HOME IN THE COUNTRY

Welcome to our our home.  Life in The Woods – “It costs me nothing for curtains, for I have no gazers to shut out but the sun and moon . . .” Henry David Thoreau

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“The good building is not one that hurts the landscape, but one which makes the landscape more beautiful than it was before the building was built.”  Frank Lloyd Wright

 

Back in 1978 as a young student studying architecture at BC Institute of Technology I was inspired by Wrights concept of organic architecture. “The only answer to life today is to get back to the good ground,” he wrote in his classic book, The Natural House.

 

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With my granddaughter creating cookie art                              The upper dormer

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St. Fiacre – the patron saint of gardeners (and taxi drivers ), watches over us.

 

At the tender age of 21, with my Diploma of Building Technology and Natural House bible in hand, I went out to the country. “Go way out to the country, what you regard as too far,” Wright had advised . . . “ten times as far as you think you ought to go – and when others follow – move on.”

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The largest windows are oriented south west for passive solar gain. A large alder tree lets sunlight penetrate to the interior during winter and leafs up to shade the building in summer.

 

looking down from upper loft

 

Living away from the electrical grid, and enjoying many modern conveniences, we utilize mostly renewable energy sources including a 1 kilowatt PV or photo-voltaic array,  a 1 kilowatt micro-hydro turbine, and until recently, the 300 watt wind turbine pictured below.  The tower toppled over during a recent climate change event which brought unusual 150 km per hour winds.

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Fast forward 35 years from 1978 – not many people followed – except for my wonderful and talented wife Francis, ( disappearing in plain sight ) along with a few other notable folk, here and roundabout. We’re not movin on.

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 Other cabins far across the lake, shot using a telephoto lens (and then cropped closer).

For more photos of our lakeside home go to “Seen from our deck.”

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25 thoughts on “HOME IN THE COUNTRY

  1. These are some great shots! I like your preference for privacy and independence from the grid. Smart move… Sorry about the wind turbine. I always loved the concept of a domed home that rotates with the sun… You could set up a telescope in one of those and follow the sky without buying a clock drive. The sun! That’s where all the energy is… Gee, I hope we don’t suck that dry too :O(

    • I’ve always wanted to delve in astronomy, and hopefully it will be be a hobby I take up in retirement years!! Here where we live the night sky is not marred by “light pollution” (as some progressives scientists and astro physicists have named it). We do have an occasional air pollution from a local mill!

      As for the your joking about using up the sun – well – of course you know, the sun is one nuclear fusion reactor that’ll keep on a burnin a long time yet. What I am concerned about from the sun is radiation and skin cancer, so lets keep an eye on the ozone layer, and peoples over-exposure to the sun. I have noticed that many outdoor enthusiasts and athletes (runners in particular) are blind to this serious health threat.

      Another issue to consider is “solar access”. Progressive municipalities are creating by-laws so that future developments projects, (and even neighbours growing trees) would not be allowed to block the sun on existing passive sun-tempered buildings, solar hot water heaters and solar electric panels, etc.

      By the way, your rotating dome idea is wonderful!! A dome is an efficient building shape for a minimum use of materials & min. heat loss per square foot of living space created. Albeit, as a carpenter, I’d really be challenged in building the dome. :)

      And about our wind generator – yes – there are sad days, as I walk the trails that i really miss the gently whirring sound and beauty of our AIR 403. One day its ressurection will come!

      Bye for now, Darren – and peace to you – Bruce

      • Yup! This entire planet is gonna need a whole lot of changing. Just think. This may be the first time in history, that young people come to us for advice? Is my hair combed? Are my shoes on right? LOL!

        Now I think, they’ve come up with new, cheaper yet more efficient solar panels… They’re gonna start popping up everywhere on Earth (Terra), and, the price will go down. I think we’ve really got something going here! Hybrid cars, organic food. The ozone’s gone back to a reasonable condition. Do you think they’re finally getting the message Bruce?

      • J. Rifkins book, Empathic civilization, really gets into this – that consiousness and empathy is really happening in the world, though you don’t read about it much in the mainstream meida.

        When a micro credit loan is made to purchase a $25 solar panel provides & LED light so poor women and children are able to read at night and become literate – this is massive!

        We’re going against the fossil fuel conglomerates here, so we have to keep educating people about the sustainable worldview, and lets also keep at the policy makers.

        I do believe people are beginning to get it! We have to help one another along, that’s all.

        As the old saying about paradigm goes, Shift Happens!

  2. Wonderful pictures from your beautiful home! And so peaceful. :) Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed looking at them. Also thank you for visiting my blog and for the follow. I`ll sure come back on your blog to read some more of your great posts! :)

  3. My heart is rejuvenated by your natural lifestyle and beautiful homestead. About the same time (1976) I began construction of my home in the Ozarks of Missouri. Sadly, after 5 years, two daughters, and a long story later we needed to leave the leased property and move on. Enjoyed the photos and story very much…
    thank you for stop by my site and thus enabling a chance to meet

    • Thanks for your kind affirmation . . . no doubt you will relate that the homesteading lifestyle isn’t always easy – it is rewarding and it is only by perserverence and good luck that my wife and I have been able to continue here. You’re blog is inspirational and I look foward to visiting again. Best regards, Eddie.

    • At times yes … On the post “Seen from the deck” I said this to Chris “There are times when the rain storms blow, trees fall down (on our car once), and the road wash outs leaving us stranded – we rarely get snow bound though which seem counter intuitive after seeing these photos! I’m not complaining – just letting you know the other side of living in such a beautiful wildnersess setting.” Thank you for dropping by.

    • We live on the Pacific north west coast of North america – Vancouver Island British Columbia in Canada to be more specific. Thanks for your kind comment. Please drop by again & best regards.

  4. Do you notice anything like a tidal movement on your lake? A shift in the flow, any relationship to the moon phases? Just wondering. You have a truly lovely home and wow, what a place to put down roots. Good job!

    • We are about 500 feet above sea level with 2 sets of waterfalls and one other lake in the watershed between us and the ocean. So there is no tidal movement. The water level varies seasonally depending on the ammount of rainfall. Thanks you for the kind affirmation.

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