Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Time to Split

It has been a busy couple of weeks around here. Work has picked up significantly and believe me, that is a wonderful thing. Can't believe it's been a couple of weeks since I posted last.

Take a look at this first picture. It's from my back yard. Notice those two large Maple trees just beyond the back fence? Aren't they beautiful? At about 40-50 feet tall the afternoon shade the dark green leaves on long branches provided were always welcome.

You probably noticed the past tense I just used. That's because those two trees are no more. Our local electric company is getting ready to string additional wires on the giant towers that are off in the distance and these trees were within the path of the new lines. That meant they had to come down last week.

If you take a look at the next picture you will see what it looks like now. Still pretty, but a whole lot brighter now.

I will say that even though I wasn't thrilled by the loss of the trees, it will certainly make growing a garden a much better possibility. With as much shade as there was, having a vegetable garden wasn't much of an option before.

This is a "glass half full" way of looking at it.

The crew that came out to do the tree removal were really nice guys. When they showed up the first day, I asked them if was possible to cut the large rounds into sixteen inch sections. The foreman said he wasn't sure, but would think about it. When I got home from work later in the afternoon, I went out into the back yard and saw some very tired workers as well as a pile of sixteen inch tree parts! I offered to fill up their water jug and thanked them for cutting the trees into sections. They were almost as happy to have the ice water as I was to have the wood.

Over the next couple of evenings I loaded my truck with the wood and took it over to moms. Then, on Sunday Lisa, the boys and I rented a splitter and proceeded to make a massive pile of firewood for mom. (and some for camping too)

If you've ever split firewood by hand, and I have, let me tell you, renting a splitter is worth every penny! Actually, I should say it was worth every one of mom's pennies, because she actually paid for it. Bless you mom!

When the day was done and the sore mussels were counted, I would estimate that there was somewhere in the neighborhood of two and a half cords of firewood. (A cord is measured at 4x4x8 feet)

Let me say that my family is awesome! They stuck it out with me for the majority of the day helping stack some of the wood and running the handle for the hydraulic splitter. About three quarters of the way through the pile, my brother Mark showed up and helped me finish. Yahoooo! That was right on time, because by that time my arms were about to fall off from lifting all those rounds.

When winter rolls around I plan on going over to moms and sitting beside the nice warm fire.


Matt-Man said...

Why am I not surprised that you sure know your wood? Cheers!!

Desert Songbird said...

Lovely trees and shade. Around here blood would have been shed over the loss of that shade. I can see the advantage for you, however, I guess.....*grin*

Sandee said...

Wow, that's a lot of wood and yes your family is awesome for hanging in there with you.

Have a terrific 4th of July weekend. :)

Mike Golch said...

I like the new of your blog.

Jeff B said...

Matt- I am quite attached to my wood. . .or is that, it is attached to me?

Songbird- Shad around your parts is a precious commodity for sure.

Sandee- We will. Block party going on.

Mike- Wow, it's been a while since you've been by. Good to see you again.

skywind said...

This is a great work, but is quite arduous, you were too great. : )
Health information & Humor & Fun World

BJ Roan said...

The wind took down one of my shade trees a couple of weeks ago. I think I might have been a bit unhappy with the power company for removing 2 such beautiful trees, but that's progress. A garden will be nice, but so will that fire when winter comes. Nice family you have. My kids would probably still be stacking. ;)

Dana said...

I love it when you came back and share!

I'm having a difficult time with the glass-half-full approach to the loss of the trees, but if I try really hard ...

Mel said...

What a good little son you are.

Better than the other ones.

(how'm I doin'? LOL)

Ron said...

I was going to mention something about "wood" but I see that Matt-Man beat me to it!


What is it about us guys always thinking our WOOD?

Hey, listen...your place looks great! Hard work, I know...but think of how great it's going to be when Winter hits and you''re sitting in front of that fire toasting marshmallows!!

Thanks for sharing, bud!


Bond said...

I have used a splitter and yes it is easier than doing it yourself, but dang it man - I was exhausted after all is said and done.

WHAT? you gave them water...I would have laid a case of beer on them.

Nessa said...

It's a shame those beautiful trees had to come down but at least you will be putting them to good use.

Thom said...

I too was going to mention something about wood...but...LOL. What a task that had to be. You will be so happy when Winter comes a calling :)

Rabbit, rabbit

Jeff B said...

Skywind- It was a ton of work.

BJ- I could have easily whined and complained to the power company, but I knew it wouldn't have done any good. We knew when we moved in that this was a possibility. Just wishful thinking that it would have happened later rather than sooner.

Dana- Lisa is having a hard time with that approach too. I just figured going with the flow would be much better for my blood pressure.

Mel- Oh I would have to agree. A much better son...

Ha, I'm a legend in my own mind :)

Woody- I told my family that the first campfire we build using that wood will be visible from space!

And yes, we are a bit pre-occupied with our wood aren't we?

Bond- I would have done that, but they still had a couple of more trees to fall a few houses away. Now had the have split all of the wood. . .

Nessa- Definitely a bittersweet deal. We counted the rings and figured they were around 45 years old.

Thom- Like minds in like directions. I refer to this as the squirrel factor. Do all the work now for a reward later.

nitebyrd said...

You got sort of a win-win in a way. I hate to see trees go but you did something useful with them.

Good luck with the garden!

Mama Zen said...

That's a LOT of wood!

Gene Bach said...

Aesome...I'm glad you got all the done before we come up the end of the month. It would have hurt me bad to have had to sit there and watch you work.

Jeff B said...

Nitebyrd- I see some juicy home grown tomatoes in my future.

Mama Zen- I concur. My arms were about to fall off after loading all of it then lifting it again to split it.

Gene- Thanks for reminding me that you're coming up. Guess we can wait till then to stack it all. Wouldn't want you to miss all the fun!

Travis said...

It's too bad about the trees having to come down, but you sure took the positive approach. Well done!

Mimi Lenox said...

What a GREAT pile of wood. You are set for the winter. And it's cool to see your son helping out with the wood splinter.

Mimi Lenox said...

Did I just say SPLINTER?

I meant splitter.
Hope no one got a splinter.

Micky-T said...

glass half full for sure

Using a splitter is indeed a rewarding days work, always feels good.
it's all stacked waiting to shead warmth.