Saturday, April 5, 2014

Basic "providing for"...

Thursday and friday I have been out in the woods all day.... gathering firewood!
From one of the local landowners I got permission to take away trees that had been cut down in order to maintain the forest/plantation.
Armed with bowsaw and axe I went to business. The forest was strewn with downed timber! Long and thin trees, no thicker than a grown man's leg, but "slightly" longer.... I did not know where to begin.... so I began with the first tree, right in front of my feet and worked my way from there.
What a satisfying work this is. This is what man should doing! Not slaving away behind some desk, cooped up in a building, not doing some meaningless work for a boss, who generally wouldn't care if you were there or not, as long as he can justify the correct figures and paperwork to the companyleaders, hoping to acquire enough salary, so you can buy your kids the latest and greatest gadget. No, this is what "providing for" means in the most direct sense of the word. One's fysical labor yields direct result for the family. In this case wood for warmth in winter.
For me this type of work is new and the sense of accomplishment, freedom and pride is genuine.....
Being in the woods all day, swinging an axe, occassionally listening to the birds, seeing and hearing the winds coming in as waves, caressing the trees, was a very nice bonus. My wife coming out with a backpack full of food for lunch made it all even better! The best lunch I/we had in a long time! She also made the pictures with her phone....

We found this nice burl.
Unfortunately it was attached to a still standing tree, so it remains where it was....

This tree show the dimension of the logs I wrestled with, kneedeep in spruce- and birchtwigs...
There is another nice bonus; I now know how to sharpen an axe to such a degree I can literally shave the branches of the trees. So that is one more skill to add to the total.
Another thing I learned was to allways keep a piece of wood between the axe's blade and you. Working in the woods like this requires large amounts of energy and eventually you get tired and sooner or later you'll make a mistake. In my case the axe glanced off and swung in a direction I did not intend it to go, biting in the log just in front of my left shin. I shivered imagining what might've happened without that log there.
Not mine, but just like it.
Carrying out the logs from between the trees was actually the most demanding part of the endevaour. I made the mistake of cutting them to size on the spot and carrying them out, instead of just dragging the whole stem out in one piece using a handheld clamp/hook, which I have..... but forgot at home.

Dumb rooky...

I was allowed to loan a book, which happened to be just about this subject. Ved meaning wood... It is written by a Swede and aimed at Swedes, so unfortunately no translation in English.
It deals with all aspects of using wood for domestic use as in heating and cooking. Written in a very pleasant way, sometimes bordering on sarcasm a little, all the facts, science, history, filosophies and emotions around it are addressed; from cutting down a tree to using it as fuel and all the steps of the proces in between.
To those Swedish reading readers here; get this book if you have interest in this matter. You will not be disappointed.


  1. Nice post Ron.
    But I have to correct youi, Lars Mytting, the author of the book is norwegian, not swedish;-)

    1. Tack O.S.!
      I appearantly misunderstood. I thought it was a Swede, who moved to Norway. Not that it makes much difference, since the circumstances are practically the same.

  2. "This is what a man should do." Period. I write this in a tiny break from my slaving at a desk, in an overheated building. Having had the opportunity once to live like that for some I must say I would prefer that style of living very much, too. But as is, currently I am out of funds and lacks the balls to go for it.:-/

    Bummer. But I am glad for you that you can do it, and glad and content to read about it.

  3. hello Ron!
    can i post here from wordpress?
    i saw someone doing a kuksa from those birch burls, but do they have any other uses??

    1. Appearantly you just did! ;)
      It's the shape of the grain within the burl that lends itself very well for kuksa or bowlcarving, since it will be waterproof.... if I understood it all correctly.

  4. hehehe, ok, so it was the thought of a kuksa what made you so interested in it... sometimes i've seen some of those burls so big you could make a 5 liter kuksa!! :P
    i've never seen it on dead trees tho...