Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Forest


We went to the forest today to collect firewood. Even though we don't have a chainsaw. Even though we don't have a wood stove. Yet. One of the gated woodland communities was doing its yearly fire mitigation and offering firewood for free, already cut into five foot lengths. Easy. All we would have to do was pick it up. Ha ha. Nothing is ever easy and it didn't quite work out that way.

These trees don't look angry. Or do they?

The narrow dirt roads were filled with pickup trucks and trailers. There was hardly room to drive by on the road. In addition, there were people cutting down trees, which fell mostly next to and into the road. If you were smart enough to bring a chainsaw, it was easy pickings. If not, you had to wander around looking for cut pieces that no one had claim to yet. Guess which group we were in?

Tall trees.

That only worked for so long. Then, we met our landscape guy, who has a cabin up there, and was cutting his share of wood. He told us he would cut some for us. Very nice. But even better, another guy came along with a chainsaw that we got to borrow for a couple of hours--until we filled our trailer. Then we helped our landscape friend load his wood while we chatted about local garlic and covenanted communities. He's trying to sell his cabin up there.

Thick Forest

I thoroughly enjoyed our time in the trees, although, I have to say it scared me a little bit at first. What, me, nearly raised in the mountains, afraid of trees? Well, it has been a long time since I have been among trees, and I mean big, tall pine trees and Aspens you can't put your arms all the way around. That forest was thick. I couldn't see my kids when they wandered fifteen feet into the trees. I was intimidated by the enormity of it all. And it was amazing (but not like the forest in Portland, Oregon, by any means), like a giant cathedral constructed by Mother Nature. You could worship there. Give reverence for the majesty of trees, of the forest, of Nature.

Am I sensing some distress in there?

It was overwhelming though, as if the trees were all yelling at me. (Talk to trees, uh-huh.) I know they weren't really yelling at me. Maybe they were just angry trees. Maybe they were sending out unhappy vibes because annoying humans spent the weekend chopping some of them down. Don't tell me trees don't have emotions.

It was a beautiful forest, but the homeowners association of that place is hardly making a dent in their attempts at fire mitigation. There were dead trees everywhere. Standing, leaning against live trees, fallen on the ground, and the few they cut next to the road isn't going to do squat when that forest starts to burn. Rich out of state people beware, your pretty little log cabins will burn just as well as the dead trees.

It was fun being in the trees, and forming some weird comaradarie with all the other folks who drove way out there to collect free trees to turn into firewood. I'm not a big fan of burning wood, but for this upcoming winter, I will do just about anything to keep my family from freezing, and that includes collecting firewood and even taking the old antique wood stove resting on cement blocks that Neighbor Larry has in his barn and offered to us for free.

Next weekend we are going back out there for more wood and to spend more time with the angry trees.

And on Tuesday our tiny house arrives, courtesy of the Amish.

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