Country Living Series

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A windfall -- literally

Don and I took a walk last week along a path we hadn't been on for a few months. It was evident we hadn't been there, in fact, since the massive windstorm that hit our region last November.

This became apparent when we came across this tree down by the path. We commented on its girth, but something was a little odd about it.


What was odd was there was no broken stump or root crater. It was like the tree, instead of falling over, had dropped from the sky.



Well as it turns out, it had. Literally. It wasn't a tree, it was a branch.


In short, the scene before us was one of the literal definitions of windfall. You truly can't appreciate how massive conifers are until you see them on the ground -- or in this case, parts of them on the ground. This branch was the size of a full-grown tree. And yet the parent tree isn't especially huge by conifer standards.


Because we know the owner of this property and he's given us permission to harvest such things as necessary, this massive branch may shortly become the other definition of a windfall -- an unexpected gain. For us, firewood.

14 comments:

  1. I have some "windfalls" myself, in the form of broken branches, we see them as wood we don't have to split, just cut the lengths, stack and burn when seasoned. Too easy.

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  2. Patrice:

    Any tree similar to pine should not be used to burn in a wood stove.
    Better to let this one go. Too oily. Pine sap is a problem.

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    1. I heated with beautiful and abundant hardwoods in Maine for decades. If anyone in Maine tried to sell the softer woods we use here in the Pacific Northwest they would probably be arrested for fraud. Ha! But trust me, softer woods can be used for wood heating with proper seasoning and system maintenance (like Peggy described below).
      Montana Guy

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    2. In agreement with Montana Guy ... and you burn what grows in your area.

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    3. How can anyone who is a regular reader, think that Patrice and Don need someone else to tell them what to burn or not to burn in a wood stove.

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  3. Maybe a pine branch like this is more meant for a special woodworking project? We mistakenly burnt a pine log in our wood stove years back~ gave us mentholated lungs!!

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  4. We have heated our home for over 30 years and burn pine. We just cut split and stack it. Let it sit for a year for sap to dry up and then burn it. We clean our chimney, flue, and stove twice a year though and have not had any problems

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  5. I can't keep up with the windfalls on my 100 acres anymore. I guess the woodpeckers and worms will have to have at them.

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  6. Know anyone with dry lot goats? I was begging for discarded Christmas trees this past year.

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  7. God provides in such wonderful ways!

    Ouida Gabriel

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  8. Dear Patrice and family;

    It reminds me of the last year we had elections. A bunch of politicians got lost out here in the California High Desert. I think that their bus drivers must have got together and ditched them in a bunch. Well, the Pols hung around and talked and talked and talked up a storm. We didn't know what to do with them until my buddy, Duggie Dooright, had a good idea. We herded them up into the back of a pickup truck and drove them up into the local mountains, where we get our winter firewood.
    We shoved them out the back of the truck and let them free-range for a couple of days before picking them up again and driving them down into the city. We turned them loose at the edge of "civilization" and they just kind of wandered off into the miasma of the city-scape, never to be heard of again this side of the Potomac. Going back to see the results, we found that those windbags had blown down 63 pinion pines, 14 cottonwoods and 4 cedar trees. We're still harvesting! It's a good thing that these sorts of things only come around once every four years!

    Are you sure that you didn't have a bunch of politicians wander through? Those vermin can be pretty destructive.

    California Willie

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  9. Addendum to the last post by California Willie:

    BTW: I asked every one of those numbskull politicians if they would be willing to sign the original Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States today and those dumb buggers looked at me as if I were some kind of alien. Go figure. Not a James Madison or Alexander Hamilton amongst them. And when I, just as a test, whispered out loud, "George Washington" and "Benjamin Franklin"... those posers ran off like scared little girls! Funny and sad at the same time. Makes me think that this "signing" thing ought to be a litmus test for all political candidates these days.

    California Willie

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  10. Patrice, can you do an update on your new stove? Would love to see how it's going. And pictures so I can drool over them!

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  11. your posing cattle remind me of when we and our young son lived on a farm where cattle were fattened out. He would seat himszelf on the outside of their fence, they would gather around on the other side, curious of course, and he would spend hours "teaching" them.

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