Living with the Seasons: A Nip of Autumn

I really love how our life revolves around the seasons. In August, we extract honey and process tomatoes. In September, we bring in the squash. We stack firewood. I watch my bees bringing in pollen in the spring, and capping their honey for the winter. Living with the seasons could be one of my favourite parts about living on Pender Island. The seasons feel “close” here. Maybe it’s because the windows are thin. Maybe it is living more rurally. But whatever it is, I feel the seasons here.

I’ve often wondered if I were blind-folded, and placed in a season, if I could recognize it from the smells. Right now, the sun is rising later. When I wake up early in the morning to run, I beat the sunrise. There is a nip to the air and now I’m reaching for my down vest. And there is a dry crumbling smell as the leaves start to die on the branches and the eager ones are already under-foot and crackling.

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And there is something satisfying in all this. Something wholesome and natural. And then it warms my heart even more when Gabrielle sniffs the air, and sees the leaves, and stacks the wood and plucks the apples off the tree and she says thoughtfully, “Autumn must be coming soon. I’m falling over more often.”

Logic of a three year old. It cannot be beat.

About Amanda

Living a simple quiet life on the Gulf Islands, BC.

4 Thoughts on “Living with the Seasons: A Nip of Autumn

  1. All caught up on your blogs and loved every word! Fun to be a part of your adventurous life. Superb photos, darling daughter!

    • The two best ways to build walls that work the best are wood walls and plastic ones. You could try and see if there is a hosuing builder that can donate them or build them for you but other than a free donation they are pretty easy to build yourself.The plastic walls are not as sturdy, but are cheaper . at first. They are nice because they are already black, light, and a bit creepy when people are walking around in them. I still use them between rooms as something they have to walk through. Aside from them not being very easy to reuse, you can paint on them put most paints flake off making a mess, and ruining the time and effort you put into your artwork. Mounting props or putting anything in a room with plastic walls is usually only done with zipties and they tear the plastic if pulled.For plastic walls Put eye bolts in the studs of the walls of the building. Run a small cable (can be bought at the hardware store) between and tighten. If you run 5 or six of these you will be able to make a pattern so that you can design walls and walkways. Hardware stores carry all sizes and lengths of the black painters plastic, measure out the height of your walls then get the length. If you are going to use the 10ft tall x 100ft long make your walls 8 feet tall. Next double over the plastic on the cable and a few simple zip ties will hold it all together. Making sure to have enough if the walls get pushed on that the zipties go through at least 2 layers of plastic. Now to make them sturdy! You can use 2 4 s at the bottom and staple the plastic there but what I have been doing for years is duck tape! Cut the bottoms so they just hang on the bottom by a few inches and tape that section down. This will give your walls some strength if people push or wall back on them. This is not as sturdy as wood but it worked for us for years. I should say that every year we buy all new plastic, it gets ripped and torn and is a pain to try and save to put away. ALSO, the plastic from the hardware store is NOT fire safe! Do not have any lit items or allow anything to come near the plastic. I have been doing it for years and never had a problem but it is something that you should be aware of. You can buy fire safe plastic online but it costs double.The plastic is priced around $45 for 10ft X 100ft long and $80 for 20ft X 100ft long. I think the cable I used was something like 14 cents a foot or so. I had the cable cross my garage 6 times (three each direction, 168ft total) then planned out where the plastic would be hung and where walkways and walk throughs would be. The additional hardware to hold the cable together, eye bolts for the studs in the walls and zipties was probably $20 or so.As for the wood walls! That’s the best thing we ever did! Although I was able to get them donated buy a hosuing builder, I should have sprung for them long ago. The down side is that they are heavy, take up a lot of room to store them, and need to be painted black (unless the room is pitch back). The upside’s are, whatever design you paint on the its there for good (unless you change your mind, but then you can just paint black over and restart), the walls are much safer in terms of fire (you can get fire retardant stuff or just leave them, the chance of those catching on fire is very low) you can easily mount props to them without worrying about things being torn down. The best thing about the walls is that as long as you make them right, and secure them to other walls and put support 2x4s across the top, no matter how bad you scare someone they wont be knocking anything down!To build the walls you would want to use 2x4s and plywood. (sheetrock will break if hit, and if you scare them right you want it strong!) I have included links on how to design walls and build them as well as how to make them look like other things (brick or stone) But the basics are to take your plywood and frame it with the 2x4s around the outline. If you use a full sheet, put one 2 4 inside the frame for additional support. Make as many sections as you need then place them where you want them and use more 2 4 s across sections and diagonally to create support. This way they do not have to be drilled into the ground or anything, their combined weight will keep them together.Cost on wood well I was able to find 2x4s for $2 each, and plywood for $8 to $10ish. You’ll need a crapload of screws, get a box of coarse thread drywall screws (they work the best and are fast to go in) for about $20 for 5lbs. Then you’ll need black paint, I got a 5gal bucket for $45 and for all my walls used about 7gals total. I have a rough total of 150 feet of double sided walls to paint.Good luck!

  2. I just wandered in here, and I really love this post about the seasons. I think it is part of what keeps a person healthy, is finding that connection with the hum of nature, even if you live in a place without seasons. My husband is a farmer, so to us September means harvest, and back to school, and kittens this year.

  3. My Dear Friend Mr K.A. Elango,Fantastic Post, Thank you for writing awsreneas posts like this. Hope I am expecting like this..!Lets start from Us to avoid plastic bags while shoping. I used bio-degradable bags only- (Some Shopping Malls in Abu Dhabi).Wishing you, Family and ur blog follwers/Readers, a HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011.With Wishes,Sai Gokulakrishna.

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