Splitting wood

The wood splitter is fun! Of course, Cherisse has been using it steadily since its arrival, and when my cousin Tom visited a few days ago, the two of them split a mountain of wood. I’ve only tried it a couple of times.

Today we were going to clean out the shed (an unpleasant task because mice have moved in). As luck would have it, we got out there too late, and it seemed prudent to wait for another day. Instead we tackled logs. I didn’t make as much progress as my cousin because I lost a bit of time carrying pieces of bark to the chickens. Sometimes they were right next to me pecking through the debris for little bugs, but usually they stayed with Cherisse who had the more appealing task as far as they were concerned…she was moving the big logs that had been stacked for more than a year, and had become home to many things chickens like to eat.

The splitter has an axe-like wedge that you release with a lever, and it moves slowly but relentlessly into the log until it splits apart. The size of the log doesn’t matter. As long as you pay attention it is a pretty safe task. The only mishap today was when a log fell off the splitter a little too close to a chicken. She gave an annoyed squawk and shot away.

Some of the logs have a beautiful grain or interesting spalting (a discoloration caused by fungi growing in the wood), so Cherisse was loathe to burn them. She has set some of the nicest pieces aside, and came up with a clever design that solves a kitchen problem. To reduce the amount of plastic we use, we wash most of our bags and plastic wrap. We end up with bags standing or hanging everywhere, drying out. Cherisse’s invention is a bag drier; it is affixed to a cabinet, and has three arms that extend out to hold the bags. It looks simple, but has (as with everything Cherisse makes) lovely detail, and was made from a log destined for the woodstove. She gave the first one to my mother for Christmas, but I am hoping (assuming) she’ll be making more.

The woodlot holds pleasant surprises for everyone.

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