Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Winter Wood Supply

A neighbor several miles up the hill had a hedgerow cut last summer.
J. going by daily during haying, speculated whether the loggers would make use of the "tops."
Some months later, there they were, strewed in the pasture, so on Friday J. made a visit to ask E.K. if he might buy the tops as firewood.
This was a courtesy inquiry, and E.K. made the expected reply, telling J. that he would be pleased to have the tops cut up and hauled away with no thought of payment.
J. speedily drove home, drafted me as helper and alerted G. that he was harvesting firewood.
We piled into Snort'n Nort'n and roared up to our neighbor's pasture--taking great care to shut the field gate behind us.

The day was blue-sky-bright with a brisk wind.
I had pulled my hair back into a loose braid, anchored with an elastic band and several clips.  Within moments the wind had teased my hair into whisps which blew into my face.
G. and I began moving the smaller branches into piles as J. cut them free from the larger limbs.
G. began working bundled in her brown hoodie and down vest.
We all removed layers as we labored.

Given the curiosity level of bovines we weren't surprised when several of Farmer Ed's prize Jerseys ambled over to see what we were doing.

This handsome cow seemed to have important information to relay to J.!

G, became enthralled with this cow.
"I want a cow and some chickens," she stated--a wish she has reiterated since moving to Kentucky.
'No," we said in unision--also a reiteration, "You really don't want a cow and chickens of your very own!"

We noticed a pleasant scent as we moved around in the uncut grass.
I traced it to this plant growing in clumps along the brook and under the trees.
I can't identify it, although the dried stems appear square suggesting the mint family.
The browned leaves gave off a suggestion of anise more than mint.

One of the trees along the brook had thorny barbs.
Not knowing the correct identity for trees and plants frustrates me!

Peaceful and pastoral.

The weekend stayed warm and breezy.
By Monday the sky was overcast, but the day was warm.
Early in the morning I heard the wind ruffling through the waxy leaves of the magnolia tree just beyond my bedroom window.
The landscape has taken on earthy somber colors, the red and gold of autumn leaves lie drifted in
faded heaps on the ground.
J. is working at the chunks of maple which we harvested in March.
The smell of the wood permeates that corner of the yard.
It was warm enough to let the fires die out for several days.


  1. Mmmmm! I can smell the wood and earthy scents in the field. I would like a cow and some chickens too! Not going to happen where we live.

  2. Lovely photos, what a glorious place you live in.

  3. Nothing like free firewood! We've been hauling branches home from the neighborhood. There's always a lot of them since we live in a very windy area of the country. I love your picture of the stream, it is indeed peaceful and pastoral. I'm curious about that tree too. The only plants that I know that smells like anise are fennel and hyssops. I always thought I'd like a cow too, but not all the care that they need. I too, will just be content to enjoy the neighbors!

  4. You all work so hard on the land ...but free fuel cant be ignored. I love the peaceful stream photo but best of all was the cow and J's conversation. xx