The First Day of Spring, Finally.

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Hello, my dear readers. It’s time to reflect on the last 5 winter months.

It was wonderful at times to see fresh snow falling from grey skies and to look at the majestic trees covered in snow. But most of the time it was miserable to fight through meters of snow just to reach the yurt from the road, then dig my car out of the ice jail, and then try to start a fire in the stove with freshly-cut wood that was the wrong size.

(Yes. The guy sold me fresh wood. Not dried. And longer than standard, so I couldn’t close the stove door.)

So here were my 3 main takeaways from my first winter with the yurt up.

1. The first and the biggest challenge was the amount of snow. It’s too humid in Ottawa, so it wasn’t something out of the ordinary this winter to have frozen ice and freezing rain (not snow) falling from the sky. So the more I heated up the yurt, the more of an ice palace it resembled. And even walking to the yurt from the car felt like a Arctic survival expedition sometimes. 

Road access was a huge issue for me this winter. While the road to the property was maintained, the path to the yurt itself was very difficult to navigate. We’ll have to figure out this issue for the next year.

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My car got stuck a few times this winter. Not fun.

2. Electricity. I completely failed with my project to create a thermal generator on Peltier elements. Since the stove temperature was fluctuating a lot, my factory generator malfunctioned and I never make enough power even to charge my cell phone. I kept on recharging my solar generators from the grid at my work to power the lights and most importantly my ceiling fan. (In order to keep the entire yurt warm, I have to circulate the air inside. And it takes some energy.)

Plov making

There were great times during winter, too. French people and Kazakhs making plov.

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We got to play with a drone this winter, too. My yurt from a bird’s eye view

3. Keeping the yurt warm. I found that if you don’t have someone in the yurt every day of the week to keep it warm, it’s so unpleasant to spend hours to warm up the place when you do show up. The temperature was very often in the minus double digits this winter and to get the firewood, light the fire, refill propane tanks, and carry solar generators back and forth from the car was not an experience I found fulfilling.

Keeping ourselves warm was a challenge

Keeping ourselves warm was a challenge.

So now the snow is mostly gone (even though it hasn’t snowed for a couple weeks now, it’s still there), and I will be able to spend more and more time in the yurt again. 

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The spring is here. Time for new adventures!

It’s also time to start and plant my vegetable garden. Stay tuned.

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