The weather has been crazy warm for the most part, so we have taken advantage of that. I'm good with being out all day in 40+ weather, but below that I can't handle more than a couple hours at a time. I have Cold Urticaria and more than a couple hours around or below freezing overpowers my antihistamines and I start breaking out in hives. Before that happens, my nose begins running uncontrollably. Not fun because I actually enjoy the cold weather and when we lived in the Chicago suburbs we owned cross-country skis and spent a lot of time out on the snow. The winds charts for the area show that the prevailing winds are from the SSE, which I find puzzling because quite a few trees on the property either have a lean or bend to the E. Those trees, regardless of location, will be cut down because it is only a matter of time before they end up breaking or falling over anyway. Most of the rainstorms that blow through the area sweep from SW to NE. Winter storms come in from the NW. The trees make a noticeable difference in wind intensity, even with the leaves being off the trees. That will all change when finish clearing for the house. Our house will be oriented facing SSE with a shed roof, high side on the front which makes it pretty much a no-go for solar cells. Our garage, which will be about 15 feet from the house, will be oriented with the front facing almost due E, so it will be a good location for future solar panels when we go that way. We have already made a few changes in plans and layout since we started, and I'm sure there will be others as we get closer to having to make the final decision on building locations. One of the good things about clearing the area ourselves is that as we spend more time there and see the area at different times of day, varying degrees of sun/shade, and different amounts of foliage, we get a better feel for where we want things located. Had we gone in on day one with a contractor to clear and start construction, things would look a lot different than they are going to be now. It would definitely be easier to hire the clearing done, but we are doing as much grunt work as we can ourselves so we can devote more of our finances to building supplies and construction. The developer has a backhoe and a tractor with a box blade that he uses from time to time to work on drainage. He hired a contractor to clear and construct the roads. That contractor merely pushed trees up against the tree line and left us a mess to have to deal with. I've cut into a few of them to see if there was anything worth salvaging and struck out. The pile my wife is walking past is most likely the last burn pile we will be doing. We identified a place where we are going to clear to put our hugulkulture mounds and will begin stacking logs and debris there. Next trip out I'm taking some welded wire fence and T-posts with me to set up an area for a couple compost piles. We will start with leaves and small branches and take appropriate food waste from home to add to it when we go out there. When the contractor removes stumps and scrapes off organic material and topsoil for the road, garage, and house, we will use that to cover the hugulkulture mounds. In spite of my efforts, I ended up getting some poison ivy on my right arm. I bought some Tecnu poison ivy and oak scrub and rash relief spray and it seems to be doing a great job of limiting how many bumps are popping up. Definitely better than last month when my right forearm was a solid mass of nasty from wrist to elbow. My wife does not appear to be sensitive at all to poison ivy, so she suggested that I leave anything with poison ivy vine on it to her. Works for me! We are being very careful to keep anything with poison ivy vine off the burn pile. I won't have to worry about it for a few days because my vacation time is over and I'm getting ready to start a string of 10 days, most of them 12 hour days, before my next days off, and that will be the weekend before Christmas and we will be quite busy then.