Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Above is a not very good picture of my wood pile in its infant stages that my brother and I created out of sixteen dead trees living in my yard last fall. I know I had a much better picture somewhere but darned if I can find it. So you will have to trust me when I say that the pile was much much bigger.

I kept putting it off and putting it off last winter because who wants to split wood in the blowing cold. I did go out there one day before the arrival of Baby Abbey, still suffering the affects of a cold, and attempted to split wood thinking that it would speed up my recovery to get the heart rate pumping and muscles aching. That lasted all of about ten minutes before I decided to wait until I got better or spring, which ever came last. Spring ended up coming last.

I toyed with the idea of splitting all that wood by hand figuring it would take me all of a weekend or perhaps a couple weekends. But I ended up calling a rental place and for $35 including tax, I could rent a wood splitter and do it in about three and a half hours which is what it took me. I must say, for that price, I wouldn't have done it any other way. So after a few hours of splitting and a few more hours of hauling it under the deck and stacking, below is my efforts.

By my calculations, I ended up with about a cord and a half of wood. The stack is 4 feet deep by 7 feet wide by 7 feet tall. Since I only burn wood recreationally on cold winter weekends, I probably have enough wood to get me by for two or three years. That is assuming of course that I get the fireplace fixed. Right now, I have an awesome brick fireplace that was brutally savaged so that the previous owners could stick in a gas insert. I need to see if someone with more know how than I, can either re-masonry it back to snuff or savage it some more to put a wood burning insert in it like I had at my old house. I suppose worst case for effort and cost is to just tear everything out and start again. But this is spring and I feel like I have the luxury of time and more important projects to get done first so procrastination is the word for right now.

On the plus side, when I cut down all those trees last fall, I needed a place to pile the wood until I got it split and opting against creating a dirt void in the lawn, I piled it over the fire pit and surrounding stone work. While that prevented a dirt void in the lawn, it also prevented me from using the fire pit. Fortunately with the wood split and neatly stacked, I now have a fire pit. Now I can go out and by that hog or small steer, set up the spit and slow roast it over the coals all day and have a huge party later that night. Or I can buy a package of brats, shove them on the end of my roasting sticks and have a 'weenie' roast with my family. I'm guessing the latter will win out.

On a final note, I'm happy to see that my entire lawn turned green with the spring rains we have been getting. Last year, from about August onward, it was dead brown in color and since I had never seen grass so dead so early, I kind of wondered if we would have anything besides weeds this year. Although I'm sure we will have weeds, we will have some grass at least for a little while. Despite the spring rains, we are still something like 10 inches in the hole for rain over the last 16 months or so and they are predicting another scorching dry summer for us this year. Already I think I have three more trees that are dead or dying and that is before they are showing signs of leafing out. I guess if they die and I am forced to chop them up, I may have to get a steer to burn through all that wood.


Vince said...

Is there a view behind those trees ?.

Ed said...

Vince - In the top picture, there is my neighbors lower lawn behind the trees and then more trees for the next couple miles or so. In the bottom picture, there is a university across the valley but I can't really see it at daytime due to all the trees. At night, I can see all the lights on the ridge line. Mostly I just keep the trees like they are to provide a barrier between me and my neighbors and also the street.

Vince said...

No, it's the bottom one I was on about. You might have something good on the skyline that you can include into you're own garden.
It really improves the selling if you have both the illusion of security and openness. Especially if it looks natural. Meaning any opening you make needs to have naturalized before a sale.

Vince said...

Be a real shame if you had to more it. :-D