Thursday 29 November 2012
Many of you already know that I have been struggling to gather enough firewood together.
That goes for this year as well as years past.
The story is that each year I get better at bringing wood in.
What happens is that I spend the saved time on some other project and end up relegating the firewood to the last minute.
Over the years, I had always hoped to be able to do wood during the Winter.
Normally, there is more time available and there are some advantages to wood cutting during the colder months.
The problem in the past has been poor timing with the snow and it builds up before I have had the chance to keep the trails open with our tractor.
This is the first year that I have had the opportunity to keep the trails packed and open.
Only it turns out that even a small amount of snow in the forest renders the tractor useless.
There is still a huge pile of wood that is seasoned and ready to be skidded out,
but my rigging won't do the job with snow on the ground.
The plan had been to do the wood during the Fall.
The Fall, however, was busier than planned and only now when it is too late do I find out that the tractor won't do it's job when I need it.
It slips and slides too easily, and though chains on the tires might work, they may not help enough.
The tractor is light and lacks traction.
And besides, tire chains are quite pricey; even to build myself unless I can salvage some old chain on the cheap.
The little chains I have on there now are enough to take care of the driveway during the Winter.
They have proven inadequate for our steep and winding trail system.
I tried to make it happen but abandoned the job.
It was frustrating to finally have the time to skid more logs out only to leave the bush with nothing.
It's not that we have no wood.
I have managed a good pile of logs when there were a few spare moments for a run into the woodlot.
But there is a lot in there still.
Now I need to figure out how I would ever log during the Winter.
A great big new 4-wheel drive tractor would be fantastic but utterly expensive.
Old skidders come up for sale cheap every now and again but that's for a rig that needs help.
Animal power has always been a consideration, but I'm not convinced of the net benefit.
I would want to be using draught animals daily to justify their keep.
In the meantime, fuelwood has become an issue once again.
So it goes.