Montana Outdoors

September 20, 2008

Wood cutting day

Filed under: Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Wood cutting — montucky @ 9:21 pm

Eleven hours of hard work, 50 miles of driving on beautiful high-country roads yields 1 cord of dry, seasoned lodgepole pine; a ton and a half of firewood.


I’d be willing to bet there are lots of folks across this country who would love to work a day like this for a month’s worth of winter heat! Total cost including Forest Service firewood permit, diesel for the truck, chain saw gas and shampoo to get chain and bar oil out of mustache, about $15.


  1. It is worth it, and the exercise is a good thing too. I get a lot of enjoyment out of my fireplace, even if it is not the primary source of my winter warmth. There is something primeval and comforting about a woodfire in winter.


    Comment by Tabbie — September 20, 2008 @ 10:00 pm

  2. Love the sound of this -I hear the wood crackling in the fire…


    Comment by Bo — September 20, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

  3. ACK! And I’m paying more than $250/month on the budget plan for home heating oil here in the northeast! One of the reasons i want to sell this place and downsize,… to have a place with the ability to have a wood stove. Although I won’t be the one cutting and hauling, it will still be cheaper and like Tabbie said,… the wood fire will be comfort and add to the coziness of my home.


    Comment by Cedar — September 21, 2008 @ 5:24 am

  4. Tabbie,

    We greatly prefer the heat from our wood stove to anything else we’ve ever had. For one thing, you can get close to it and really get warm when you come in from the really cold outside weather. Perhaps even more important here is the fact that the stove does not need electricity to operate. We sometimes have severe storms in winter that take down power lines and with the sood stove we have no need to worry about that.


    Comment by montucky — September 21, 2008 @ 8:50 am

  5. Bo,

    We also enjoy the sight of the flames through the front glass of the stove. The send soft flickers of light throughout the room.


    Comment by montucky — September 21, 2008 @ 8:51 am

  6. Cedar,

    Even if you have to buy your wood, it will be cheaper that oil or gas. You still have to carry it inside, but I don’t mind that in the least.

    The savings in pollution are also a huge advantage. The new stoves which have catalytic converters are very clean burning. I could argue that in this area, they have absolutely no carbon footprint at all. The northwest has had for years now a large infestation of Japanese beetles which kill firs and pines. You may have noticed the rust color to some of the forest in my photos. A friend who works for the Forest Service commented the other day that firewood was very easy find now because of the beetle-killed trees. If those trees are not used for heating, they will be burned in forest fires: that always happens, and the wildfires also destroy other things.


    Comment by montucky — September 21, 2008 @ 8:59 am

  7. I love cutting and chopping wood. Wish my cabin had a woodstove instead of gas.


    Comment by Patia — September 21, 2008 @ 2:24 pm

  8. I love chopping wood, but I am glad I still have all of my appendages left. Something about it is so enriching!


    Comment by scienceguy288 — September 21, 2008 @ 3:59 pm

  9. Patia,

    I do too. Maybe it makes a connection to our ancestors and wood heat just can’t be beat!


    Comment by montucky — September 21, 2008 @ 4:24 pm

  10. Scienceguy,

    I guess we still get satisfaction out of hard physical work, don’t we, and especially when it takes care of our basic need to stay warm.


    Comment by montucky — September 21, 2008 @ 4:29 pm

  11. the bad part of all the wood cutting that’s been going on here is that there is no real need for firewood for the winter!! there are loads of cut trees down here if you guys up north want to come get them! 🙂 (course, that would cost way more than $15!!)


    Comment by silken — September 21, 2008 @ 4:46 pm

  12. It’s too bad to lose all those trees and even worse to have the wood go to waste. All the time we lived in Arizona though, we did have a fireplace, and often it provided all the heat we needed. We thought it was strange to have one there until we used it.


    Comment by montucky — September 21, 2008 @ 5:49 pm

  13. In Massachusetts, $350.00 minimum for a cord of split, kiln dried hardwood. I don’t really know about permit costs, etc. to find your own firewood.

    You bet, though, that I’d prefer to work a day like you did!


    Comment by Janet Wilkins — September 22, 2008 @ 5:39 am

  14. Ouch! That’s better firewood than lodgepole pine or fir, but what a price! Wood here goes $150 for a cord not split and stacked. The permit costs though are about $5 a cord in the National Forest.


    Comment by montucky — September 22, 2008 @ 6:16 am

  15. Some of my very BEST memories are the summers when we would spend the entire weekends cutting firewood, for the long winters….it was healthy for both parents AND kids! 🙂


    Comment by kristin — September 22, 2008 @ 11:40 am

  16. Those are indeed great memories! Extra special for the whole family. I enjoy knowing that the wood will keep us warm during those long, cold, winter months!

    Thanks for visiting, kristin!


    Comment by montucky — September 22, 2008 @ 7:34 pm

  17. Your mustache must be much better than mine if you managed to lose a chain in there!


    Comment by Pinhole — September 23, 2008 @ 7:11 pm

  18. I’m always surprised at what’s in there, and none too happy if it’s alive!


    Comment by montucky — September 23, 2008 @ 7:58 pm

  19. Like the bursting of a bottle, the steel-split wood
    Sent the scent of summer on an airborne flood.
    The sweetshop smell of cherries wafted round my head,
    Like a memory of blossoms from a tree long-dead,
    And the winter darkened wood-shed with its winter piles of logs,
    And the winter piles of wood-chips that sheltered winter frogs,
    Were driven back by sunshine and lying under trees,
    A woman¹s fond embraces and the murmuring of bees.
    The split wood lay there whitely and I raised it to my nose,
    But the summer scent was fading and — the way old loving goes –
    It stole out to the garden and disappeared at last,
    The cold and darkness took it, the present took the past.
    A memory of a memory was all that stayed behind,
    And the harder that I looked for it, the less there was to find.
    But it came again that evening when the fire had burned to grey,
    And I closed the door behind me and went out on my way,
    Like the echo of an honest word or a brave thing or a hope,
    The smell of cherries filled the street, carried on the smoke.

    By Andrew Nicoll


    Comment by Tom Wood — October 16, 2008 @ 8:32 pm

  20. Woodstoves are extreemly sufficient in the winter months. I am in Montana and it gets real cold here in the winter. I collect my firewood from spring to fall and split all my wood in the fall. By the time winter comes, and the pine trees are snow covered I am right next to my blaze king wood stove, and the heat goes right to your bones. You cant expect anything better than wood heat. It is some work, but well worth the saveings!! No high electric bills or gas. Wood heat is my main source for the winter months, it utterly great. Im happy!!


    Comment by Chris — July 9, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

    • Our main heat source is also a wood stove and we wouldn’t want to do without it. You are so right about the heat from one going right to your bones!

      Thanks for the visit, Chris!


      Comment by montucky — July 9, 2009 @ 9:56 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: