In my post-arrival talk with The Cowboy, we always chat about things that have gone on since my last visit: how the garden is going, how the cattle are doing, any repairs or improvements underway, anything that has gone wrong. During our discussion this month, he mentioned a friend of his was dropping brush by to put on the burn pile for next burn season (I mentioned I had seen the trailer). He also mentioned the same friend had a load of firewood he did not need. The Cowboy did not need it either, but had the thought to just drop it off in front of our woodshed. Would I be interested in it?
Free firewood? Of course I am.
Here is the pile:
It was an odd mix of pine, oak, cedar, and even some other woods I could not identify. The length of the logs was highly variable, which makes me suspect it was a combination of multiple exercises in wood cutting, perhaps even some clearing after our Winter storms.
The woodshed when I started:
Stacking firewood is a rather pleasant task. It keeps the hands busy at a level that allows thought and engages the mind at a low enough level that one can do the work and think or ponder on other issues - quite unlike the work I do now, which has no physical involvement and completely consumes the mind.
Stacking after Day one:
As I was in no hurry, the activity took me about an hour a day after work. My work pace was steady - after all, I just had to be done by the end of the week. The work was in the shade of oak and pine trees, so it made it a pleasantly temperate task as well.
Stacking after Day two:
By my count, this is a bit above a cord of wood - and at the current rate I am here and how much I burn, will last me quite a while.
Out of curiosity, I checked in the local area here for pricing. Prices ran anywhere from $700 for three cords of unsplit wood to $150 for a sixth of a cord split. I have no idea what the actual value of this is and it probably fluctuates depending on where one is: given the Winter we had this last year, I suspect our local area is awash in wood, not so much in the more urban parts. No matter what it is running, it was - to us - free. All it cost us was about three hours of work.
Reason #343 why The Ranch is a magical place: up here, things like this still happen.