Firewood Season

While some of you are still struggling with Winter weather our days are getting warmer and it is starting to feel quite Spring-like. I like to get an early start on next Winter’s firewood so it can dry well and also so that I’m not cutting in the forest once the hot weather starts.

I have found in over the 40+ years of firewood gathering that I rarely have to cut a living tree. This year I started with this fir tree that has been dying over the last five years. It had a very unusual “S” shape which made me somewhat uneasy to take it down as the fall direction was hard to read. It was 134 feet tall so something not to tinker with. In early Fall the tree broke off at 40 feet and fortunately fell in the right direction. I took the rest of the tree down yesterday – three feet in diameter and about 125 years old. That corresponds with the time our property was first logged in the late 1890’s. This tree came up as a seedling then. It would have been a beautiful tree to mill but some sort of fungal disease runs through the entire tree.  Very unusual for a fir tree.

This hemlock did exactly the same things as the fir. It stood at about 95 feet tall but broke off at 45 feet. This tree is about 2.5 feet in diameter. Again, the tree was diseased but I’m finding the hemlock are more prone to disease.

I have four other alder trees to take down and then all that is left is the splitting and stacking!

Table Project

I thought I’d try my hand at making a small table this past week. I used red cedar that I had milled two years ago, joining two 1″ x 13″ x 40″ to make a 26″ wide table top. The legs and rails were mortised and tenoned and then pegged. I’m quite pleased with the results – Mocha seems indifferent.



Time Travel


Forty-three years ago our very diverse worlds started to orbit close to one another

Forty-one years ago they collided and melded slowly together

(much to the dismay of some – even to us at times)

Smooth sailing most of the time but also with a little turbulence

To end up gliding gently into the future –

Watching together to see how our world unfolds.

Happy Anniversary my Love!




Family Planning

We are having quite a lot of rain right now and for some reason the deer like to come and sleep on our lawn during the inclement weather. I’m not sure why but it might be that the forest is noisy in the wind and rain and the deer feel safer in the open where they can see and hear any predators. This is also mating season and these two are taking a break. The buck follows the female everywhere and the only respite she gets is to lie down on the lawn. There are also three other does around and an immature buck but these two are our faithful visitors.

This buck has been around for years and is very friendly and it has been wonderful watching him grow from a fawn to the magnificent animal he is.

Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

We lost our two retired chickens, Kate and Anna, to a bobcat this week. We thought the fence securing them was safe but we hadn’t thought of a bobcat and he had no problem breeching the fence. He was back today looking for more snacks to no avail.

Despite the situation it was quite a thrill to see such a beautiful animal.

Apples and Bears

We were hoping to leave our apples on the trees for a couple more weeks but this young guy came by to check out the crop.

He is a young bear that we hadn’t seen since early Spring. This is his first Summer without his mother but he is looking very healthy.

Unfortunately he has very little fear of humans and I think that will be a problem in coming years. After unsuccessfully trying to climb one apple tree that I had temporarily ringed with sheet metal, he tried to push over the fence into the garden to get the apples from our dwarf trees. It was then that I had to intervene. I went out to scare him away but that didn’t phase him much, he made a half-hearted climb up a fir tree and then headed for another old apple tree and sat down for a scratch.

After checking out the apples above, up he went.

It looked like he had settled in so I had to get out the garden hose and give him a spray. He quite like it at first but then became annoyed and ran off into the woods. Needless to say, we picked our apples – 60 pounds that didn’t end up in a bear’s stomach.