Firewood Season

We heat our home in winter using a wood burning stove (we have two woodstoves going when it is really cold). Winter is also when we cut, split and stack firewood for the next heating season. I’ve been cutting firewood in a several locations, most recently on the point south of our garden and home. I’ve always loved the point. The trees are second growth hardwood and the forest is mature so it is open rather than densely filled with saplings. There are still understory trees like dogwoods.

The spot where I’ve been working is where 4 trees had fallen in a cluster, a decent sized white oak, a large red oak, and two smaller red oaks.

The split pieces of the white oak are in the foreground. The large red oak splits are in the background. I was still working on splitting pieces of this tree when the photo was taken.

Since this is winter there is sometimes snow on the ground when I’m working. This photo is taken looking south across a large hollow. Some of the large red oak’s top limbs can be seen in the left foreground of the photo.

Sometimes when I split wood I come upon exceptionally beautiful pieces, usually at crotches or where there are limbs. The colors are bright on a freshly split piece of green wood, they quickly dim as the surface moisture dries. There is also that special aroma when firewood is cut and split.

The white oak is stacked in the right of the photo. I still have some to stack for the large red oak. The other two oaks are cut, and one is split ready to stack.

Late Autumn 2020

I haven’t been doing a good job posting updates. It’s not because things haven’t been happening here; it’s because it’s all too easy to get caught up in the day to day. To end the year I’m posting some photos showing some of the textures and colors we see in the woods. All but the last photo are of tree bark, slowly rotting tree stumps, and moss. The last photo I took the day after Christmas when there was snow on the ground. It shows marks left by bird wings on the snow as birds hunt for seeds.

Late August

This was supposed to be the post for August but things sometimes move a little too quickly here. It’s already October and trees are starting to show fall colors. So this will be a look back into what our summer was like.

I was finally able to get some decent photos of the cranefly orchids we have growing in our yard. The flowers are so small and they are hard to get into focus because the slightest breeze sets them swaying. The flowers last only a week or two. It’s autumn so the single leaf for each plant has emerged. It will be green all winter until May when it will wither. And then in mid-summer the flower spire appears.

While working in the garden one day Molly started taking photos of insects on the plants growing there. The zinnias were particularly attractive to a range of insects.

A neighbor gave Molly some seeds for tomatoes, Striped Roman, and they did really well in the garden, producing sweet fruit with unusual coloration.

The cats help us slow down, leave our busy minds, and settle to relax in this beautiful world. Molly has lunch outside unless it’s too cold or raining. Like this time, usually Kitty Boy and Willow join her.

The cats have their own favorite spots which shift during the year. In the summer the covers for the cisterns are always popular. This is Grey and Kitty Boy napping on the small cistern near the house.

Tansy joined us last year. She appeared out of the woods almost starved, not full grown, and friendly. Once she started to get some meat on her bones she began having some personality problems with the other cats, but that’s mostly gone now. She has the same coloring and shape of head as the kittens’ mother, though is not as large.