Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cabin Life: Building A New Wood Shed

The Wood ShedI really enjoy fall weather, but not in July.  The last few nights have been beautiful, but cold.  I really struggled on Wednesday over whether or not I should get a fire going in the stove.  I decided not to, based solely on principle that I will not use my woodstove in July.  I just won’t do it.

But it has made the evenings pleasant.  The water is warm when we go swimming, and the heat isn’t as oppressive as last week. 

On top of the coolness of the nights, they have also been really clear.  With a big moon in the sky and the stars shining, it’s been great.  As the moon moves to one side of the sky, the stars come out on the other, making a whole-sky panorama with the Milky Way visible on one end, and nothing but the slate gray sky around the moon on the other.

The wood shed is done and partially stocked, and I’ve been able to relax a little.  Ed and Herbie get to go outside for a while and the chickens have been enjoying eating bugs and grass in their run.

I was sitting on the boulder that serves as my front step the other evening, comfortable in the day’s accumulated warmth.  Pico and Herbie were lying in the dirt when I noticed something moving off in the taller grass.  A lifetime of toys and free food have left Ed lacking in hunting skills, but he was still ready to give it a good effort.

I watched him not-so-subtly sneak through the grass and toward the chicken run.  It took him a while to get up the nerve, but he finally launched an attack and ran smack into the fence.  He took the girls by surprise, but they were safe.  They squawked, but settled back into the rhythm of being chickens.  Ed settled in at the end of the run for a while to watch them, no doubt dreaming of hunting glory.  Soon they’ll be bigger than he is and I’m not sure how Ed will handle that, psychologically.

After watching Ed for a few minutes, I glanced over at the new shed.  I have a full cord of wood in there, and will need about another two full cords to get through winter.  I like the way the shed turned out, and with a grand total cost of about fifteen bucks, it was a good project.

My dad had come up to help me build it, and along with a friend, we built the whole thing in about four hours.  I used a bunch of old lumber from underneath Upper Camp and only had to buy a box of wood screws.  The old metal roofing has holes in it, but they’re small and it will keep the vast majority of rain and snow off my wood.  It’s comforting to have it built, though now I really feel the pressure to get it filled.  I’ll probably have to buy some fire wood for this winter, but  not as much as last year.

When my neighbor came up to brush out the lower field, he noticed the new shed.  He said that he’s built a few sheds, and the biggest problem when you build a new shed is that you fill it up, and then you have to build another.

Now I just need to figure out what else can go into a shed, so I can build another one.


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Having grown up in the southern Adirondacks, Justin has always been at home in the mountains of New York. After graduating from Paul Smiths College, he began his career in the environmental field working for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. After a brief five year detour to Florida, Justin returned to the Adirondacks to live off the grid in a small cabin with no running water or electricity.

Justin continues to work and play in the outdoors, and maintains a blog about living off grid, hiking, and being outside in the Adirondacks called Middle of the Trail.

One Response

  1. Paul says:

    Good job. Only a new dock beats a new wood shed!

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