Friday, October 02, 2009

Autumn, by Jim Carten

Once you have accepted the idea that the good days of summer are over, it does get pretty exciting. My wood is in, the berries are picked and put up. My ancestor Jean-Baptiste Deschênes did not do berries, nor did he chop wood either as back then these tasks belonged to the wife, Anastasie in his case, and their kids.

Truly exciting this season. Back when land clearing was of the utmost importance, wood was no big deal. Today I use selective cutting to preserve the forests, using only broken and dead trees. Ah yes, while scouting wood and just getting out in the woods, we salted a stump for the deer and have begun to bring in apples.

Other days, after dinner (we still call “lunch” dinner) there might be a crown of an old and sickly maple which has fallen and just too good to let rot there. It’ll burn good in my stove next winter. Our wood is stacked in four foot lengths and with the first snow we will skid it out.

If the wood is green, as is the case when we find an uprooted tree like the sugar maple I spotted two weeks ago it will be cut late and stacked in a convenient place so as it will be next to the dirt road which is closed and convenient to get out come next spring. The reason is simple …

This is “moonwood”; there are no leaves on the trees and anyone can spot us. Our wood will be stacked the day before a storm and will be hidden for the season.