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The Yurt Blog
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The Luna Project - Sustainable Living
 

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The Yurt Blog

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Follow me through a journey into self and partake in the many trials and tribulations of yurt life completely off the grid. This life that I've chosen is a frugal life learning as I go. I've learned that trusting my heart and spending time listening to the land is the best way to learn. We spend our lives trying to figure out how we can fit nature into our lives when we should be walking humbled into nature to ask how we can fit in with her.



Wetlands to the rescue PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Saturday, 30 January 2010 17:03

The weather station this morning reads a cold -22 degrees with no wind, a beautifully sunny Saturday morning. It proved to be a great morning for a brisk walk on the trails with Luna. As the morning sun warmed the air, my pace slowed and reflections of projects from 2009 came to mind. I walked out of the harvested corn field and onto the road to continue my loop back home. As I walked past the row of neighbouring homes, I noticed water flowing from a pipe from two of the homes. My guess is this is a sump-pump used to remove excess water from the basement. I watched the water flow down the roadside ditch, through a culvert under the road and into the small valley of our corn field. My eyes followed the natural flow of the water down through the valley to the massive expanse of the wetland that was created this past spring. I thought to myself that this one act of building a 200' long burm(dam like structure) at the end of the valley, has given mother nature her last chance to filter and clean the water before it spills into the fragile Beaver Creek. Before the construction of this wetland, this overflow from basements, pools, field runoff and the natural leaching of septic tanks flowed unimpeded into the creek. Now we have a lush aquatic wetland to filter, clean, and purify this precious commodity we all thirst for. In time, we'll build a second wetland to help the cleansing process. In time. Right now we've helped give mother nature a leg up and we'll monitor closely the growth and health of this "last stand".

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 30 January 2010 17:05
 
Baby it's cold PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Thursday, 28 January 2010 23:38

After my 5th winter here in the yurt, I seem to have built up a strange tolerance to the cold. I first remember when the yurt was built in May 2005, I would wake in the morning, put on my fleece, wool socks and hat, then would venture out for a walk with Luna in the cool spring air. For some reason, it was always colder in the yurt than it was outside. Now, 5 years later, even though it's the dead of winter with a wind chill of -20 degrees, the inside of my little abode sits comfortably at 15 degrees. I'm sure this is quite cold for most, and in my first year it was mind numbing for me. But I now truly enjoy waking in the morning and placing my bed warmed toes on the cold hardwood floor, to walk the three steps to the woodstove to throw on another log. I guess I've just grown accustomed to the cold and now actually feel like I'm truly living and feeling my actual climate. Not the synthetic one I use to know all too well, "I'm chilly, well turn up the thermostat", "I'm hot, well crank up the AC". I now truly feel alive and thankful for this experience, how blessed am I to have the time to look inside and grow as a person. When many in this world never have that chance, they are in survival mode each and every day. I am truly blessed and extremely grateful for having this chance to grow. Thank you.

 

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Last Updated on Thursday, 28 January 2010 23:45
 
Running Scared PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Tuesday, 12 January 2010 22:09

I saw a poor coyote running scared today, right down the middle of the road. I was just returning from the vet with Luna and at the end of our road as I was about to turn for home, it bolted across the highway. I turned to follow and as I did, it stopped right in the middle of the road and looked back at me with its long grey nose and one ear slightly drooping. You could see in its gestures that it was tired of running and I immediately turned the truck around at let it be. As I drove away we both looked back at one another as he slowly continued on his journey through the corn field towards a neighboring forest. It's hard for me not to feel rage towards the people who've made this animal feel this way, and I know just who it was. As I returned to the yurt, I could see trucks with their radio antenna's pointed to the forest following their dogs. What these guys do is release their hounds into the field and they pick up the scent of the coyote, once they've found it, they chase them out into the waiting guns of the hunter. I'm sick of these hunters telling me that "they're full of mange, they're killing peoples dogs, you should put your dog on a leash or she'll get killed". Maybe these people have never heard of the natural order, we've pushed these animals off their land and they're doing all they can to survive. What gives them the right to sit in a truck and pull the trigger on an animal that is clearly running scared. It saddens me to think, that this poor animal has to fight for its life every day, and is looking for it's safe ground, a place that it can call home. This animal is looking for the same thing we're all looking for. If only I could give this coyote the safe ground it needs, all I can do is protect its land and put up a few signs that say no hunting...they just get torn down. It's not that I'm against hunting, I just don't understand the destruction of an animal that people have quickly labeled "vermin", just like the bobcat, wolf and so many others. I've had many run ins with coyotes on the property and so has Luna. We respect each other's space and go our own ways, much like we did today. I hope this coyote finds its way back home, it's way back to LUNA.

