April 26, 2010


Yesterday my yearly order of 3 cords of split firewood was delivered; late April is generally a good time for this: the ground is dry enough so that the heavily laden truck won't sink too much into the lawn, and it'll have a good 6 months for drying. I love the spicy smell of freshly split hardwood, a unique scent that fills the air around the big pile, which is then transferred to the shed.

Attached to my house is an open shed where I store my firewood, along with my garden machinery and tools. As you can imagine, it's quite a chore to transfer the wood from my lawn into the shed; I do a little bit each day, loading wood into the wheel barrow and then tossing it in a pile inside. The mound of wood that you see on the far right is the remains of this past winter's wood, which I'll use for the remaining cold days of spring (snow predicted for tomorrow!) and the first months of fall. My small wood cookstove is my main source of heat, though I also have a back-up gas furnace.

I enjoy this major chore each spring; I like handling the different kinds of wood, seeing their surfaces, their mosses and lichens; and I like the sheer physical effort, the repetitious movements, the accomplishment of moving a pile from here to there.


  1. a woodpile in disarray! is this like an unmade bed? Since I've only seen logs stacked, I thought there was an etiquette for logs.
    your shed looks so poetic.

  2. Those rows of stacked wood, with sheet metal covers, are beautiful to see. I began by stacking the wood, which of course takes much more time than simply tossing it, but then a friend told me it wasn't necessary since it was under cover. It dries just fine with the unmade bed methodology.

  3. I like the unmade bed analogy. That is quite an accomplishment; I can hardly imagine moving that many logs as I know how much work it is just to move my little mulch pile. We have friends who stack their wood in the open and the various arrangements are quite interesting. I always thought it would be fun to do a wood pile photo series.