Tonight, for the first time, we lit a fire in the new wood stove in the new house. This is a huge moment. Somehow, a house isn't a home without a hearth, especially around here where we'll be heating for half the year. It was a thrill to see the smoke rising out of the chimney.
The Hermit has been wheeling and dealing on Craigslist, and managed to trade a huge pile of foam board insulation that we didn't need, for three cords of oak wood, which we do need. Combined with the four cords of mixed hardwoods we bought locally, and the approximate two cords we have on hand after we started heating with propane last year, we should be all set to heat through the winter.
There is something so genuine about heating with wood. I appreciated the ease of the propane heater last winter, but there is nothing like radiant wood heat. Our new house is designed around the wood stove as central heating source, which I suspect will serve us nicely in the future. I can even cook on it if I have to.
In other news, I saw two things that made me gasp in awe on my way to work this morning. One was a buck white tailed deer; I saw the sunlight glisten through the velvet on his antlers. He had to be at least eight or ten points, as if I had to reduce his rack to a score. Anyway, he was magnificent in the morning sunlight, and the biggest buck I've ever seen. The other was an eagle, swooping down to try to get some roadkill on the Kettle River bridge. It flew about twenty feet above my car. Awesome.