Every year while we run around like ants doing whatever our daily business keeps us busy doing, time marches silently through the seasons. Occasionally we stop and notice the minute changes, at first we see the sun start to set a few minutes earlier each day, and then you might notice some dew or even the tiniest hint of frost on your car windows first thing in the morning. These are sure signs that summer is swiftly rolling into Fall, and many wise people take these hints as natures fair warning. What it means to me is that it is high time I get off my butt and prepare for the cold hard winter that will soon follow! Here in Northeast Ohio it seems that we only get a few weeks from the end of summer to those blustery days where the cold sets in and the snow begins to fall. My Fall schedule fills up fairly fast with house, yard, automotive, and garden preparations well before the weather becomes too uncooperative.
One of my absolute favorite things to do is use my chainsaw cutting down trees which need removed or trimmed on our property. Most of the wood I cut and split is used to heat our house, and the rest of the wood and brush that is not suitable for use in the wood burner is saved for a nice Fall Bonfire. One of the primary reasons I like to cut firewood in the Fall is that the 60 to 70 degree weather is much more to my liking when cutting and splitting firewood, as compared to the summer heat at 80 degrees and 90% humidity! I find that it is much easier to stay on the job and be more productive when you are not sweating like a Bank Industry CEO sitting in front of a Congressional Committee!
I also enjoy this Outdoor Fall Activity for it’s positive health benefits. I find that when I am actively putting up firewood for the coming season I am more physical than I would otherwise be. Let me tell you, cutting, splitting, and stacking firewood is a really great way to get into shape! You get a great aerobic workout, your legs, torso, arms and upper body will all get toughened up. Cutting trees in the Fall is easier for me because you have less brush to clear away since most of the leaves are gone when you get into cutting down the trees. First I select the trees that are going to be cut down, and I mark these with orange spray paint. I also check for any poison ivy in the area, and will take appropriate action if any is found. Since I am highly allergic to this stuff, I am very aware of what it looks like, and I know exactly how to get rid of it!
I always cut trees down with safety in mind, I wear appropriate clothing, long pants, long sleeves, leather work boots, safety glasses, and leather gloves. I have someone stand by to make sure that if something out of the ordinary did happen I will have immediate help at my side. Cell phones will only help if you can actually be there to use them! Keeping the chainsaw in good working order is paramount to good cutting, and safe work. Always keep the chain sharp as this helps prevent you forcing the saw to cut, which can lead to you making simple but devastatingly dumb mistakes!
My usual plan is to cut down the trees that I have marked, cut away all the branches, and cut logs into sixteen inch lengths, and stack it up to about four feet high. Once I have a decent stack of wood where the sap has been dripping out of it for a few weeks, I start splitting and stacking this firewood. If you try and split it too soon, the sap gets everywhere and it makes the whole operation a bigger pain in your butt. The universal cut length is sixteen inches, and this is the standard length log that most burners will accept. if you stack these into a row that is four feet high and eight feet long, you will have a rick of wood. Three ricks would be a cord of wood. a cord of wood takes up 128 cubic feet of space. One cord of wood will last us about a month if the temperature is in the twenties, and about three weeks if the temperature drops into the teens.
One of the things i enjoy the most is saving the Hundreds of dollars per year on heating oil for our house! With the winter Fuel Oil rates typically going up to over $3 a gallon her in Northeast Ohio, we are in no big hurry to send profits to the greedy oil industry’s coffers! We are fortunate enough to have a sustainable supply of firewood which helps us offset the rising cost of home heating. It is not difficult to learn how to use a chainsaw, and if you are new to this type of Fall Activity, then you can ask a friend, family member, or a generous neighbor to show you how to do this job safely. I know that if you try hard enough that you can find someone who has trees they want to have cut down, and then you can literally split the wood with them. Then you can use your half for heating your house this winter! You will be in much better shape both physically, and financially!
So to summarize my Favorite Fall activity, which is definitely Cutting Firewood, i would say that it is great for me because it saves us money on heating oil, and it keeps me in shape for fall and winter seasons. Breaking a sweat is not difficult when cutting firewood is your favorite Fall Outdoor Activity!