Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fired Up

Orange Tamaracks
Stacking Wood
Wood Shed
Splitting Wood
Cozy Wood Heat
Tamaracks (Western larch) turn as orange as pumpkins in October. It's an amazing sight to see the forests of northern Idaho fired up with pines that glow brighter than the gold of aspens. Pines are known as evergreens, but not tamaracks. Once they shed their needles, they will stand bare for the remainder of winter.

October is a cusp month; a time of transition. It's cold and surprisingly dry. After the deluge of last autumn, I thought I'd be mucking my way to the barns for firewood. The path is dry, yet green with grass still willing to thrive.

Yes, it's time to fire up the wood stove. Thus a shift in chores. Gone are the days of watering, and now comes the warming wood. How many times does wood provide heat? Well, that depends on how many wood chores you have--gathering, hauling, cutting, chopping, stacking, building a fire, cleaning out ashes, gathering fire-starter. On and on the list seems to go.

How sweet are the fires in urban townhouses and suburban split-levels. Some fireplaces you plug in and turn on; others use gas to simulate flames. Neither require wood and all the work that goes with it. A country wood-stove is what builds biceps. Or at least make mine scream...and my wrists and hands. I can feel strained muscles in my upper limbs where I had forgotten I have muscle.

Yet, I'm darn proud of my stacks. On one side of the porch we have dry rounds; on the other side we have split pine and birch. They are separate piles as each one burns differently. As I write, I have burned down several pieces of pine into glowing orange coal upon which I have placed a huge log that blue-orange flames will dance around for most of the night.

In the morning I'll chatter my teeth as I brew coffee and start the next day's fire. But once I get to hauling and stacking wood, I'll be warm. As I sit and watch orange flames build in heat, I'll be warm, yet. And once night falls and that wood-stove is burning at maximum efficiency, I'll be downright cozy. Perfect time to read by the fire.

On a final note, it is the end of October and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins tomorrow. I've committed to 50,000 words to craft my next novel. You can follow my progress on my Carrot Ranch Communications blog and the updates I'll post here. Yep--I am all fired up to write!

No comments:

Post a Comment