That time of year

It’s that time of year when Oregon weather is playing dice with our fruit trees. We’ll have a few 40°F nights, and then a few 34°F nights. One night it dropped to 33°F just to keep us guessing. One of my main arguments for raising ruminants for meat is that grass will grow through anything, but many vegetable crops are very weather dependent. One hard frost at this time of year can decimate the fruit crop.

It’s that time of year when we are running out of firewood. We’ve burned through the cedar and oak stacked under cover and the house remodeling scraps stored in our barn. At this point we are left attacking those “ugly pieces” of oak that troubled the hydraulic splitter. The piece below went in the fire a few days ago. It’s the sort of grain pattern that could only be loved by someone who’s never swung a splitting maul.

It’s that time of year when the grass is growing explosively from the combination of downpours and sunlight. While the tractor sits waiting for an oil change, a grease job, and drier soil, the grass is racing toward knee high on much of our property.

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13 Responses to That time of year

  1. Lynn says:

    We still have plenty of firewood, and believe it or not, we still use the fireplace on those cold nights! Soon it will be done for the season, though. We haven’t mowed yet, as our mowers are both broken right now. I wouldn’t really say broken, but they are down for maintenance and parts. That will have to be a priority, as our grass is getting pretty tall, too! There’s always such much to do around a farm, always a list of things to do…

    • robin says:

      You are right, there is always something that needs done around a place. We finally got some more firewood but it’s damp. Boo! I want to burn it now. But it will be all ready for next year at least. Now we only need about two more cords for next year…

  2. Rae says:

    Oh my goodness. That piece of wood is a nightmare! Makes my shoulders hurt just looking at it. Trying to chop something like that feels like shanking a hit in softball. Ouch! 🙂

    We ran out of seasoned wood a few weeks ago and switched to electric. Probably costing us a fortune, but we keep the temp low and wear sweaters. 🙂 Won’t have a problem next year. Holy cow we’ve put up a LOT of wood.

    Your grass is lovely!

    • robin says:

      I thought it was a pretty piece of wood. Since Lee is the wood splitter here he thought it was an awful piece of wood. lol We don’t have electric heat yet so I have been layering on the clothes. Otherwise I would have that dial turned up like you. 🙂

  3. Benita says:

    Oh my! I have never seen anything like the graining in that oak. How in heavens name did it grow that way, I wonder? But, you know, I’d love to have seen it planed and polished.

  4. Glad to see we’re not the only ones running out of wood. I feel better, knowing we’re in good company.

    That’s a great log you got there! I’ve split enough wood to have some idea the trouble it gave you, but I also know a woodworker who’d have given you top dollar for it. He makes beautiful bowls, and eyes some of our gnarliest oaks every time he visits.

    Stay warm!

    • robin says:

      Hope your staying warm too! My grandpa used to make bowls. I don’t know anybody who does that any more though.

  5. ..that kind of wood goes into the summer bonfire pile at our place..that would be a nightmare! We have had success removing stumps with a tether tied to our truck..after we have dug it out some that is. It sure is beautiful there..our place is a nice shade of brown will be until end of may when things look as nice as your place.

    • robin says:

      By the end of spring I look forward to that nice shade of brown so I can stop mowing. lol. Lee doesn’t like the knotty wood to split but I do love how long it burns in the wood stove.

  6. Ann says:

    That is some gnarly oak! I am thinking that it could have been turned into a nice bowl as well. We ran out of firewood, too, and had to have more delivered. It snowed a bit this morning, so we still have a long way to go before things look as verdant as your place. We’ve also had a lot of rain, and our ground is totally saturated. Being on clay, that means it will be a while before we get our tractor out. Thankfully it’s too cold for the grass to become knee-high just yet!

    • robin says:

      I’m sitting here upstairs in my big outside coat and my wool hat dreaming of summer while typing this. I love it when we get in the car and I can turn up the heat full blast. heheh Stay warm over there with your snow.

      I love having sandy soil because after down pours it dries out quickly. But you have me beat in the summer because I have to water my garden over time and your soil will stay moist for longer. Ah well, I guess you can’t have it all. 🙂

  7. Buck says:

    I learned something interesting at a nursery the other day. I was picking up some fruit trees, and someone mentioned the horrible cherry crop we had in the Willamette Valley last year. Cherry trees bloom early, right? The nursery guy (nurseryman?) said that when the trees bloomed it was really cold and the pollinating insects were not out, so the flowers never got pollinated. We were having the same very cold nights, and are wondering if our trees got taken care of. Phoebe’s bees certainly helped, so we’ll see.

    We had a big stack of fir bark under a tarp behind the woodshed. It is a perfect fuel for this time of year. Burns hot enough to take the chill off the evening or morning, but is otherwise a waste product. Unless we had a chipper…

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