Tuesday, December 1 2009
It was December first and winter was coming, yet the woodshed was mostly empty, so today I ramped up my wood gathering and processing. Firewood salvaging is a big job, involving many little steps along the way. And most of the easy wood near the house has already been salvaged, processed, and burned. There was, however, some easily-salvaged wood remaining down near the greenhouse. Today, for example, I cut a big piece off an oak that had fallen more than a decade ago. It was nothing but bone-dry heartwood.
I also split up some of the random wood pieces that I've gathered in the last several months, including an enormous piece of what I think is Honey Locust. I'd been out on a supply-obtaining mission back on November 21st when I'd seen this piece of wood next to the 209 entrance ramp off Enterprise Road. So I'd circled around to pick it up. There'd been a dumpy grey-haired woman standing there, so I'd motioned at the wood to ask if I could take it. She'd said okay, and even come over to help, which had been good because, even with her help, I could just barely get it into my Subaru. And then she'd wanted a hug, which I'd gladly given her. Fast forward to today: I somehow managed to split the wood into a few pieces, though it was doing so strangely. The wood was still very moist and didn't seem to want to develop cracks, but once it started cracking it just sort of snapped, kind of like ceramic. Stranger still was the wood's color, which was a bright saturated yellow, making the wood look like some fabricated man-made material. Once I had this wood split and cut up, I put it back in the woodshed annex, the part that is covered by the kind of shell one puts over a pickup truck's bed. I might not get to it there for years. Some of the wood that had been back there might have been three years old, and I've been burning it up, reveling in how hot such dry wood wants to burn.
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