Sunday, July 20, 2008

Winter prep, quality time & a visitor

A view of the farm looking west from the pasture

Today was set aside to cut a few big oak trees down for winter firewood. These trees were along the new fenceline of the three acre piece we had opened up last fall. Several small oaks and maples are leaning from a wind shear that came through here last fall so those will go as well. One of the huge oaks was struck by lightening a couple of years ago during a nasty storm. We happened to be setting on the porch when it was hit and could see it smoldering even as it was raining. We didn't have easy access to the tree until this year. Of course, because we needed to work outside today and we had help lined up, it started to rain shortly after chores this morning. No matter - it is very warm and humid. You couldn't tell if we were wet from sweat or rain!

Preparing to cut the big oak

Without knowing how damaged the tree was inside, Brian had to be very careful how he went about cutting down the tree. His saw blade wasn't as long as the diameter across the trunk so planning was very important. Even though these guys are comfortable with a chainsaw, they take nothing for granted. We've seen firsthand how quickly they cut skin and bone.
Steve & Brian inserting wedges to make sure the tree falls in the right direction

This tree didn't come down without effort on everyone's part. After alot of deliberation, using wedges, cutting notches and thinking, finally the tree landed right where they wanted it to.

Tyler giving Steve a hand limbing the tree :)

Brian & Dave cutting up the second oak tree

We made good progress.....the rain came in heavier and we decided it wasn't safe to use the chainsaws so we will finish cutting up the trees next weekend. We will haul it all up near the house to stack and finish drying for winter. Before snow we will cut it to stove length, split it and stack it in the wood shed. I love the smell of wood and enjoy the whole process of filling up the shed. It's a good feeling, knowing we've got plenty of wood to keep us warm for the winter. We should have a couple of cords from these two trees we cut today.

"Quality time"

Tyler received a BB gun for Christmas and this weekend Steve had time to spend with him teaching him the proper way to handle it. He's used it a couple of time before now in the spring but the weather was much colder and they couldn't stay out long. They set up a great target and before they were finished Tyler was hitting what he was aiming at! He sure enjoyed spending quality time with his Dad and he's very proud of his BB gun :)

BB Gun target

Proud Father & Son

This little fellow showed up on friday - when we went to the barn to do night chores, it was perched on the barn roof. He/she has been here since and enjoys picking up grain in the stalls where the cows slop after they go out to pasture. I think it's a rock pigeon but I'm not sure. My neighbors had a pigeon show up not too long ago and it comes and goes as it pleases, showing back up when they think it's gone for good. It's a very pretty bird and we are enjoying it while it's here.

All in all, a good weekend :)


Nancy K. said...

What a great way to spend what could have been a miserable weekend!

Joanne said...

Felling trees just the right way is an art! Thank you for showing us your family in motion...pretty neat! My father and father-in-law both spent time taking down trees when they were younger men.

Stay cool up there, and let me know about your everlasting slaw when you get a chance. I love fresh cabbages (spring and fall here) and would like to know how to preserve that taste!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

It looks rather slender to be a rock dove; I wonder if it could be a "peace dove," the kind that is sometimes released at weddings?

Deb said...

It was a fun weekend and productive; we really need the rain so we try not to complain to loud :)

your welcome....a cool front has moved through and we are going to be in the low 70's. Wonderful!! I'll be happy to post the Everlasting slaw recipe. We eat it with everything.....

I think your right - the closer I get to this bird, the less it looks like a pigeon. It's snow white. It's not afraid of humans. We can't touch it but it doesn't fly away from us either. I hope it stays -it really is lovely.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I wonder if it could be someone's escaped pet (or one of those "wedding releasees")? I had one once, named Noel; a very sweet bird. I think peace doves are the white/albino form of ringnecked doves.