Quest for Firewood

By , April 3, 2013

A few days last week were clear, crisp and dry. Like a large, crazed, and possibly hyperthyroid Easter Bunny, I began stashing piles of firewood rounds at various places around the property. The push for next winter’s firewood has begun.

I enter the season well positioned—better, in fact, than ever before. My diligence last year paid off well. We heated the cabin using an auxiliary firewood pile, overflow from the wood shed’s capacity, up until December, when we finally began using the shed’s supply. We managed this even though we began heating the cabin on colder days in August, and burned in earnest by at least mid-September.

Here at the beginning of April, we still have a good supply of wood. It seems to be enough to see us through the remaining burning season, which may extend till the first of June, but might end much sooner.

That means that everything I cut these days is devoted to next winter. I may even have to clear out the remaining wood, fill the shed with new-cut wood, then put the older, drier stuff in on top of the pile. That’s my hope, I least!

I’m encouraged by the number of trees that fell close to the cabin over the last winter. While the majority of my wood cutting efforts will focus on the far corner of our property, where “the blow down” intersects our land, I’ll harvest a lot of wood from close at hand, which reduces the time and effort of hauling, always a major factor, and perhaps the greatest strain on my aging body. For a few of these wind falls, the greatest challenge will be ensuring that the cut rounds don’t arrive at the cabin too early—the slope on which I’ll be cutting could allow them to roll down and strike the cabin or our outbuildings and cause damage.

Most of the wood, however, comes from farther away, which is part of the reason those wood piles are beginning to grow all around the property. I’ve learned to make a temporary rick in sunny spots near where I’m cutting, to stack wood where it will hopefully dry and lighten for a few months before I lug it to the cabin. If I were smart, I’d leave it until next autumn’s snows create a good surface for transporting by pulk. That means deferring the satisfaction and security of ensuring that the wood shed is, indeed, full. I have yet to be that courageous.

2 Responses to “Quest for Firewood”

  1. Linn Hartman says:

    Most folks around here (N. Central Arkansas) either heat with wood or propane. My friend is already getting his wood ready for next year. Had a big log going last night because of the cool spring. We use propane – probably use close to 400 gal. this year. Tanks getting down to about 20%. Hope warm weather gets here soon to stay – winds blowing at 12 MPH and wind chill 33. May want this in Aug when its been 100 plus for a week, but not now. Shudder when the furnace kicks on. $$$

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    I can’t imagine heating with propane, but it sounds like you have a big tank, and probably have it filled by a truck? That would help. Our propane comes to our cabin the same way as the wood–on our backs.

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