Preparation for Winter’s Eve

twa corbies cottageThe sun sets over the Hollow, and another day draws to a close. Daphne and I woke with the dawn, as always, and after a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs and hash browns, we set off into the woods to retrieve some rope from an old campsite on a ridge and observe tracks in the new snow which is gone from the meadows but yet abundant in the woods. I have found the deer I will track down next year.

Upon returning, I enjoyed a cup of tea and leftover chicken stew, then back to the woods where a storm blew down about 100 big trees on a slope at least eight years ago. They are still partially rooted and not lying fully on their sides, dead but not quite fallen, and have had years to season. The wood is dry and perfect for the fire, so I got back to cutting wood. I have about 2.5 cords cut so far, and hauled out about 2 of those cords between yesterday and today, and that’s no easy task! It means cutting the logs into eight foot lengths, hauling them on my shoulders to the Hollow Brook and tossing them over so I can later load them onto a trailer pulled by the tractor. Enough to work up a sweat even if it were -20C.

Back at the cottage, the logs were diced with the chainsaw, split with the maul, and hauled to the foot of the cottage’s lower entrance with the tractor. I’ve done my part. Now the girls are stacking the excess wood underneath the raised, wrap-around deck while Arielle makes barbecued venison for dinner. I aim to cut a cord per week until and unless the snow gets too deep to stop me, but I am not expecting such build up til January. I may get this entire job done. Tomorrow–time permitting–I need to try to complete barn repairs as the horses will need to use the barn as a run-in should icy rain come. There is never time to slow down on the homestead, but there is never time to be bored, either.

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