Monday, April 9, 2012

Earth Wind and Firewood

If this photograph had been taken from a distance and included the immediate surroundings of garages, driveways, fences, gardens and plants then the eye may not have been drawn to the patterns of interest within this pile of firewood. This photo is not like some of the saccharine photos posed on calendars - it speaks of ordinary things.

I like chopping firewood up with a sharp axe, there is something elemental about this action - like digging the earth to make a garden, sailing on the wind and the lighting of a fire to cook simple food.

Perhaps we (and our planet) would all be a lot better off if we kept strictly to the 'keep it simple' principle.


Ben said...

Building a stack of firewood, out of nicely stacked logs, gives a rich feeling before winter starts.

Alden Smith said...

Yes it is Ben. In Christchurch, South Island New Zealand where I grew up, open fires are now banned because of the pollution that is caused (Christchurch has a peculiar weather 'Inversion Layer' that happens in certain combinations of temperature, humidity and wind strength) - are open fires still used in NLs or are these banned now?

Ben said...

We have central heating on gas that we need 7 months of the year. Our gas is a very clean energy source, although it produces off coarse carbon dioxide as all fossil fuels do.
During the weekends we often use our wood fired built in fire place to create a nice warm cozy atmosphere. We use about 1.5 cubic meters of wood ((55 cubic feet) a year. As of now there is no legal ban on using wood fires. In fact the environmentalists even say that it is carbon dioxide neutral compared to fossil energy sources. To my opinion that depends on with what horizon you look at the problem. Gas and oil once were plants as well.
Because of the predominantly western wind and the flat land we hardly know the inversion layer phenomenon. It happens once in a while during winter with mild wind from the east and clear sky’s. In industrial area’s you can see the formation of smog then. Since the 1980 ‘s there has been a steady reduction of the pollution, because of all type of Sox and NOx reduction measures in industrial plants. In addition all heating of residential buildings changed from coal and fuel oil to gas and gave a tremendous reduction of pollution as well.
I was surprised to see that there were al lot of houses in NZ even on the South Island that had only one wood stove as heat source.

Alden Smith said...

I am glad you are able to get a gezellig atmosphere in your lovely house with your heating system, it must be very cosy for you in the winter.
NZ houses, especially the older ones are not well insulated at all - I am not sure why this is so, maybe its because in the North Island the winters are not all that severe and in the South Island where winter is a lot colder, I don't think it ever gets to the low levels of Northern Europe - by the time people in some of the coldest parts of NZ start thinking seriously about doing something long term about serious heating, Summer comes around again.