RicelandMeadows


Another Load
June 27, 2019, 8:42 am
Filed under: June 2019 | Tags: , , ,

anotherload

June 27, 2019

I can’t seem to hit hay weather yet, so I have been working hard on firewood for the sugarhouse. This job really never ends. I work at the main part to fill the woodshed as soon as the maple season ends. I like to have that job completed by July 1st.

I will hit that goal again this year. Having well seasoned, dry wood makes the job of boiling maple sap go much better! I fill the woodshed, then work on getting ahead for the following year. I don’t usually work real hard at this job once the shed is full, but having some extra, is never a waste of time.

I have a little firewood to make for my shop stove. I enjoy the warm, constant heat from my little stove as I putter in my work shop on cold winter days. These hot, muggy summer days, makes wood work a little tough, but the reward comes in winter.

My haying tools and horses stand ready to make hay. The weather is a bit stingy. It is also easy to look back and say, “I should have cut two days ago!”. I am just going to be patient. The days have been dry for the last three, but my fields are wet. Water still stands in places, but I know that , “this too shall pass”. Hay season will soon be in full swing. In the meantime I will simply work on another load of firewood.



Warm January
January 8, 2019, 11:02 am
Filed under: January 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

2019woodshedjan

January 8, 2019

As I write this entry, it is 52F degrees outside. Rain is falling and a winter thunderstorm grumbles and flashes out the window. Our winter has been more springlike than winter. We have had almost no snow and very little cold. Mud abounds making things difficult in the fields or forest.

I continue to work on cutting and stacking wood for the sugarhouse woodshed. It is mostly full. Just a few large pieces remain to be split. I have even started on next year’s wood, thanks to a good friend. The ash tree chunks in the foreground, were from dead trees near a lady’s barn. Now, they are no danger and will be utilized to make maple syrup.

Those ash trees were near a driveway, so we could cut and clean up without being knee deep in mud. I took the above photo last Sunday. The ground is almost drying out, but today, the rains are soaking it all again. We don’t have to shovel rain and I guess its moisture no matter how you look at it!

Cold snap coming for the week’s end. Maybe the ground will freeze and work can continue. In the meantime, I will stay plenty busy…as is a farmer’s life!



Goodbye Third Quarter
September 30, 2018, 10:05 am
Filed under: September 2018 | Tags: , , ,

postdrill

September 30, 2018

Today, is the last day of September 2018. Three-quarters of the year gone already. Time marches on! I looked back over the month and realize that while I was waiting to make the last of this year’s hay or decent weather to plant speltz, a whole month flew by. I didn’t get anymore hay made. I was unable to get speltz planted. Both jobs were abandoned due to the rainy month.

Alas, all is not lost. I have managed to get a new wagon bed built, a few forge projects completed including the post drill above. I have gotten the sugarhouse woodshed almost full of seasoned split wood. I am working towards putting the summer hay tools away and gearing up for fall plowing.

The post drill had been in an old building for a very long time. It was seized up and covered in rust. I kept working at it slowly for a few months. It now works perfectly and is mounted back on my forge wall. I see it as a tribute to the men and machines who made this country great.

Trailerload2018

I think this load of wood will almost complete the job of filling the woodshed. This load of cherry and red oak will be split by the end of next week. These trees were felled by a late winter storm. I am almost done with the cleanup job. Now, as October closes in, I am setting my sights on the corn harvest and fall plowing. So, I say goodbye to the third quarter of 2018.



My Turn
October 22, 2017, 8:48 am
Filed under: October 2017 | Tags: , , ,

Kennywood

October 22, 2017

After a summer filled with help from other people, it’s my turn to pay folks back. I spent a day and a half cutting and hauling firewood to my buddy Ken’s house. I hauled seven dump trailer loads. Much of it will need further processing, but it is in his drive and near the stove. This was one job where my skidsteer was very valuable!

I also butchered hogs and gave away meat to another family as I traded “in kind” for labor or goods. His family and mine both made out. The last thing that I want to do before the snow flies, is to give a day’s labor with my skidsteer, to another friend who helped me this summer.

Work is winding down. Winter will soon be knocking on the door. I hope to put the last of my equipment away this afternoon. A dead tree waits for me to harvest it for a building project, but thanks to friends and family, I am caught up after being laid up all summer. Thanks to all of you for your help!



Warm Smiles
November 27, 2016, 11:02 pm
Filed under: November 2016 | Tags: , , , , , ,

bigmaple

November 27, 2016

It was a beautiful day, especially for late November in northeast Ohio. I worked with my little sister, cutting and splitting her some wood for winter. Her primary heat source is coal. She uses the wood on the coldest winter days in a basement wood burner to warm her cellar and the floors of her big house.

We had a good day of laughing and visiting. We managed to split a good amount of wood too. We will do another load one day soon, but for now she has half of what she needs. I enjoy working on wood, so this day and those that will follow make me smile.

I have worked up most of the wood the horses and I have dragged out of the woods. We will now work on bringing more up to the drive where splitting is done. The easy access makes for easy splitting all winter long. The dead and fallen trees in our woods provide for many. I am glad that I can help others. I am feeling good because all the farm work has been done for the year. So, I get to work on firewood and making warm smiles.



Chop Chop
November 5, 2016, 7:56 pm
Filed under: November 2016 | Tags: , , ,

bigmaple

November 5, 2016

The corn has been picked, so I moved on to another project that has been bugging me. These big maple trunks and a few still left from the old white oak tree needed to be split. They are too large for me to man handle anymore. Some pieces of the white oak were over five feet in diameter. This tree is sizable as well. I traded labor for the use of my neighbor’s skidsteer mounted logsplitter. He sent his son and the machine.

sheldsplit

The splitter hangs upside down. The machine grabs a piece and slices through it in seconds. I just needed the large chunks to be small enough so that I can finish processing them. He did a great job. I sawed a few more large logs while he worked. He caught up to me on the last log. In just three hours we reduced big hulking logs to manageable firewood pieces.

bigchunk

Chop chop, what a great day. I can have this all cleaned up by the end of the week. What another beautiful fall day.



The work is finally done
October 30, 2016, 7:24 pm
Filed under: October 2016 | Tags: , , , , ,

wyoniaalmostgone

October 30,2016

After almost three years of work, the old tree has been all turned into firewood. The fence, smashed beyond repair has been replaced and the area around the old tree has been cleaned up. The last job that remains is a tribute to this aged white oak tree. I will plant a nice sapling in the remains of the stump. I will fill the crater with topsoil and compost and plant what I hope will be a legacy for this old tree.

oaktreefence

A few brambles hide the massive stump, all that is left of the old tree. It was a long, worthwhile project. The work was difficult at times due to the size of the old tree’s trunk. Some folks thought that I was crazy to work that hard on wood to burn. I didn’t do it to show off. I didn’t really need a job of that scope. I did it out of respect for that giant old tree.

She gave her life feeding wild creatures for decades, in fact centuries! So, for me utilizing as much of the wood as possible seemed like the right thing to do. My sugarhouse woodshed is full to the brim. I even have a good start on next year. So this old oak will help supply the heat needed to boil our maple sap for four years in all. The wood also heated four different households too!

Having reached the end of this project, I feel a little bittersweet. I’m glad the work is all done, but I will sure miss that old tree, her shade, her acorns and the peace that was found sitting under her giant limbs. Goodbye and thank you, my old friend.