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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Doing Wood

I have not posted as much as I might, lately. I have been busy doing some wood for this Winter. It is rather late to be doing this. One is supposed to do it in the Spring so that the wood can cure over the summer. Properly cured wood burns so much better giving off the maximum heat.

This Winter I will muddle through as I did last year. I do still have some wood in the basement left over from last Winter. Some of the wood I am currently cutting, splitting, piling and moving into the basement has been cut for a year and is partially dried. I will cure it for a while outside and them move it in the basement. This can be done when their is snow on the ground.

The snow is overdue. There was a sprinkling over night as their was one night about a week ago.
They have had significant snowfalls south of here and north west of here so Winter will eventually show up after a rather mild Fall. I read that meteorologists are predicting a cold Winter, hopefully with lots of snow. So far the temperatures are just hovering around the freezing point. At the moment it is 1C and may go down to -3C tonight.

This early in the Winter season I am looking forward to the -20c highs and the -3oc's and occasional -40c temperatures. With ample snow the Winter can be an invigorating challenge.

Those Canadians who have not fled it for warmer climes with best deal with it by rising to the challenge and embracing with outdoor Winter activities: skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, skiing both Nordic and downhill and snowboarding (which seems to have become the most interesting activity for the young. There is also Winter camping, which can be very interesting. I have always wanted to do it but never tried it. It we have lots of snow this year I might try to build a quinzee and try sleeping it it. (I am too old to try such thing by getting too far away from my bed and comforter if it doesn't work out.

For now I am dreaming of Winter and working hard doing wood, which I always enjoy a test of my manhood. I must admit at my age it is feeling a lot more challenging than it used to be.

My initial little bit. One small hitch of wood and some wood I purchased from a neighbour (not of good quality)

The latest wood my neighbour skidded out for me. I cut most of this a year ago, so I hope some of it is well on the way to being dry enough to burn. I tried to include my equipment in the picture. Having worked as a logger I am always keen to use all the safely gear. helmet, with visor and ear muffs (I prize my sight and hearing). safely gloves, boots and pants. Having been struck on the head by a falling tree, I appreciate my helmet. Even with safety boot I once cut through the boot and half way through my big toe with the saw. Cutting yourself with the saw is not fun although not as painful as you might think. The stitching my toe together was more painful. The real cautionary tale that impresses on me the wisdom of the safety equipment is the face that I have know three loggers killed on the job, even with good safety equipment. Logging. like hard rock mining , can be very unforgiving.

The wood I use is mostly poplar. It is a low grade hardwood. When properly cured it burns well and fast until it is ash. It needs lots of lending so one need to be around to feed the fire. Poplar is plentiful and largely a weed tree. There are problems using it as lumber but it is used in particle board and plywood. Due to years of bad forest management there is lots of poplar which flourishes after it has been cut down and more valuable trees have been removed. The are now trying to reverse this degradation of the great softwood and hardwood mixed forest in this southern part of Northern Canada.

Before I am though I hope I will have 7 full cords of wood done for this Winter. For those who are not interested in word, a cord is 127 cubic feet of wood and air. or 70 cu feet of piled lumber.

This is a pile of firewood 4' X 4' X 8'. I have it cut into three piles of 16" long wood to feed my wood stove.

I wish my wood was all done and all I had to do was sit and watch the Winter close it. I won't be fully ready but I will have wood close by that I can get even if it means moving some of it in on a clear cold winter day in January or February.

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At 6:34 p.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

You are excused -- for now -- but we expect much blogging over the long, cold winter.

At 6:39 p.m., Blogger KGMom said...

I remember some of your prior posts on your cutting, splitting, preparing wood for winter warmth. I do marvel at this task of yours.
Stay warm and stay safe.

At 9:46 a.m., Blogger Loretta said...

The first post I read of yours was about getting in your winter wood. This was 5/6 years ago,I enjoyed it and keep reading.

At 7:14 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

When I read about your chopping wood and, in general, getting ready for the winter it makes me feel like a real wimp! And to think you've been doing this for years ... it sure is a far cry from being a Unitarian minister !

At 3:10 p.m., Anonymous Lindsey said...

Well its a while since you wrote this so I hope you now have enough cut and stored to keep you going over the winter. How deep will you expect the snow to get over the winter?
We are/were an island of peat cutters. Up until the 1982 war nearly all homes would have had a peat bog. Post 82 nearly everyone has changed to oil fired heating. When we bought George Island in 2000 the house had a peat stove. Out of all the jobs peat cutting is something that Christopher does not like. He describes himself as a pig in ****, it is definately a skill and one that he never really mastered. After the first year we discovered drift wood. It is hard to believe but we have whole trees, roots and all on our beaches. The Falklands does not have any amount of trees and these have washed up. The wood is old and burns wonderfully. I much prefer it to peat as you can get a fierce heat out of it a lot quicker.


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