Thursday, 7 October 2010

Good King Wenceslas

Gathering winter fuel

I don't know about the swallows flying south  for winter being a harbinger for the end of the season. For me it is the start of the scavenging season which signifies the slow slide into winter.

I have seen a number of posts about log hunting, tree selection and the mysteries of seasoning. Clearly I am not alone on my recreation of King Wenceslas's preoccupation.

I tend to keep my eye out for felled trees in the autumn, and for the last couple of years I have carried my trusty chainsaw on my autumnal forays. This approach has yielded a couple of tons of wood for the fire both on the boat and at home. A couple of good hauls and I have enough wood to keep me going right through to the spring. This year the pickings have been thin. BW have not been doing much felling on the Shroppie and where they have at Tyrely no logs were left for reappropriation. I was therefore left to my own devices in identifying suitable sources of timber.  

I had seen very few downed trees but on the outbound leg of my trip to Market Drayton I did see the cut end of a tree part way up the embankment at Chillington. In the absence of anything better I stopped the boat and went to take a closer look. A big tree had come down in recent weeks, bringing a smaller one with it. BW had cleared the obstruction from the canal but there was plenty of timber left for anyone brave enough to try and recover in on the steep slope. 

Matilda watched me wield the chainsaw with some trepidation, wondering what she would do if I had a bit of an accident. In the end she elected for the ostrich approach and went below to warm herself by the fire and read her book - hoping that all would be well.

I emerged with all digits firmly attached to my hands and  a big pile of logs. Whilst  it's not enough for all winter but this little haul will, when mixed with come smokeless coal, probably last a month and a half. I have seen another tree on the Staffs and Worcester which is ripe for logging, but I'm not letting on where!

 The Ahab logpile

These logs will soon be joining the log pile gleaned from Birmingham Airport's flightpath trimmings.


Ray and Jayne said...

This makes me very jealous as our Chainsaw has not been called upon yet. However, I have great expectations of the north Oxford and Coventry.

Sue said...


Leave me a bit on that Shroppie!

Teehee! ;-)