Friday, February 26, 2010

Some boys are harder to raise than others.

The last picture shows the impact with the culvert that started the cartwheeling. If you knew where to look you could see the second, third and fourth impact in the previous picture. Impacts were in the following order: front right wheel, front left bumper, drivers side front and passenger side rear. The top picture shows the violence of the drivers side impact. The blood in the side ditch is 21 feet beyond the point where the car landed. The young man ejected from back window is expected to eventually recover from a broke neck. It hasn't been determined if his stupidity is cureable or terminal.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A pitiful looking woodpile

The pile to the left only has two rows left. I had planned to have almost 3 rows left this time of the year but the cold weather has increased the amount of wood I have burnt. This view gives a fairly good overview of my wood burning set up. I can back a truck up to the wood splitter or on back to the pile. I can also approach the stove directly from the right and when the yard is dry, I don't mind driving up on the lawn side. The wood splitter is permanently located at this site. The wheelbarrow covers the engine when the splitter is not in use. Once the wood is split, it is stacked. I burn from one side of a center aisle and stack the green on the other side to dry a year. Next year I will switch. The outdoor furnace is located behind the pile. The ashes are temporarily stored beside the stove and later spread on the garden or orchard. With this outdoor furnace I can burn junk wood like pine, elm or sweet gum. Some years I heat the entire season with junk wood. This year I have burnt some very good oak and was thankful for every pound of it. Over the last 15 years about 1/3 of the wood has come off my land with the other 2/3rds salvaged from some place or the other. I have not paid directly for any wood, although repairing my chain saw this year set me back a little. The only bad thing is the amount of smoke I create. I calculate it at 200 lbs a year with about 100 lbs of that leaving my property. I guess I have created that much smoke from a single brush fire, but it is still something to think about.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bad Day in Termite Land

The rice looking stuff on the log splitter is actually termites. These fell out of a section of firewood as I split it. There were several more cracks in each section filled with termites. At least 4 sections has this many termites, with smaller numbers in some additional sections. Overall it was the largest termite colony I have ever seen. I suspect the tree had come down in Hurricane Fran. Any part laying on the ground was too far gone for wood burning but the main trunk was bridged off the groun and the heartwood was still solid enough to make burning worthwhile.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Maple Syrup harvest 2010

This year I started tapping the southern sugar maples on January 8. Flow was finished by February 1. My yield per tree seemed down a little but I tapped some extra trees. So overall I had my best year cooking down at least 2 gallons of maple syrup. It is hard to be precise because some of it hasn't been cooked completely down. I cooked it down to a point and then sealed it in quart jars where it can settle. When I run out of syrup, I will carefully pour off the top and cook it down to put in half pint jars. I use some maple syrup as I am cooking it off which also throws off the estimate. I normally just use it for breakfast on oatmeal. But this year I also cooked a maple pecan loaf. I enjoyed it, but think I can do better. Last year I had 1 and 1/2 gallons of syrup. I gave about 1/2 gallon away and the other gallon lasted just about the entire year. I didn't use any of it for cooking. My plan this year is to give 1/2 gallon away, eat one gallon on oatmeal and use the other 1/2 gallon for cooking. My wife still doesn't like it so it looks like I won't have to share any with her.