in 1998 was a record-breaker, but now we have one that looks even bigger by some measures.

The pattern of warmth in February shows typical signatures of both long-term global warming and El Niño. The latter is very evident in the tropics.

Further north, the pattern looks similar to other Februaries since the year 2000: particularly strong warming in the Arctic, Alaska, Canada and the northern Eurasian continent. Another notable feature is a cold blob in the northern Atlantic, which has been attributed to a slowdown in the Gulf Stream.

The February warming spike brought us at least 1.6℃ above pre-industrial global average temperatures. This means that, for the first time, we have passed the 1.5℃ international aspirational goal agreed in December in Paris. We are coming uncomfortably close to 2℃.

Fortunately, this is temporary: the El Niño is beginning to subside.

Emissions still increasing

Unfortunately, we have done little about the underlying warming. If unchecked, this will cause these breaches to happen more and more often, with a greater than 2℃ breach perhaps only a couple of decades away.

The greenhouse gases slowly heating the Earth are still increasing in concentration. The 12-month average surpassed 400 parts per million roughly a year ago – the highest level for at least a million years. The average rose even faster in 2015 than previous years (probably also due to the El Niño, as this tends to bring drought to many parts of the globe, meaning less carbon is stored in plant growth).

A glimmer of hope is that our carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels have, for the first time in decades, stopped increasing. This trend has been evident over the past couple of years, mainly due to a decline of coal use in China, which recently announced the closure of around 1,000 coal mines.

Have we underestimated global warming?

Does the “spike” change our understanding of global warming? In thinking about climate change, it is important to take the long view. A predominant La Niña-like situation over recent years did not mean global warming had “stopped” as a few public figures were (and probably still are) claiming.

Likewise, a hot spike due to a major El Niño event – even though it is surprisingly hot – doesn’t mean global warming was underestimated. In the longer run the global warming trend agrees very well with longstanding predictions. But these predictions nevertheless paint a picture of a very warm future if emissions are not brought down soon.

The situation is similar to that of a serious illness like cancer: the patient usually does not get slightly worse each day, but has weeks when the family thinks he may be recovering, followed by terrible days of relapse. The doctors do not change their diagnosis each time this happens, because they know this is all a part of the disease.

Although the current El-Niño-driven spike is temporary, it will last long enough to have some severe consequences. For example, a massive coral bleaching event now appears likely on the Great Barrier Reef.

Here in Australia we have been breaking heat records in the past few months, including 39 straight days in Sydney above 26℃ (double the previous record). News reports seem to be focusing on the role of El Niño, but El Niño does not explain why oceans to the south of Australia, and in the Arctic, are at record high temperatures.

The other half of the story is global warming. This is boosting each successive El Niño, along with all its other effects on ice sheets and sea level, the global ecosystem and extreme weather events.

This is the true climate emergency: it is getting more difficult with each passing year for humanity to prevent temperatures from rising above 2℃. February should remind us how pressing the situation is.

The Conversation

Steve Sherwood, Director and ARC Laureate Fellow, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW Australia and Stefan Rahmstorf, Professor of Physics of the Oceans, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.





One Year On…….

15 03 2016

After publishing yesterday’s apple harvesting post, it suddenly struck me that it was about a year ago that we settled on the property I now call the Fanny Farm.  Rashly, we did so sight unseen, and before selling Mon Abri in Queensland…… it was a risky thing to do, but boy has it paid off!

2015 was a very stressful year for us, because I was still finishing Mon Abri, madly restoring ancient wooden windows, fixing a worse for wear AGA, while still trying to run everything else, in the heat, and me fighting my still unresolved chronic fatigue. Not to mention two 2700km trips to Tasmania with a fully laden ute! Sometimes, I just don’t know how I did it all….

I often feel like I’m getting nowhere fast here, but in fact, having looked back on the matter, I have achieved quite a lot, even though I am literally on my lonesome….

Just cutting down all those trees is quite an achievement, for me at least. I decided to do it myself, because we simply could not afford to pay someone to do it for us. Next week, the sawmill is arriving, and we will soon have a huge pile of timber to build the house with, air stacked in the shed to dry.

I ordered the building blocks yesterday, and out of the blue, through my post about the longevity of NiFe batteries, someone in the solar business in Sydney offered me a brand new 5kW Victron inverter/charger for about 25% off the normal price, so I bought it.  The bank account is taking a hit this week, but that’s what it’s for after all.  Better spent than lost in a banking collapse black hole!

While Glenda was down here for my 64th birthday, we were invited to lunch at a couple of locals’, and met Bernie who at first glance could be easily identified as an old hippy, but who turned out to be a town planner…. and he’s offered to assist with our development application which he reckons will go straight through, when one knows what one is doing. I tell you, the locals here are just amazing…..

DSC_2221On the gardening/self sufficiency side, very little has happened. Having to do things like rewiring the lighting in the shed so it’s safe with conveniently positioned switches, before winter’s long nights arrive was a priority, and I spent far too long building the goose tractor as it was. Especially as it’s turned into a waste of time anyway, that night when we had winds gusting to almost 100km/h, the bloody things escaped, and now live on the dam.  Happy as Larry they are, joined by a single swan at the moment, and numerous water hens that spectacularly run at high speed on top of the dam…..

I have a crop of Dutch Cream Potatoes to harvest soon, and my first tomato was picked yesterday. It’s become very obvious to me that a lot of things will have to be grown in poly tunnels if I’m going to eat things other than apples and blackberries on the Fanny Farm…. at least I’ll have my own cider to drink when temperatures rise again the other side of winter!

The neighbours’ rooster adopted my hens and moved in with them, and he’s done the deed, fathering thirteen chicks….. so my source of protein over winter is now secure! Plus I may well get some Muscovies from Trev and Linda over the next few weeks.

Once I’m done with the sawmilling, the plan is to get an excavator to the house site, and start digging. More than anything, that will seem like real progress.  Patience, patience…. and now, I have to take the ute back to the house site and clean up the rest of the branches still lying around, pull down a fence so Matt can drag the logs to a more appropriate place for the sawmilling, and and and……………………..

Oh and almost forgot……  my flow hive arrived.  I’ve put it together and coated it with tung oil, but I still haven’t got the flow frames for the super, as they must come from somewhere different to the wooden bits. It might be getting just a little too late and cold to buy bees for a brand new hive, so that might have to wait for some time as well……