DIY Heat

 This past fall we began gathering wood for our winters heat.  On one particularly beautiful fall day my husband and I headed out to gather the split wood from trees he had already dropped for one reason or another.   

Immature Sweet Gum seed pod

We choose trees that are nuisance trees like sweet gums.  I hate to call any tree a nuisance but sweet gums drop seed pods that get in our sheep's wool and create major havoc.  We choose trees that might have been hit by lightening, or others that if we don't take them down they're coming down on their own.  An amazing tid bit of information I've learned through my  recent wood burning experience is that each tree variety produces a different quality of heat.

My right hand is on the gas lever

We have a great system working together.  My husband John uses the chain saw and cuts the logs.  I place each log into the wood splitter.  The gas powered splitter feeds the log into a steel wedge that splits the log.  Each log gets split in two, then each 1/2 gets split in 1/2 again.  So, each log is    basically split into 4.  

                 Shall we say it is then, a "pretty log"?

After the logs are all split we are ready to transport and stack them in one of the buildings near the house where they can dry and age.  This way we have easy access to the wood at all times.

 I realized as we gathered our wood how much I appreciate our heat.  With each crackle of the flames, the scent of  smoke and ash, and last but far from least, the increase in our  indoor temperature...I am so appreciative.  

I am not criticizing anyone's enjoyment of their automated heat systems.  I have sure enjoyed them over the years.  I  certainly appreciate the existence of an automated heat source as I clean up the residue from our wood burning stove.  I appreciate the automatic response of the temperature control panel...heat on demand!

I also appreciate knowing the difference.  I appreciate being in a place in my life that I am reminded that warmth didn't always come so easily.  

Do you think being able to realize the difference(s) helps us appreciate what we have?