Tuesday, March 30, 2004



Spent most of yesterday firewooding, having the day before bucked about a half dozen large trees up in the forest gift.

Interesting challenge, working with chainsaw in the wild natural tangle of strangler vines (mostly wild wisteria) and thorny undergrowth, all compounded by the fact that the trees in this cluster had been felled toward one focus, creating a pyramidic interlacing of vines, branches, trunks, stumps roots and under/overgrowth, the resulting tensions so complex that when I cut something I never knew which way it was going to suddenly whang: in my face or at my shin, or just fall on my foot or maybe kick back into the general area of my existence, as the trimmed branches left spearing the air now and then lifted my hat off, caught my hair or maybe poked me a good one in the eye, or just tickled my neck in arboreal mischief. Makes you wise and cautious, up there among the woody limbs and trunks just waiting to get their own back. Trees can be devilishly clever, especially when they work in concert.

Then at last it was all bucked and in sections on the newly sunlit ground, which I dampened with gallons of additional sweat as I tossed the sections as far as possible toward the van, then again and again, thus toss-marching them some distance, then loading them, then unloading and carrying them to the chopping stump, where they piled taller than me, a pleasant intimidation, the 10-inch-diameter lengths splitting to a fine whiteness that turns to gold after its been stacked in the air and sun awhile, and indeed it is gold: same thing. Ask any woodster. Burns better, though. And another pleasure: unlike onions, it's of no interest to monkeys.

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