There is nothing quite so satisfying as splitting wood. You get to choose your target; analyze your problem; design a solution; follow through with your plan; use your physics, your muscles and your smarts and voila. Either you succeed, in which case you have firewood ready to be stacked or burned; or you don’t, in which case you review the situation, correct your mistakes, and try again.
No committees, no forms to fill out, no waiting for an answer, no wondering the outcome, no one else to blame, no excuses.
I split lots more wood today. I am almost running out. About 2 or 3 more sessions and all my wood will be ready to burn. Need to come up with Plan B on how to get more.
Amidst all this snow, and more on the way (which, I confess, I am delighted to see. If this is going to be an historic winter, then, by Gd, let’s do it in grand style. I know. Think about the city budget, the state budget; think about lost earnings and taxes; think about lost school days. But I do so love the snow and it rarely comes to Baltimore in such a boisterous way. Yet, what else is winter for? And did you see, that traffic deaths are down by half so far this year? While reasons are always elusive, some do believe it is because of the snow and the fewer miles traveled.) my trees are budding.
My beech, standing majestically before my home like a sentinel guarding us summer, winter, spring and fall, has sprouted its tiny, tightly wound, reddish-hued leaf spirals. My apple trees, the ones I planted last spring and covered with netting to protect them from the deer, survive! They too are sprouting buds, the soft, fuzzy kind that entice you to stroke them. Or if you are deer, eat them. Gratefully, they were neither touched by human nor eaten by deer.
And I went to see how many more of my pine limbs were freed from their snow casings. Not too many. But I was able to see for the first time precisely how many downed limbs there were, and there are a lot of them. I will have my hands full sawing all those limbs, and those of my neighbor’s, over the next little while. I may need to call in assistance, with a power saw.
However, I managed to rescue some of the still-attached limbs. As pine design would have it, the raft of needles on the ends of branches easily get trapped in the mounds of snow tumbling down on them. Wisely, the branches are flexible, able to bend in great arcs to accommodate the dislocation and disturbance. Still, it didn’t seem right seeing all those branches bending down and still stuck on the ground. So I began to dig them out.
This is not all that hard to do, but you do need to be mindful of where you are standing, lest you be catapulted into the air courtesy of the branch you have just liberated. So, I learned how to carefully position myself, dig just so to loose the needles from their wintry bed, stand back and be treated to the whoosh of freedom, and the silent gratitude of the tree.
Just in time for the next storm.