What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Today was my first day in the woods working on gathering fir boughs for Christmas wreaths for the folks at the Einerlei. I’ve been doing this for them for the past several years now, and am slowly getting the fir trees that are encroaching in my sugar maples under control. I’m creating an ever expanding circle around the sugar shack that is mostly free of these trees. I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t like fir trees. They are a royal pain when I’m gathering sap though. They grow so thick that I have to push through them in order to get my sap gathered. Branches and needles get into the gathering buckets, and sometimes a branch gets tangled up and threatens to spill an entire bucket. And I suspect they are robbing vitality from the maple trees.

So I cut the trees down, limb them with a hatchet, and then prune the fir boughs into my plastic wheelbarrow. I have some binder twine laying in the bottom of the barrow, and when I fill the barrow up with sweet smelling fir, I wrap the twine around the whole shebang, tie it tight, and lift it out. This makes one bundle, and it usually takes me about a half hour per bundle. The Einerlei uses a LOT of bundles each year.

fir.jpgSo what is wrong with this picture? Well, the time of year they want these things usually coincides with some pretty awful weather. There is often slushy snow on the ground, making things muddy and slippery. It is often quite cold too. Today was the first day of this season, and I did the work with NO jacket on, NO hat on, and NO gloves of any sort on my hands. That’s right. Franco did NOT get coated with mud from nose to tail while chasing his stick. I’m just not used to this kind of environment. I could get used to it though.

After we got back Ray came over and we picked out a log from the cedar pile and I sawed it up for him. He wants to do some carving with cedar, and wanted some thick (4-5″) slabs. We found a very nice log that provided some lovely lumber for him. I’m looking forward to the art he’ll be doing with this stuff. I’ve seen his work, and he is a first class artist. It will take this wood a while to season, so we may not see anything for years, but when we do, I hope to share some pictures with y’all.

Leave a Reply