Monday, June 27, 2022

Free Wood

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:


Whoever had collected the work had left a lot of smaller pieces in there as well - I effectively collected all the kindling I will need for a long time from what was in the pile, and ended up leaving a great deal of it on the ground as I simply ran out of room.  With newspaper here coming less and less easily (since my parents obviously no longer get the paper), I collect the local grocery advertisements and save them), it will become crucial in Fall and Winter.

Stacking after Day three:


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.

14 comments:

  1. Nylon122:52 AM

    Quite the windfall there TB, you're fortunate to have such good folks think of you.

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    1. It and I am, Nylon12. And given how often I am currently there, this wood will last a long time.

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  2. Anonymous2:52 AM

    That is indeed very lucky deal to fall into. Pre-cut firewood, ready for the fireplace / wood stove. Your friend is a good one !

    I had some work pushed on me Saturday morning. A mesquite branch had broken on our backyard tree. About and hour and a half with the electric pole saw. Where it broke as approximately 8" thick, which had luckily broken off enough where I could lever and twist it off without climbing a ladder. I'm scared of heights, especially when falling limbs can knock over the ladder. About 2/3 was set in alley for hauling off, the thicker cut and kept for our backyard bar-b-ques, which are infrequent at best. Maybe 5 -6 a year.

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    1. He is a good friend.

      I am not a fan of ladders either, especially involving things falling off. Glad everything went okay - and you got some wood out of it!

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  3. What a wonderful gift. Large pieces all split, perfect for burning! I can imagine your satisfaction seeing it stacked up neatly. :)

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    1. It is a wonderful gift Becki - and yes, having it organized was all the more satisfying.

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  4. For us, wood prices fluctuate pretty dramatically. For a time after the Emerald Ash Borer went through and killed thousands of ash trees, you couldn’t give it away. Before that maybe $150 a half cord split and delivered.I burn a tiny fraction of a cord a year so your pile would last me more than a decade. In fact my pile is so seasoned now it burns really quickly.

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    1. Ed, it has been years since I looked at the price of wood, so I really have no idea what it costs. Like you, I will go through this slowly - after I burn through the "less good" wood, of which I still have a cord or so.

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  5. What a blessing! Useful for anything you need a fire for. :-)

    Here, the Sheriff's Department has random firewood giveaways; but I don't recall anyone doing anything like that.

    You all be safe and God bless!

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    1. Linda, that is just the sort of place The Ranch is in. Very much old time small town America in that sense.

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  6. I'm doing much the same. Helping a brother clean up a good deal of oak, with some maple and locust too. He doesn't burn wood, and I do, so it's free for my effort and gas to go get it.
    A recent discussion on another blog about stacking cord wood had this comment that still has me chuckling: "Stack your wood so a squirrel can squeeze through but the cat chasing it can't."

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    1. Greg, how wonderful! Oak is my preferred wood there, but I will definitely take anything thing that shows up.

      That is not bad advice about the spacing - sadly, I do not think a squirrel is making it through that pile...

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  7. That's lovely! Buying firewood here has gotten more and more expensive over the years, so a gift like that would be priceless.

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    1. It really is Leigh - and quite unexpected. We now have a very long fuel runway.

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