smallish dead White Pine firewood
Wednesday, February 7 2007
We've been in a cold snap that has lasted for more than two weeks, with temperatures rising into the twenties only grudgingly. By today cabin fever had me craving the outdoors, so when I took the four dogs for their morning walk, we did the biggest possible loop on the Stick Trail system. Since she has unusually thin fur, I dressed Eleanor in one of her jacket before we set out. Though the temperature was about 17 degrees, the dogs were perfectly happy throughout the walk, which had us outdoors for over an hour. My only discomfort was that my fingers gradually became cold inside my gloves. Also, the exposed skin of my face briefly ached when I encountered a stiff wind near the southmost part of the hike.
The cottonwood I salvaged awhile back has proved easier to dry than I'd expected, so I've begun drying pieces of it beside the stove and then burning them. The cold snap, and my determination to keep the house warm no matter how cold it gets outside, has taken a serious toll on the firewood supply. Today I was concerned enough about dwindling stocks of dry wood that I went on several firewood harvesting walks in the nearby forest.
I've developed a special fondness for dead White Pine trees having basal diameters of three to six inches. These are always bone-dry and can be quickly felled (sometimes without a saw) and comfortably carried long distances. Once cut into firewood, they guarantee that any attempt to start a fire will succeed. They're also great for filling in the voids of a fire that has gone lazy, immediately reinvigorating it and rapidly filling the living room with heat.
Marie enjoying the fire.
Hansi, the older of the two poodles we're house sitting, gnaws on a bak choi stem.
Note how filthy the floor is, mostly from sawdust being tracked in with the firewood from the garage.
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