As you can see by Itzl's concerned look, this group is for us to check in at to let people know we are alive, doing OK, and not affected by such things as heat, blizzards, floods, wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages, or other such things that could keep us off DKos. It's also so we can find other Kossacks nearby for in-person checks when other methods of communication fail - a buddy system. Members come here to check in. If you're not here, or anywhere else on DKos, and there are adverse conditions in your area (floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, etc.), we and your buddy are going to check up on you. If you are going to be away from your computer for a day or a week, let us know here. We care!
IAN is a great group to join, and a good place to learn to write diaries. Drop one of us a PM to be added to the Itzl Alert Network anytime! We all share the publishing duties, and we welcome everyone who reads IAN to write diaries for the group! Every member is an editor, so anyone can take a turn when they have something to say, photos and music to share, a cause to promote or news!
OK, we do have a diary schedule. But, when you are ready to write that diary, either post in thread or send FloridaSNMOM a Kosmail with the date. If you need someone to fill in, ditto. FloridaSNMOM is here on and off through the day usually from around 9:30 or 10 am eastern to around 11 pm eastern.Monday: BadKitties
Thursday: art ah zen
It’s August, the dog days of Summer.
Those of you in gentler climes, and lower altitudes, think of August as vacation month, heat and humidity, time for swimming and barbecues. Or perhaps, for you, it is “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” - getting ready for the children to go back to school. For those of us on the north side of Fern Ridge at 1700+ foot altitude, in the PA Poconos, it is time to start thinking of Winter.
The ferns are yellowing; the blueberry bushes are coloring as are, ironically, the beech trees (ironically because while they are the first to color, they hold onto those leaves - brown, dry and rattling like bones - until the Spring shoots push them off). By the end of the month fireplaces and woodstoves will have been used so the heating plant doesn’t need to be turned on.
Sad? Yes, but also exciting if you like skiing and snowshoeing and tubing down icy slopes to your doom in a raging river (just kidding, guys!). But before I can get to the fun stuff, this:
Must be turned into this:
I could purchase already split wood at around $200 per cord, sometimes for less. But I own almost five acres of dense woods and every year, unfortunately, one or two trees must come down. We are not talking about city trees here - small, easy to prune. These are 100, 200+ foot tall oaks, maples, beech, basswood, hickory, walnut, ash (lots of ash), and birch. Wood is not something I lack. Only I can’t exactly burn the resulting logs until they are cut.
That is when this:
and most importantly, this:
come into play.
Once the tree is down, I use the ax to hack back the smaller branches (to become kindling); then the chainsaw to cut stove size logs (easy to estimate, just use the length of the saw blade - about 16 inches); then stack them for a year or two of drying. They won’t split easily if the wood is green, although a dead tree might be dry enough.
When they are dry, I get to the fun part - SPLITTING! And I do mean FUN. I love my 5-ton electric splitter. It is noisy and dirty and the work is tiring; but I really get into the flow and feel a huge sense of satisfaction as I watch the wood pile up. Atavistic? Primitive? Probably. Our ancient ancestors must have felt the same way about the stack of wood they collected on a cold winter’s day.
Go ahead, Winter! Throw your worst at me. I’ll be WARM!