Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life

By , on March 30, 2010

Miscellaneous Comment


Wood burning has moved from the way to heat for folks without central heating to a sustainable choice. I know some will say it is too polluting to be sustainable, but the primary issue in sustainability is climate change and carbon neutrality. Burning wood releases recently fixed carbon, and it can be burned at a rate equal to the growth of trees. This is quite sustainable from a carbon dioxide balance and climate change perspective.

Anyway, that’s not what I was thinking about as I moved the bucked remnants of a fallen tree down a hill onto an old logging road on our land. What was on my mind was the absolute misery that is often a feature of movement and exercise. I also imagined how bad I would look if this activity were an Olympic competition and the cameras were on me as bucked logs I had tossed overshot the road and had to be manually brought back up the hill. Despite my best efforts to move smartly and quickly, with appropriate athletic grace, it was not to be.

Another thought was the foolish notion that wood heats twice. By my reckoning, it heats once when you start the chain saw, again when you buck the log, then when you move the bucked pieces to an area for splitting, then again when you load the split pieces and stack them, and  yet again when you give them one more split just prior to burning. The last opportunity for significant warmth to the body comes in the winter, when all the work of preparation is forgotten and you feel the great warmth of the hot fire. This should be enjoyed with some wine and cheese, or adequately hard liquor after a hard day’s work.

Sorry this is such a short piece; I must stoke the fire.



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