January 12, 2011

Got Wood?

"I hammered up the trail, 
passing rocks and trees as if they were standing still."
--Red Fisher

Since I'm "riding the pine" (on the bench) regarding regular trail running, the trees ARE standing still. What an opportunity to take a closer look at these forests and learn what wood stands in this rich area of the Monadnock Region. 

Helping to haul and split wood this fall also provided an outdoor classroom along with several daily lessons as I feed the stove. My teacher hasn't advanced my lessons to speaking in caudes or Latin ligni lingo— yet.  But he is schooling me with some pop quizzes from the wood pile. 
As we gather the split logs & limbs from a seasoned pile, load our hand carriers, and restock the wood bin, I do my best to name the trees before, saying thanks and so long as I feed another log to the flames.  And, just when I think I've nailed it, timber turns to ash.

Dave heats primarily with wood from his land that he cuts with his chainsaw(s). He's still cleaning up the fallen trees from the ice storm a few years ago, and selects trees that are part of a longer-term "bring back the field" plan. He estimates his gasoline consumption per season between three to five gallons, to operate his saws, tractor and splitter. There's the manual labor, too, four cords later.

Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice.
—Henry Ford 

We joked that the wood warms you w'acres more. I estimate about 10+ times: traveling to the tree, sectioning & cutting, loading & unloading, lifting to the splitter (&/or splitting by hand),  catching from splitting block and neatly stacking for seasoning. Then perhaps relocating the wood to a more accessible location, carrying bundles to stove area, and loading the stove. HEAT.

I pine for Pin Cherry!

Inspiration: Peter Galbert's Chair Notes blog. 
A Resource for Windsor Chair Makers and Woodworkers. 

The Wood Database: By Woodworkers, For Woodworkers.

January 01, 2011

Trail Sparks!

To complete 2010, Dave and I hiked through the fresh and sparkling snow into his Back 40+ and found a perfect, off-trail sheltered forest nook to play with a gift from Santaa mini fire steel. It's about the size of a key and is a safety/survival must for  those who love to wander the wilderness.
Our site was safely wind-free with a thick layer of snow. For starters the scraped dust from gray birch bark worked well but pocket lint caught more quickly! We fueled our little fire with small dead limbs from one of his nearby pine trees.
I'm eager to experiment with char-cloth
Making Char-Cloth from the Rogue Turtle.
And... A video from Make Magazine:

Caution: Don’t play with fire unless you know what you are doing and have the immediate and nearby means to extinguish it. Also don’t peel bark from live trees; it hurts them.