Today has been a very low energy day. The lymph nodes beneath my jaw are enlarged so I may be fighting something off.
The snow is melting fast. The weather-guessers are predicting that six of the next seven days will have highs above freezing. This might be a good time to frost seed the pasture. I have some creeping-alfalfa seed I want to spread.
We have a relatively small fireplace insert in our living-room. Unlike the massive, outdoor boilers that many of my neighbors have, it is fussy about the size of the wood it likes.
I have the starting procedure nailed. A couple of split pieces of ash, a wax impregnated fire-starter between the split-ash and then a double-handful of "small-wood" laid across the split-ash where the flames of the wax fire starter will lick them.
---A moment of silence while my fellow 'tards chuckle about ERJ's "small wood". Its OK. I am secure in my masculinity. I would be chortling if our positions were reversed---
Where was I?
Oh, the small wood.
Pieces between 3/4" and 1-1/2" diameter work best. Sumac rocks but any wood will do as long as it is dry. Since the rack that holds the ash-splits is not very deep, the small-wood only needs to be 4"-to-8" long to span from one to the other.
---Let me hold your beer while you laugh. Laughter is good for the soul and the digestion---
The thing is that I need a lot of pieces although that is not much weight.
Fortunately, I have scads of Box Elder that volunteered all around the property and it very happily puts out stems of that diameter with great abandon. In Europe it would be considered a copse. I take my loppers and behead the stem where it splits into many stems and then work my way down the stick cutting it to the desired length.
The current plan is to dump the sticks into a large dog "crate" in one of the barns. The crate will be up on a pallet and the welded-wire sides should allow the air to flow through it with ease. Between the short stick-length, the diagonally cut ends and the awesome airflow, I should have an abundance of dried small-wood for next year.