2021 Feb/March Island Trip – Day 4

My AN arrived around 9 and started the second slash pile burn. We discussed strategy, and decided to spit wood. He and his son came back shortly there after with the splitter and we worked for three hours to get all the wood, shown in yesterday’s post, into handleable sized pieces (they will need further hand-splitting once dry) and stacked. AN ran the splitter and his son and I stacked and maneuvered the rounds toward the splitter so AN could conserve his energy. Recall each of these rounds weighed about 150 pounds, and he was turning each one. While I worked very hard, AN and his son worked much harder than me! I simply can’t stack 40 pound pieces of wood over my head… AN’s son can 😳.

We were done at 12:30, and they headed home for lunch. I made an open face toasted sandwich on a newly discovered cauliflower based ‘bread.’ Havarti and peppered turkey made for excellent additions.

Mid-morning a local artist who knew my father had done photographic work for, stopped by. This is also part of why I didn’t work as hard as the guys! It was great to give Tom what had been in dad’s file. We took a stroll trough the upper barn. Turns out Tom is a tool hound, like dad was. In the end he asked if he could adopt a piece of rope. Absolutely. As always, it was nice to hear about my dad from a different prospective, that being that dad was full of welcome wisdom about how to approach art… It’s practicalities such as, “Paint the steel with Rustolium and that way your client can take care of the piece on their own,” An artist is in the business of making art, not maintaining art!

After lunch I cleaned up the area where the rounds had been. Once that was done, Scope Creep took over and I embarked on relieving the side of the wood shed of its nettles and berry vines, and then started taking apart the fence attached to the corner of the building. While it’s not 100% down, the vista to the north is much improved. I also removed a pile of composted bark, and a mostly rotten plywood platform, underneath which I think, used to be a compost pile. The soil is exquisite. In doing all of this, I’ve created a May burn pile… AN stopped by and moved a large half round steel container to the metal recycling pile to complete the effect. He also consolidated the first burn pile, which I added more and mostly dead lumber to from my afternoon exploits.

After AN left, I poured myself a glass of red wine in a polished stainless steel cup and went down to the second fire. I spent about 30-minutes adding alder to the fire from the surrounding area, and thinking about how beautiful the land is, how much more lovely it can be, the incredible amount of physical labor it will take to make that happen, and that that’s OK.

Tomorrow we’ll address the remaining three stacks of wood, but at a more reasonable pace. We’ll slice and dice what we don’t have to split (possibly for just the morning), and use the truck as a wheelbarrow again. Much easier work that what we did today. Could be that we consolidate the piles as we go (aesthetics are very important to our AN!), but only if it is in the realm of efficiency using machine time.

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