Nature Blog#1

Welcome to Doreyl's
Backwoods Nature Blogging

Living in the Woods...
Mongolian Style by Doreyl Ammons Cain

     As I look out the triangular window of my yurt art studio the light dims and the surrounding mountains begin turning a royal blue. The Blue Ridge Mountains covering the horizon give me a quiet feeling of comfort.

     In a world teaming with conflict, living simply in the midst of nature's abundance brings a settling of fears. Especially calming is the yurt structure that my husband Jerry and I have built (with the help of Red Sky builders in Asheville) here at Nature's Home Preserve.

     Having a great desire to live simply, become sustainable and to give to, not take from, the earth- the yurt totally fits our needs. First of all, there is no reason to rip up the earth to setup a yurt. The Mongolians, over 2,000 years ago, in Central Asia knew this when they developed their portable homes called "gers." Our Americanization of the word "ger" has changed the name to yurt. The Mongolians built their ger homes to withstand the high winds of the Turban Desert, the snow of the Tian Shan Mountains with the versatility of design for constant movement to more fertile grounds. The Mongolians believe that the spirit of the house is contained in the door threshold and it is a great offense to step directly on it. The interior walls are decorated with Persian rugs, wall hangings with colorful scenes and soft flat pillows for beds. All of the Mongolian's wealth is displayed in their ger, making their homes strikingly beautiful.

     Architectural Digest magazine calls the yurt an "architectural wonder," for the yurt is remarkably strong (without a central post in a circular structure), yet lightweight and portable. The yurt is considered one of the strongest and most resource efficient structures ever designed.

     The Americans have brought to the simple round beauty of the yurt design even more refinement... an opening skylight, tall walls, large windows and high quality weather resistant cotton canvas walls. It stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer and the structure can collapse down into a size small enough to fit easily into the back of a pickup truck.

     Back here at Nature's Home in the Appalachian Mountains the yurts fit into the hillsides on pine decks. They nestle into the lush forests with little disturbance to the natural environment. During the day light filters through the walls and windows creating an uplifting space to be in. Our visitors remain amazed at the calm feeling the yurts convey.

     Yurts (gers) were built 2,000 years ago for a simple life-style that embraces nature. Today most Mongolians still live the same way.

     What a great way to enjoy nature and create artwork in these awesome western North Carolina mountains!

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