Autumn is the hush before winter ~ French Proverb
Living in a rural country setting has been a fulfilling experience for us. The feeling of spaciousness, closeness to nature and a deep sense of belonging in large part, comes from the surrounding woodland that shelters and supports not only us, but the wildlife that we share this piece of land with.
I love creating gardens and working with nature in a very direct and co-creative way…that has obviously made some very impactful changes to the ‘cultivated’ area around our home. However, the truth is 80% of our property is made up of aspen and bur oak woods filled with an abundant understory of native shrubs like chokecherry, wild plum, highbush cranberry, hazelnut, red-osier dogwood and wild roses to name a few.
With that comes an opportunity to manage a woodlot in a responsible way at this time of year…collecting some of the dead trees from summer storms and natural decline to help supplement the heating of our home in the wintertime.
Standing dead trees that are home to our little furry and feathered neighbours are left untouched…we do try to be careful and respectful when we head into the woods…and WHAT a wonderful time of year to be in the woods!
COLLECTING AND CHOPPING FIREWOOD
This is the time of year when Ray heads out into the woods to collect the dead trees he marked earlier in the year with orange flagging tape…an easy way to identify the trees that are ready to harvest for our firewood pile.
Inevitably throughout the summer months we have some high winds that snap some of the older aspens (lifespan is relatively short-lived for a tree – 70 to 100 years). These trees and some of the oaks are what we use in our fireplace over the winter months to help heat our home. It provides a cozy heat and the dogs love lying by the hearth…as we also enjoy the comfort and glow throughout the winter months.
It is a lot of work for him…many layers of clothing get peeled off as cool fall air gives way to a well-heated body in motion – lets just say he gets his fair share of fresh air and exercise in the process!
Ray built two woodsheds out of leftover material we had on hand…so there is a patchwork quality to the construction which I love. Sheets of tin from the garage construction cover the roof of each of these sheds keeping firewood dry and covered throughout the late fall rains and heavy snowfall of winter.
They were built on a foundation of A-base and concrete foundation blocks which were carefully levelled before creating slatted floors and walls for good ventilation.
No space goes unused, and the backside of each woodshed offers valuable real estate for storing things like hoses and peeled logs.
Each bay of these woodsheds holds approximately 1 1/2 cords of wood…one bay is dedicated to holding punky ‘ready for the fire pit‘ wood that we don’t burn in the house. It’s conveniently located on the side of one woodshed within easy reach of our fire pit…less chance of spilling your glass of wine!😀
Now – I have to be honest here…this wood chopping stuff is totally Ray’s domain…and I’m okay with that! I enjoy being out with him in the woods when this is going on…walking the paths, playing with the dogs and generally ENJOYING the fleeting cool days of fall. Moral support…that’s the goal! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve carried my share of timber and logs over the years…but this year, I was having fun filming the days events.
Here’s a quick little video of Ray ‘doing his thing’ I want to share with you
As always, I hope you all get outside, have a beautiful day and ENJOY!💚
Garden lovers welcome💚
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