Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why am I not fishing?

Often times we have so many things to do, we can't do the "fun" things in life like fishing.  In my life, and I would bet yours also,  there is always something else that needs to be done.  As a new homeowner, I have finally figured out that there will always be something that needs to get done.  Over the last few months, I had a big project that needed to get done.  There was this big tree right next to our house that needed to be taken care of.  It had to come down.  We prayed it would come down on the date we scheduled it to come down and not before.  This was a big tree!

There were two trunks that made it even more dangerous.  The trunks split about a foot off the ground.

The second trunk almost took out the cherry picker truck.

Now after the crew was gone, all that remained were about 30-40 logs.  My plan was to chop all of these up for firewood.  Little did I know how hard that would be.

In between the tree coming down and splitting the wood, we did many things.  One weekend we traveled to my parents house in New Mexico to help pick up hay from the fields.  I always know that a good days work is in store, but looking back, it was pretty easy...compared to splitting all that wood.  It's not all work when we visit and I found some time to go out shooting with my cousin who was there that weekend.  I tried to trade a few fly rods for his rifle but it didn't work.
"SWAT shot"

The Colfax County Fair was that weekend and we checked out the parade.  We ate steak for dinner  and had a good time.

Now to this past weekend.  Wood splitting time.  Luckily I had some help from the neighbors and it made it easier, if I dare say that.  
This was about the average size.  Some were much bigger though.  

This was one of the bigger, lower logs above the split about 8' from the base of the tree, and it had an "inner core", the wrist sized beginning of the massive tree.  
We estimate that this tree was planted around 1960 and was near 90' tall.  It was a beautiful tree, but so close to the house. It was about 18" from the outside wall.  

This is the beginning of the wood pile.  It is now about 4 times that amount.  We were unable to use the fire place since the tree was basically right over the chimney.  Hopefully this wood will provide the warmth as I sit at the tying bench tying hoppers for the upcoming season and wishing it was summer time again.  
I will wake up tomorrow and feel better than I did today.  I should be able to walk near normal and not have to worry about getting across the street before that car that is pretty far away will run me over like I have the last few days.  I should be able to get out of my chair at work a little easier and the first few steps won't kill my legs like they have the last two days.  Man, I was a sore sucker.  I still am.  


  1. Hey Juan. If anyone understands the pain & suffering of firewood, it's me. We heat with a wood stove and I supply all the wood from my property. My "stack" for the Winter consists of: 4 rows 20' long and 5 feet high, 2 rows 16' long and 5 feet high. I'm also working on filling the "stock" (so it will be seasoned) for next year that is 5 rows 16 feet long and 5' high. I know the pain and you have my sympathy.


  2. I too feel your pain.

    Last week, we had 5 trees dropped in out back yard (2 maple, 3 pine), and every available afternoon since then, I've been out cutting and stacking branches, rolling logs, burning brush...it really drains you. I just hope that it will all be done before the fall caddis start up in this area...

  3. nary a mention of your devoted wife who was by your side the entire day and who staked 90% of the wood while you did the chopping...weak, juan, really weak. :P

  4. Before we know it, it's going to be snowing and cold. All the hard work will be worth it.
    Thanks fellas for felling the pain!
    And wife of mine, thank you for the help and the cold water and the understanding of my whining. I am about done with it.

  5. It was worth it


  6. Bruce,


    I am guessing that is your tree? Yea, that's what I figured would happen, except it the tree would have landed right dead center across the house.

  7. Juan,

    I was extremely lucky; it nearly missed the whole house. It just damaged a few feet of the eve.

    In retrospect, it might have been cheaper this way fixing the eve and replacing the gutter than pay a crew with a lift.

    but, if it had fallen due west, another story completely.

  8. Juan,

    Nice job on the logs. Just an FYI.

    I would keep an eye on the chimney after burning conifer logs. They burn dirty and hot and can cause an increase in soot.

    Bring on the fall Baetis !