Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gathering Firewood

Gathering firewood is on the the to do list today. We never seem to find time in the summer to get this done. Farmer Fred makes it part of his winter exercise routine. He cuts down dead trees or cuts up trees that have fallen in the shelter belts in GriggsDakota. The clean up is something that should be done, as a strong wind can blow the dead wood into the adjacent field where it is in the way of our equipment during the farming season. 
The day dawned   
  with stripes of color in the sky.
Pictures never do justice to the prairie sky, but this one was spectacular shades of pink, blue and lavender as the sun rose.
On to firewood.
Getting to a shelter belt in the winter is sometimes a challenge.
Above:  The snow was hard to break through as we drove in. This photo is taken from the top of the rise in the field. The trip to the top was back up, hit the accelerator, three feet forward, bam, spin, stop, back up,... It took a while.
Above: Farmer Fred parked and headed to the designated tree.
Above:  It is easy to distinguish the dead tree as it has shed its bark.
Above:  Soon it came down.
Above:  Butler loves to romp in the snow or follow the scents he picks up in his hunting dog nose.
Above:  The chain saw cuts quickly through the dry wood by rotating a sharpened chain around the blade that extends from the body of the tool. This is not a toy and requires strength and care to use successfully. Notice the saw dust that is produced with each cut. Eye protection and leather gloves are a good idea when you are using a chainsaw.
Farmer Fred backed the flatbed pickup near the fallen tree to load. The snow was not very deep and he had no problem.
Above:  From the top of the hill we were able to find a less challenging route out of the field. We left an interesting trail and stopped to look back when we got up on the road. We felt lucky that we aren't stuck out there. We didn't need our cell phone or the tractor today.
Above:  It was easy to dream of Spring this afternoon, but a look at the calendar assures Farmer Fred that we will need all of this wood and more before it arrives.

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