06 May 2015

Finding Fuel

Found a tree and getting ready to chop it into movable pieces.
Though we've just finished up with another chilly winter, we're already planning for the next one. We love our new wood burning stove (especially now that I've figured out how to light a fire) but since it was our first year using fire to keep warm, we underestimated the amount we'd need. We won't be making the same mistake again. So, we're already on the prowl.
Kate had the easiest job of all.
You'd think that Indiana has trees left and right that people would be giving away firewood and mulch. Wrong. Though there are some people who like to charge an arm and leg for barely a week's worth of split wood, there are ways of getting around that problem, especially if you're willing to ask around and put in your own hard labor and sweat. Less than two miles from our home, a sizable portion of land is being developed, probably for more gas stations or warehouses. For the time being, a local lumber company is having a heyday with it. They've begun harvesting trees to turn into lumber. The benefit for us is that they leave the tops of the trees, which is great for us--it's perfect firewood size. We tried calling around and after some fruitless efforts, decided to take a drive through the development and happened to catch a guy who knew the lumber company owner. For $20 a truckload, we can have as much wood as we like.
Jack making quick work of a tree top.
Jack has become a master chainsaw wielder and while I sometimes grumble that he has the easier job (I get to run back and forth throwing wood into the truck), I remind myself that in reality, the chainsaw is really heavy and Jack just makes swinging it around look easy and I really, really don't care to use saws. I will when the occasion calls for it, but if I have a choice, I'll leave the body-part-dismembering-machine usage to Jack. I need my fingers to type!
Trying to spot some little fishies and polliwogs.
We've already been out twice and are getting more efficient as we go. The girls sometimes help for a quarter or the promise of a movie when we get home, sometimes pick flowers, sometimes nap and often entertain themselves by exploring the nature around them. Gratefully, most of the poison ivy and stinging, biting insects aren't out yet. However, the ticks are abundant. I feel a bit like a monkey whenever we return home--I carefully comb through everyone's hair and clothes to check for unwelcome insects. Last time, Evelyn had a couple crawling in her hair, Jack somehow stumbled into a nest of them and had about eight scurrying up his leg, under his shirt and on his chainsaw. Even Claire's toy cat had a couple on it, trying to find blood to suck. Kate and I were the only ones who escaped unscathed.
Now that's a truckload!
We have a pretty good start on our firewood collection so far. It's come with the cost of lots of scrapes, bruises and sweat. A few times we overestimated our truck's abilities but have managed to escape and return home each evening, tired but grateful. Next is splitting and stacking the tons of wood but compared to finding fuel, that's a piece of cake.
Jack and Hercules surveying the start to our wood collection.

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