 

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Forest Life PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Tuesday, 16 June 2009 15:00
June has always been my favourite month here at LUNA. Each year at this time I'm very aware of the changes that have occurred throughout the previous year. Last evening I enjoyed a well deserved splash in turquoise waters Walden Pond and a relaxing sit at the top of the lookout. The fields are lush this spring and life abounds everywhere. The sounds of children echoed through the valley while they splashed in beaver creek, as I sit and enjoy the warmth of the late evening sun. A white tailed deer is shocked to see me as she wanders out of the forest through the meadow to my resting place, a skunk looking for a meal in my composter raises her tail at me as to say, "this is my dinner, look somewhere else", a new born fawn sleeps in the forest next to a fallen tree. I spent a bit of time with this fragile newborn, sitting, watching, as he sat there looking back with curiosity in his young eyes. I could only imaging the stories he would tell his mother when she returns, "I saw a person today mama, and a chipmunk, and a tractor, and a plane and a...". Life abounds this time of year, even as the sun goes down and the bats come out, the forest and meadows are alight with the flicker of a million fireflies. Truly a magical, precious time of year, but at the same time very fragile. I am fully aware of the impact 50 screaming grade 6's must have on the life of the forest, that is why today is a day off for all of my forest friends. Enjoy your day little ones.
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Goodbye my friend PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Saturday, 13 June 2009 01:31
I went to the church today to say goodbye to you my friend, for me, it wasn't the place for me to do so. As I sat here at my computer, with the cool evening breeze blowing throught the yurt, a small owl came to my window and started to call. Never in my years of guiding have I seen an owl in the wild, yet tonight, one came to me. Tonight I had my chance to say goodbye to you my friend, tonight I watched you fly. Enjoy the gardens and forests Kevin and may your wings carry you far.
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Last Updated on Saturday, 13 June 2009 01:42
 
Holding Strong PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Saturday, 14 February 2009 20:20

Mother nature has a way of testing our strength. Now that Walden has been dug and the burm for the wetland created, I patiently wait each day for the water to arrive. A small cairn now rests at the bottom of the pond to welcome the water when it comes, I've even sat by the burm and envisioned the valley full of waiving cattails, echoing with the calls of Red-Winged Black Birds, it all can't come fast enough. There hasn't been a day gone by that I haven't gazed deep into the clay wondering if the water lay trapped within. Today, mother nature answered my plea. The wind rocks the walls of the yurt as the rain weighs heavily on the roof, it's 3am and I'm sitting in bed wondering if the Ark will float through the field and smash right through the centre of the burm. The sun rises and the rain has weaned, I slip on my rubber boots to assess the damage from mother natures many tempered moods. The council fire ring is under water, archery range flooded and a picnic table is slowly dragged away as Beaver creek expands to carry her load down to lake Erie. What has happened in the wetland? Running across the lookout trail with camera in hand I hear the sound of rushing water in the distance. My heart races, what has happened in the wetland? I crest the hill and see to my shear delight a lake filling the entire valley. The burm is holding the heavy sediment load of the field at bay, or is it? A 200' long burm from bank to bank no has the weight of 8 - 10' of water heavily pushing on her new walls. It wants to make its way to the creek, it'll eventually get it's wish. I notice on the north slope that the water has found a flaw in our work, my fears are confirmed as I have visions of 400 truckloads of clay being washed into the creek. I rush to secure a water pump, canoe, and enough man power to take some of the load off the banks. Finally by 9:30 at night, the banks are still intact and the water now held at bay from spilling it's sediment into the creek. This project has become bigger than I had ever imagined. The whole idea of the burm was to catch runoff from the farmers field and allow mother nature time to clean that water before being released back into the creek. A water improvement project that will benefit all downstream as well create tremendous habitat for numerous wetland inhabitants. We've still got a long way to go, but I'll never stop trying to improve the land in which I live.

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Talking Trees PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 05:00

I woke from my slumber to feel the cool morning air, the floors are cold beneath my feet as I hurry to stoke the fire. Luna is waiting patiently by the door to be let outside into this early February deep freeze. The weather station reads a bone numbing -23 degrees. I quickly get dressed as my anticipation to see the progress of Walden weighs heavily on my mind. Putting on my parka and gloves, I make the short walk to the future banks of the pond where the morning sun is slowly slumping the exposed clay. As cold as the air was, once I stood at the North side of the pond the warm sun locked my boots to the clay and sent a welcomed warmth to my core. The air was so calm and the sun so intensely warm, I stood by the banks for almost 30 minutes. I gazed down to the bottom of the pond where only 6" of water lay, the newly formed ice cracking and snapping in response to sub zero temperatures. The forest beside to my south seemed to respond to the groaning ice with pops and cracks of its own. Each tree would take it's turn to let out a loud pop as the sap within froze causing the wood to expand. It was almost as they were saying good morning to one another as the ice replied randomly. A small downy woodpecker joined the morning conversation. I wonder what the forest will say when Walden's' clay banks are bathed in water and she welcomes her future inhabitants? I'll surly be there to listen intently.

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Christmas Spirit PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Monday, 22 December 2008 00:47
The wind outside is building, I sit here and listen as it roars through the trees, pressing hard on the walls of the yurt. The roof cracks and groans as the crushing weight of snow is slowly turned to ice from the warmth of the woodstove within. Protected from the harsh elements on this first day of winter, I sit here and listen. How blessed am I at this time of year to have such protection from the unforgiving cold bite of the wind. The winter truly is hardest time of year for all who share this forest home, but Christmas must surely be the hardest.
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Last Updated on Thursday, 12 February 2009 17:25
 
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