I am busy "doing wood" these days. This involves felling trees, skidding the tree length logs out of the bush, cutting it into blocks, piling it so it can cure in the heat and wind and finally moving it into the basement of the house.
Better late than never this year. I should have done this in the Spring. I will have to buy some properly cured wood for the early Winter. What I am cutting now is green and may cure by late Winter if I cover it and keep it dry.
Not getting your wood cut, stacked and cured before Winter is an unforgivable sin in the country. I will pay this Winter with some low grade heat. Shame on me.
This is my friend Dave. He died last year. He was a local who lived and worked in this area all his life. He raised 10 children. NO! he was not a sex fiend, he was a Catholic. :) For his generation 10 children was not an outrageous number. Some had as many as 20 children in French Canadian Catholic families. Life was hard and many hands made light work. . .or so they claim.
Dave lived with me, with his second wife June (his caregiver), for four years. He enjoyed helping with the wood. He piled split faggots of wood on his walker and wheeled them to the pile and added them to our growing woodpile. We joked about this as I call him the trucker. He made a difference in the work load (slow and steady) and I enjoyed his company. He is missed.
This is the business end of a skidder for those unfamiliar with logging. The chocker cables you see hanging from the arch are attached to a mainline steel cable attached to a winch. The mainline is dragged out and the chockers go around the tree length logs and the bunch of logs is winched up to the skidder until their butts are off the ground. Then they are dragged out of the bush.
My friend Leo has only five chockers on his skidder. On the skidder I operated ,I had as many as 15. It was a bigger skidder and I could skid a bunch of mixed sized logs out of the bush at a time.
We skidded out some trees I had cut. What is here is about 1/3 of what I have down in the bush.
This will get me going for now.
(click on the photo to enlarge)
Here is my effort so far. (Don't you just love the late afternoon light). I build three piles at a time. Every 8 feet is about one cord (128 cubic feet of wood and air) or three face cords. I need 20 to 30 face cords of split stove wood. So I have a way to go.
I like spitting wood by hand with a maul. I think of it as the "zen of wood". It is a kind of meditation, requiring both concentration, study of the wood and it's splitting lines and the physical effort to strike the perfect blow so the block splits artfully. I know. . .you think I am nuts! Could be! I turn down the offer of mechanical splitters.
In a week or so the effort will not leave me with painful shoulders and back. I will be humming along by then. It give one a great deal of satisfaction in the Spring to have a lovely pile of wood knowing that you have quality fuel for your Winter heat. I shall miss that as I stuggle with less than perfect wood this year.