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Burning a Stump
26 June 2018, 18:01,
#1
Burning a Stump
Yes you read correctly, "burning a stump".

A year ago we had a big storm come through and it knocked down a huge dead maple tree in the back garden. That sucker was 15 meters high if it was an inch! It was also better then a meter in diameter and a good 2 feet through up at the first branch.

How long it had been dead I do not know, but it had been standing there for a while. Several families of wildlife had taken up residence at various levels, not counting all the birds nesting in the knot holes. I had chipmunks in the roots, possums in the hollow trunk, squirrels at various levels and a family of raccoons once took up residence in the penthouse.

The thing had come down with a crash and my thanks that nothing and no one was injured. Fortunately it took the only pant to the ground that was free of obstacles and missed the workshop by about a foot.

Thing was that it was too big for me to deal with and dispose of, and the cost of having it removed was way past "reasonable" in this day and age. So I let it lay there after cleaning up the debris and turning all the wood I could deal with into usable chunks. That meant that I had a one meter diameter tree, 15 meters long, complete with the root ball, lying in my back garden waiting to sprout mushrooms.

A few weeks back I realized that the tree was visible on Google Earth. This troubled me so I decided to do away with the garden feature in the only way my frail body and bad back would allow. I bought three gallons of #2 diesel and took the big BBQ lighter out of the kitchen drawer.

I stacked large chunks of split firewood against that entire tree trunk and fired that sucker up.

That was last Monday!

This morning the last half meter long section is about to return to carbon and water vapor. By the time it goes out this "homesteading job" will have been going on for 10 days. That tree has burned for 9 straight days and through 3 days of steady rain. Nothing stopped it after the hollow center caught fire. It just smoldered and glowed, day and night, until all of it is nearly gone save the ash.

It is not all happy harvesting of fresh veggies and jams, jelleys and preserves on the breakfast toast. Most of it is hard, hot, back breaking manual labor that is the same today as it was when your first pre-celtic neolithic ancestor stepped out of his round house and realized a tree had fallen on the barn.

And in this particular instance that "cave man" and myself were in the same situation, using the same tools. My chain saw was not adequate for the task before it and the poor cave man had on y stone tools, so we both would turn to the one tool that we knew would do the job with the least amount of muscle power expended,,,,,FIRE.
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