Thursday, April 12, 2012

Feeding Beulah

This evening I found myself on the working end of a chain saw cutting stove wood for Beulah. I have a Stihl saw that I purchased from a classified ad a number of years ago that is still very functional and up to the task. Over the years, there hasn't been a problem with that saw that couldn't be fixed by taking it to Foster's in Piketon for repairs. There is something about the high decibel roar of the engine, flying chips of wood and the blue haze smoke from 2 cycle internal combustion that always takes me back to cutting wood with my father years ago. In the pasture just beyond ManCamp woods, there are a number of large locust trees. These trees are all natural lightening rods as they often are struck during passing thunderstorms. Cutting the fallen branches in the Spring serves two purposes; fuel for Beulah and clean up of the trunk area for future bush hogging. Although a dirty wood, locust burns very hot and splits easily so Beulah's appetite should be satsified with today's haul. I can recall groves of locust on the farm while a young boy 10 years of age. Dad would select the strongest and straightest 6" to 8" diameter trees to cut and prune for future fence posts. I remember many locust thorns embedded in my hands while having to handle these posts as we stacked and eventually transported them to fence lines. Dad always said they would last for years and were much stronger than store bought posts from Landmark in Waverly. After 40 years, they are still supporting the woven wire line fence separating the farm from Scioto Trails so I guess he was right. After filling the front end loader, the fuel was tansported back to the cabin where with an 8# hand maul, the wood was split into digestable chunks. Beulah should be hot and happy the next time I stoke her fire box with this fresh load of wood.

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