When you live off the grid, as we do, you are somewhat hostage to the amount of energy your system gets from the sun. We have a grid of batteries, 24 up at the church, and these are connected to an inverter, which converts 12-volt battery power to 110 AC. We have all the usual things that take power and we usually chug right along no matter the weather. But this week we have been left without power unless we turn on the large automatic generator which sits outside the door. It consumes propane, so we don’t use it often.
No power and no water. Lug and chug.
Robin’s ankle is getting better ever so slowly. He still gets tingles and stings when he puts weight on it, but he is persisting. He is getting tired of sitting hour after hour.
My gardens are drying up. It would be much worse if it were not for my thick coat of mulch over everything. We got half a birdbath full of rain in the night and it helped a little. The humidity helps keep the dry plants from wilting too, though humidity wilts me real fast.
I have noticed at the feeders that some birds have moved on for the fall, a little early I think. The hummingbirds have been gone for nearly two weeks now, so it’s time to take in the feeder. The hornets are still feeding though.
Everything looks like it is time to cover it up for the winter. The plants have retired from further growing and leaves are turning on the birches, though I know it is from dryness, not frost. It is too early for all this; never seen the likes of it. So I am going to trim and cover and try to save watering anything but the greenhouse, and oh, is it green!
I must say that I am beginning to wonder why the Forest Service hasn’t closed the Maine woods to burning. I remember that’s what they did in 1948 when it was so dry they didn’t dare allow even campfires in a fireplace.
I remember Pappa getting up in the night to take his turn among all the men who lived on our road all the way to King’s Mills, who took turns patroling our road from dark till sunrise watching for sparks from cigarettes. People were right on edge when it came to fires. I don’t think I am wrong in asserting that our woods are paper dry 3-4 inches deep and I do worry about lightning strikes. It is dry, dry, dry.
I am sending a photo of a section of the Sheepscot to show you it is beautiful even when very low. One would have to carry a canoe from here to Head Tide. Rock Heaven you know.
(Doug Wright lives over Head Tide Hill in Whitefield. He welcomes feedback at email@example.com.)