Climate Change? What a difference a fortnight makes!
Having just climbed out of the pond after my second swim of the Easter weekend – a little bracing, but most satisfying – it struck me that only a fortnight ago I wouldn’t have even contemplated a dip.
Having sailed though March with barely a tremor weather-wise, dear old Mother Mature came and bit us on the bum on the 4th April.
In common with the higher parts of Wales, we copped about 5 inches of that heavy sticky snow in just 24 hours. Apart from flattening the daffs, it brought down a few branches including one which has necessitated some repairs to the rope bridge.
Within a day most of it had gone, so I had a good session on the hydro, although as so often it all came too quickly rather than just the right amount spread out over more days.
The next few days bumbled along feeling really cold in the wind, but warm and sunny out of it, with the odd frost overnight.
Then came the ‘Bank Holiday Heatwave’ and it has been shorts and T-shirts, skinny-dipping in the pond, barbecues and lunches on the patio. Oh yes, and some garden visitors. What a turn around!
Lovely! Amazingly quick turnaround alright! You refer to “hydro”, are you generating your own electrcal power with a turbine of some sort on that stream? Looks like you should be!
Yes, apologies for the ‘shorthand’! I’ve a small (3kWh) turbine (turgo runner, if you are technically inclined) on the stream. What you see in the picture is the water that the turbine couldn’t use – very frustrating! It’s a very ‘all or nothing’ stream. After heavy rain I could probably generate about 10 times as much, then a couple of dry days later and there’s barely enough to drive the turbine. But every little helps.
Great! We too generate most of our electricity using a half kilowatt, (.5kWh) “Stream Machine” (brand name), small turbine with about 1000 feet of two inch PVC pipe that brings the water from the stream at a point higher up the stream where there is a small, natural sort of pool….somewhere on my site there is a post about our power situation, entitled The Evolution of Light. You are so right, every bit counts. Most of the year we have more electricity than we can use and
Woops, sent that before I was finished, but anyway, lots of power from the stream most of the time! Enough that we have to dump it using a hot water coil in the tank. Really good, until about end of June normally when droughty summers have begun to take their toll on the water table. We can go about three weeks without rain, then we need to switch to a smaller nozzle until finally it just fizzles out until the next rains come. Then we move onto the solar panels, and if desperate, onto the diesel generator. Very cool to meet another off the grid type from across the pond! More power to you!
We’re not completely off-grid, but we try to use as little external electricity as possible. In addition to the hydro, we cook, heat and heat water with wood (with a bit of help with the water from solar thermal). Our water comes from a spring up the hill. We probably only get about 50% of the year to generate on the hydro. Last year was among the worst as the summer was long and very dry, so the stream almost dried up. Really like the sound of what you are doing over there.
Thanks so much, it sounds like you have an interesting life over there too! Sounds similar to how we function here; wood heat and hot water too, a little cooking on the wood heater whenever possible, but we use mostly bottled propane gas for our cooking, and on demand hot water during the summer months when we don’t need to heat the house. We also have a homemade outdoor hot water system for summer bathing. This is a large coil of black pvc pipe hooked up to the gravity feed water system that heats up in the sunshine, almost to the point of boiling. One can fill the tub several times over the course of a hot summer’s day, a little primitive but t does the job. Normally we cover about 75% of the year with power generated from the stream. The past three summers here on the west coast of Canada have been extremely droughty too. It is a bit of a worry alright. Raining today though, and cool as it should be at this time of year. Nice to hear from you, look forward to reading more of your blog too.
Thanks. Like the sound of the outdoor hot water system! We try to do at least one blog a month, but our major output is on Instagram (which we copy to FB and Twitter). Will Follow you in WordPress.
Thanks to you too. I find one post a month is about all I am able to manage. Once in a blue moon I share my post on FB, but have not tried Instagram yet. We have a very limited amount of data on our satellite Internet system, otherwise no cell signal or wifi at all, so not sure Instagram would work for me. I find I spend more than enough time aleady with my nose in the computer! But I do enjoy writing, and the blog is an entertaining respite from the chores! Thank you for following! I will do the same with yours. I am curioous to see what else you are up to in the Brecon Beacons.
That all sounds very similar! Satellite BB and no mobile signal. I see you started following us a year ago. Our main thing these days is opening our garden to the public, so spend most of our time doing that.
Aha, yes, I discovered that I am already a follower. But for some reason, I do not receive notices in my email inbox….I will look for you in the Wordpess reader….interesting that you open your garden to the public. That must keep you pretty busy! Look forward to reading, seeing more.
Yes I don’t seem to get notices either.
BTW are you Welsh?
Noticed a reference to St David’s Day in your earlier blog!
Not that I know of! I am Canadian born, but my dad is from England and my mother originally from Poland. I have many cousins in the UK, and spent quite a lot of time living and working there during the 80’s. My experience of Wales is limited to a visit to Swansea once upon a time, a nice walk along the coast path near there. One of my cousins once lived at or near Brecon Beacons. I think that is the correct spelling. My other half’s family has a Monmouthshire connection. Is that not a Welsh county? Sorry for my poor geographical knowledge!
I just looked at the map, after reading your Shinrin-yoku post! What fun! In 1991 I took my bike on the train from London to Hereford cycling from the station to Hay-on-Wye to attend the wonderful book festival there! Great adventure. Looks like you are not too far from there. I remember it being a lovely rural area ….