Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Collecting Logs for Fire Wood...I'm Glad This Is Not 1912!

Now that the garden is in it's early growing stage, we have time to focus on other things that need to be done.  We definitely need to be preparing fire wood for the winter, otherwise it will not be very comfortable (we don't have much seasoned wood left). 

So we have spent most of today collecting logs for fire wood.  Most of the logs are the result of clearing some trees behind the cabin in order to create a space to plant our chestnut trees.  That happened a year ago.  The trees were felled and the wood was cut into 3' - 4' pieces so they could be stacked in a manner to keep them off the ground in order to dry.  Though as the crow flies this is about 100 yards behind the cabin, that route would require carrying the wood from the pile up the steep slope from the creek to the cabin...an unsafe and difficult path to move a large amount of wood.
The other pieces of wood were from trees that had fallen and were obstructing our path...so we had to cut and remove them first.  Good wood, and here is a friendly fellow who happened to be enjoying a log we were working on removing (we did safely relocate him)...
We had created a path (so to speak, you will see what I mean) from the wood pile, through the woods, and opening near the garden.  The path begins here, the wood pile is just to the right of this photo...I know it is not easy to discern, it is easier to see when you are walking it...

I would say this whole path is about 2/10ths (1/5th) of a mile one way, up most of the way, though only feeling extremely steep when pushing a wheel barrow filled with heavy pieces of wood!
This is the stack of logs, after we had already moved about 1/2 of it.  Doesn't look like much, but most of it is oak (very heavy) and birch, not sure of the rest.  Trust me, after 8 trips back and forth, it is a lot.  It will provide a good 3 full days of wood stove burning during winter, so I consider that a very good day's work!    

Mountain Man and I alternated pushing the wheelbarrow through the woods, this was one of my loads.  I would calmly grunt and groan when I had to push over a little mound or something, I am quite sure my hamstrings and gluts will be feeling this effort tomorrow!  Oh, did I mention our wheelbarrow is very old and rickety?  I kept telling Johny it might be a good idea to invest in a heavy duty one to help us manage these tasks... 

This is our friend Charlie's 4-wheeler with trailer filled for transport (we will be purchasing our own to help with these tasks, but Charlie has been gracious in letting us borrow his for now:) ).  Once we filled it, we drove to the cabin and emptied the wood into our chopping pile.  Those chopping pictures will be for another day, being that there would be no more major physical labor after this task today!

I actually enjoyed the physical labor, but boy and I tired!  I can only imagine how difficult it must have been 100 years ago, when the automobile was only being introduced.  There were no 4-wheelers, and it is likely people living in these mountains were using horses or mules to move their heavy loads long distances. 

I was happy to find this beauty in our yard at the end of the day...the blue is almost iridescent in the sunlight. It was a pleasantly peaceful closing to a very task oriented day...I am still determining what type of butterfly this is, I have not seen it before... 
...does anyone know this beauty?
Thanks for reading my blog, I really do appreciate your interest, leave me a comment, I like those...see you tomorrow,


Carol said...

Dear friend,
When I work in the garden or can, I always think of my grandmothers. No electricity or running water until their later lives. This keeps me from complaining outloud, and I am sure my husband doesn't want to listen!
I enjoy reading your posts. I do not know about the beautiful butterfly. Also, I live in middle TN.

Lise said...

What a great perspective Carol! I'm glad you enjoy the posts, and thanks for your comment:) Though we are working at living off the land and more simply, I must admit that I'm glad to have electricity and the Internet:)!

Tipper said...

Not sure what the correct name for the butterfly is-we have them here too : )

Being exhausted from a day of hard work is a good thing-especially when you've put something up for the future-like your wood!