Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Why We're Sore

One red oak plus two white oaks equal warmth next winter.

If you wonder how Mason stays so thin, the answer is genetics. But the photo above also explains it all, too. Yup, it's firewood season. And we're hurting for it.

Yesterday Mason took down three oak trees; the last one was pushing 70 feet tall, with a trunk at least 18 inches in diameter -- all the way toward the top. It came down with a serious earth-shaking thud.

Just getting the tree ready to come down is a chore: clearing small trees and brush so Mason has a clear path to flee once the tree starts falling, and getting a cable rigged high up so we can use Mason's trusty old truck to pull it in the direction we want it to fall. Once a tree is down, we have to clear off all the little branches and pile them up for backyard burning once they've dried a bit.

Then Mason hauls out two chainsaws and slices the trunks into 16-inch-long pieces. We stack them in a pile, so that when we've recovered from taking them down, we can then split and stack them all. When we're all done, we strip down and do the tick check: four on me yesterday, just two on Mason. Then we collapse with cold beers.

Oh, did I mention I did all that on a black-and-blue ankle? (No, not a drinking accident; just a spill off the front stairs while trying to hoist an inherited antique bookcase into the house.)

Yesterday's 6-hour haul should bring us close to what we need for next winter. We think. So the question is, as soon as we're done, what will be the next project?

Two of the trees we took down will give us more morning sunshine on the veggie garden, and make room for maybe four more fruit trees. That's my nectarine tree, above.
Apple blossoms!!! My espalier tree survived a winter attack by a root-chewing creature. Bunnies wiped out my first batch of spinach, and the deer are fat on all my blueberry blossoms.