Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fall Chores

Today was a crystal clear, late fall day.  Over-night low was 23 with a wind chill in the low teens.

Mrs ERJ, Kubota and I went to a leaf raking party at my parents.  I volunteered for the "Clean eve troughs" ticket as my dad lost the last argument he had with a ladder.  I was able to get the loose, fluffy leaves out of them but would have needed either a jack hammer or a blow torch to get the frozen mush out of the bottoms.  So that will be a "go back".

Two of the nephews recently acquired .270 Winchesters to shoot coyotes.  They kind of sounded me out with regards to whether I might be willing to reload for them.  I reckon that anybody who is willing to rake their grandfather's yard is a good person and I can work with them.  I left before they pulled their new toys out of the trunk and showed them off.  One picked up a non-Accutrigger, Savage Model 10 with a 4X12 scope for $200.  The other picked up a Remington model 7600 which is a novel choice for a varmint gun.

The afternoon did not go as planned.

It rained all day yesterday.  Almost all of the wood in the burn pile is as green as grass.  I am in the process of evicting the trees that are not paying their rent: Primarily Hybrid Poplar, Wild Black Cherry, Box Elder.  There is also a smattering of yard tree trimmings.

Kubota used the one, sure fire, never fail method of starting a fire.  He threw a match at the bonfire, got distracted and walked away.  This method could ignite the Sargasso Sea.

Mrs ERJ was driving him over to a friend's house when I looked out the window and saw smoke.  One of the large. partially burned pieces of wood from the last fire had dry char beneath it.  It had caught fire in a discrete kind of way.

Well, why not?

I spent the rest of the day dragging wood over to the burn pile.  I carefully arranged some dry wood over the glowing embers of the partially burned piece and I stacked the greener branches where the growing flames would dry them out and burn them.

Burning green wood is a bit like running a breeder nuclear reactor.  You have the pile that is actively creating energy.  And you have the rods that are arranged around the active pile, absorbing particles and becoming enriched in fissionable elements.

Mrs ERJ and I spent a companionable couple of hours after sunset watching the fire burn down.

It has been a very good day.

1 comment:

  1. There IS an art to getting green wood to burn and not smoke the entire neighborhood out! Congrats! :-)