It’s the first week of May, and this Alaskan’s thoughts turn to…. Winter.
Winter never seems to really leave us up here in the north; we are either in the middle of it, or preparing for it.
My sole heat source for my time in Fairbanks has been firewood. My cabin uses 4-1/2 cords, on average, during the winter months to heat my place. If I have 5 cords stacked, I know I won’t use it all. So every autumn, my goal is to have 5 ready to go. Sometimes I hit that mark, and sometimes I don’t, but I do make an honest effort to have those five.
I stopped by another contractor’s shop this week and he had a beautiful stack of birch logs out front. His goal was to have it all cut, split and stacked by the end of Memorial Weekend. I had a serious case of Birch Envy, but I also had some logs of my own to deal with.
I had cut up some nice spruce for a customer last year, and had hauled the rounds over to my place, where they sat all winter. I had also cut down several trees for a neighbor last fall, and they too, sat laying on the ground all winter. With a couple of off days this week, I cut up the down trees and stacked the firewood in the woodshed. Today, I went after the pile of spruce rounds with the maul.
The first week of May, and I figure I have 2/5 of my needed BTU’s for the next winter. This is why I rarely have time to fish for salmon unless it’s January.