Friday, June 26, 2009

Not So Small Measure of Wood

Rig Delivering Long Lengths of FirewoodBig Truck, Small Road

This year, R took care of ordering wood and arranging for delivery. It all happened faster than in previous years, and more cheaply (although it will be more work on our end). Yay. R ordered logs, which turned out to be seasoned ones (a good thing), so we'll have to buck them up to stove length, and rent a splitter to make them small enough to stack.

Boom and claws laying the wood inUsing a boom with claw to lay the log lengths on a pile

M was thrilled to watch the Murray, the wood tech, use the grabbing claw on the end of the boom to lift the wood off the truck and lay it in the cleared space near our shed. One at a time, carefully!

5, maybe 6 cord of firewoodFive, maybe six, cord of wood

When you go by logs, it's a lot harder to estimate cordage. This is somewhere between 5 and 7 cord of wood (we stack pretty snugly, and a cord is a volume measurement, so I'm guessing not quite 6 cord.) Our woodshed holds just over 5 easily. We'll have to rent or borrow a longer chain saw (some of those logs are about 20"-24" in diameter!) maybe, as well as the splitter.

The photo suggests the wood is leaning on the apple tree; it's not, but it's close. Aside: that poor apple had its top lopped off by the power company, clearing branches off the lines. This was a good precaution against the storms—we've had fewer power outages since they really started keeping up with that—but I wish they'd told me they were going to do this to the poor tree!

And our winter's heat is mostly here!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

some tweets from April

I'm on twitter (as metasilk). Sometimes I manage a relevant-to-small-measures post there, and sometimes I run out of time to update this blog as much as I'd like. So.... this post.

April 9: To chirps of woodpeckers dueling over suet, I finished a tedious bit of a small project.

April 14: A little brown bat is flying around over the road, in the shadow of the hillside. Sweet to see, but I worry he's not catching much.

April 23: Cool: purple finch on the black oil sunflower seed feeder today. Two Broadwinged* Hawks over the yard yesterday!

April 26: LittleBirder is making a mud puddle. I keep hearing happy noises from the front yard!

April 28: There's a white-throated sparrow singing LOUDLY in our woods, near our yard. Almost louder than the road grader! The birds are really delighting me recently. Wish I had time to write down all the observations, audio and otherwises. Heck, I wish I knew them well enough to ID them from said audio and visual... oh well. That's in the "someday when I have more time" daydream-pile, I suppose.

*I had originally, and mistakenly, ID'd these as Cooper's Hawks.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

feed the birds!

Just added a membership/donation form (PDF) to Birds of Vermont Museum's site. If I can get them up w/ PayPal we can do online memberships as well!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rodents Awake!

Saw a lovely gray squirrel this morning, and for the last three days or so have been seeing at least two eastern chipmunks (their tail lengths are quite different). I'm surprised the squirrel is so plump-looking, but perhaps he or she has been awake a few times this winter and restocked on the black oil seeds we supply. Or possibly just fuzzy with a winter coat, still.

Yay for mammals wakening into spring!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I am walking the dog, elderly, tottery. It's FAR too early in the morning -- perhaps 5 o'clock, more or less. It's dark.

Threading though the hemlocks, barely heard over the sound of the thawed snow splashing over ice in the stream, the thin faraway call of a coyote, perhaps too. A long howl dropping into a short yipping chatter. Again.

I'm relieved they're out past the ponds, far enough to hear, not too likely to come by right now. I know they have left tracks in the past days and weeks, not even 200 yards from where I stand now. I'm glad they're in the woods, but comforted at the distance. One fewer worry of things that bother my beloved old dog.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Great Backyard BirdCount 2009

They also send out a newsletter as well. Click, click! Find out more!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Company Drops By

As we were arriving home tonight I saw a white-tailed deer in my yard. I mean, in -- as in about 3 feet from the doorstep. I suspect she was eating birdseed; she was standing just under one of the feeders and we saw tracks later: both hoofprints and scrape marks. She was shaggy as all get-out, but I couldn't say how large, since she was partly hidden from me and I'm not very good at estimating that sort of thing. I'm sure I was taller than her back and her head might've topped mine, but this is hardly useful or precise.

I slowed and stopped in the road, I was so surprised, and of course because of the slope and snow, wound up revving the engine to make the turn into the parking space. And accidentally hit the windshield wipers, which squeaked terribly. All this startled the poor doe, and she leapt away in a heartbeat.

I am inordinately tickled. Yes, we see their tracks many mornings, but it's a delight to have caught this glimpse of her as well.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Hinesburg-Huntington Christmas Bird Count

This Saturday Jan 3

from eBird Vermont:

The 109th Christmas Bird Count will run from December 14th through January 5th. Last year, thousands of volunteers counted nearly 60 million birds across the Americas and beyond. Each count occurs in a designated circle, 15 miles in diameter, and is led by an experienced birder, or designated “compiler”.... The longest running Citizen Science program in the world, the count originally began on Christmas Day in 1900 ...

The Hinesburg-Huntington Count will be January 3rd. Contact: Paul Wieczoreck

Thursday, January 01, 2009

ooh, ice!

The creek is half frozen, great swaths of chunky silver-blue ice punctuated by the occasional dark pool at the foot of a waterfall. (Exactly the colors that don't photograph well with my camera, especially when I'm looking through the window.) R says it did this last New Year's too.

Iit's between -7°F and 0, depending on which thermometer you look at. Bundle up!