The sound of a chainsaw screaming in anticipation of the job ahead….that was the sound this past week. As most of us, west of the Cascades, have experienced, winter has already turned to spring. I don’t know what happened with that old ground hog’s prediction this year, but for those of us in Oregon, and California (I’m pretty sure Washington, as well) those 6 more weeks of winter did not hold true… at all. My condolences if you live on the east coast…….
Although we are still getting into freezing temps through the night, the days are very mild…perfect for timber work….as necessary, and cyclical as the annual, “mowing of the grasses” season. It’s important to rid the forest of damaged trees, they become unstable…the “widow makers” of the forest. In turn, we resupply our firewood supply for the winter….ideally, we’d be cutting for the winter of 2016-2017 right now, but we are a little behind and are still stocking for 2015-2016. We’ve got to pick up the pace a little as our season to fell timber stops with the “burn ban” that occurs every year in July….maybe earlier this year if the rains stop sooner than what is normal. With the weird weather pattern we’ve had this year, I hope the rains don’t stop too early, but I worry.
In an effort to not add to the particulars and such in our gorgeous, clean, Pacific Northwest air, Tony and I decided a long time ago that instead of burning, we would chip the branches that we couldn’t really use for firewood.
It’s better for the environment, and provides us with some beautiful mulch for the garden. This pile is from one tree….there are a lot of needles as this tree was very full….the aroma is amazing.
When the chainsaw, and chipper’s jobs are completed, it’s time to split the wood into wood-stove-useable size logs. Since we don’t live in -0 temps, and our house is pretty energy efficient, we don’t need huge logs to keep the house warm. Plus, smaller logs are just easier to handle…and look really pretty when they burn.
Seriously, when logs like these are burning hot, like this, we barely use our heater at all. It a wonderful thing!!!
When you think of splitting wood, what pops into your mind? Is it the iconic lumberjack, or cowboy wielding an axe that he purposefully hammers down onto an upright log, as the wood splinters from it’s stronghold, and falls to the ground? Sexy…yes….impractical for my man’s back….also yes!! This is how Tony (or any of us for that matter…mostly Tony) splits our firewood, and I have to say, there is something very relaxing about watching it break apart in slow motion, really…if you can get past the noise. Listen for the cracking…..
This tree that gave us the batch of logs, from the video below, had it’s top crown broken off in a wind storm this year. The wood on the inside of the tree was wet from water being absorbed back inside the tree’s trunk from the top break. It was good to fell this tree.
Amazing how much moisture this tree absorbed.
In other news……I have a question. With all mature hens in the flock…which one of the girls laid this tiny, tiny egg??
Thank you for taking the time to visit the farm today. I hope your winter quickly turns to spring. Keep watching…….it’s on the horizon.
Take care of yourselves out there!!!
Your friend from Oregon,