Friday, January 2, 2015

Next Year’s Firewood 12.30.14

I was up early this morning …early enough to see the bats come home. I think I counted 8 but only saw 6 leave the bathouse last night.

Here is the beautiful sunrise with the bathouse and palms for contrast.


This tree lost most of its limbs during Hurricane Charlie in ‘04. Luckily they broke loose and fell straight down and not on our place.

A tree expert told us the new limbs were “sucker” limbs and could come off in a bad storm. Jim noticed that it was showing a lot of rot above them and decided it should come down before it fell on us. So….next year’s firewood.

He used a sock full of bb’s and a long string tossed over this limb to pull a rope up.


006cHe had a chain looped around a big Cabbage Palm on the other side of the driveway. A come-along was used to put some tension on the rope, and another rope was hooked to it (dark brown) …run through the chain loop and hooked to the truck.



I got to drive the truck. Once tension was put on the tree he cut a wedge out of the side in line with the rope.

I was in the truck so couldn’t get a good shot of the cut.

009c The ropes are to make sure it falls where he wants it…preferably not on the roof or power line.

Once the wedge was out he gave me the signal to start backing up and putting more tension on the ropes…then he made his cut on the back side opposite the wedge cut.


It’s a lot of work getting the ropes in position….sometimes you are hiking through thick brush and in this case Pompas Grass that has razor sharp edges and  Palms with needle points for leaves. I planted them for a bit of security. For now the road stops at our driveway, but should someone buy the 5 acres behind us or the ones beyond that, they could put the road in to it.

My Mother lived out here for years, by herself, no street lights, no neighbors and just a dirt track for a road and no problems. Back then the Hammock had a reputation for big dogs and big guns…no one drove into a stranger’s yard. But now we are much  more civilized…street lights…paved roads…and much more crime. Although….many still have the big dogs and even bigger guns, so it’s still best not to be too nosey out here….that’s one of the things we really like about it….that and our neighbor has a pit bull and she patrols our place as well as theirs.


Since it fell where he wanted it….now comes the hard part….


It was starting to sprinkle but Jim got some of the limbs cut up. The red stuff is the new…it will be used for kindling.


The rest will go in the new wood shed.


Got a good start on it…but the hard part is cutting and moving all the big stuff.


Pretty rotten at the top and there was a rotten spot all the way through the center to the base.…small but would have kept getting worse.020c

He spent most of the next day working on getting this chainsaw running……he needs a new one.


Jan 1.2015

He has a new one. Took me all day to convince him he was wasting a lot of time trying to get the others running and he deserved a new one… off we went to Lowe’s.006c

He had a great time with it. Couldn’t believe how well it cut compared to the others.


He decided to shorten this stump up a bit…the blade on the saw is only 20 inches so he cut part way through then had to put wedges in to keep it from pinching the bar on the saw.


Then he was able to finish the cut…..


Everything was cut to stove length….he will stack it and split it later.


Everything is making it’s way to the shed…2 at a time ….


You can see how the centers are rotted out….


Jim tried splitting with the axe but it just bounced off so he cut some slits with the chainsaw….then used the wedge and sledge hammer to split.


It worked on this piece….but it had a pretty rotten spot in the center. Lots of moisture in the tree.


Jim is never happy just sitting around. He’s got his eye on a couple of trees that also survived the 3 hurricanes: Charley, Francis and Jean. Tops are broken and showing a lot of air plants and Spanish moss. Good sign they are dying. Once he figures out how to drop them without hitting our home or the power line that runs near them….he’ll be at it again. (especially now that he has a slick new chainsaw!!)

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