Getting the Wood In

By , September 25, 2010

On Thursday, ahead of the first equinoctial storm, we finally gathered in all of the firewood. For months, newly cut wood has been drying in stacks around our beach. When the weather forecast last predicted a long dry spell, I decided that when it ended, I’d bring in all the wood and stow it for the season.

the homestead firewood pile, front side

Like money in the bank! Firewood for the coming winter and beyond (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

We worked hard for a long half day to sort and stack the wood. Most of it went into the remaining space in the wood shed on the side of the cabin, in the gap against the wall. Some went under the guest house, and the wettest—mostly birch that’ll need to season at least another year, maybe two—went under the house. I’d tried to keep the gap in the woodshed empty as long as possible, because a contractor is set to chink the cabin through the Home Weatherization Program, and I didn’t want the wood to be in his way. But it’s getting pretty late for that to happen. I stacked the wood as carefully as if it would stay there all winter. If I have to pull it out before then to get the chinking done, it’ll be worth it.

homestead's firewood stack, rear view

The back of the stack. The view from that window is diminished for the time being (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

I’ll be glad to have those piles gone. For the last month or so, I’ve had to run out and cover them whenever it rained. And, as much as I enjoy looking at a nice stack of firewood, they’d become the most prominent physical feature on the beach, showing up more clearly from a greater distance than our homestead buildings.

Besides, now that the autumn equinox has passed, there’s a lot of talk around Haines about getting the wood in. I’ve been anxious to finish the project (for now—the search for firewood never really stops here).

We did the job well, and we did it in a timely fashion. That afternoon the sprinkles started, and by the next morning we had rain driven by high winds. The temperature dropped low enough to have a fire in the morning. We’re feeling snug, ready for the coming winter.

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