Montana Outdoors

March 30, 2010

Alternative or alternating…

Filed under: Montana, Outdoors — Tags: — montucky @ 7:57 pm


Alternative energy is on all of the front pages now, but this isn’t exactly alternative energy, it’s more like alternating energy, whereby you put energy into it now and then get energy out of it later. At the moment I’m questioning whether I’ll get as much energy out of this as I’m putting into it!



  1. Hang in there Terry, spring is coming


    Comment by Rich — March 30, 2010 @ 8:01 pm

    • Actually I’m very happy to be doing this now instead of in August or September when it’s so darn hot! Yesterday was wet, but today was perfect!


      Comment by montucky — March 30, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

  2. Terry, at least it keeps you in the fresh air


    Comment by Chad — March 30, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

    • That it does, Chad. Question is whether it will get me into shape or kill me first! I absolutely love sawing and splitting though!


      Comment by montucky — March 30, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

  3. Is this a new one or remainders of the one from months ago?


    Comment by Candace — March 30, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

    • Still working on the old log deck. There were 25 tons there and we used only about 6 for the winter. There are probably about three years worth left. That log deck is about 7 feet tall.


      Comment by montucky — March 30, 2010 @ 8:39 pm

  4. Ah, the memories a photograph can stir. I remember going to the timber (that’s what we call it, not the woods, or the forest) with my dad and spending the entire day cutting and loading wood, then we would bring it back to the house and throw it all down a 2′ x 2′ window into the part of the basement where the wood burning stove was. The good old days!!


    Comment by kcjewel — March 30, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

    • When I was a kid we did that too. We also were able to get a load of scrap cuts (trim cuts) from a lumber mill in the area some times. Good memories!


      Comment by montucky — March 30, 2010 @ 9:26 pm

  5. Yep, that will warm you twice. πŸ™‚ My husband love to split wood by hand. Our neighbor has offered him a log splitter and he keeps refusing. That is quite a pile of wood!


    Comment by kateri — March 30, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

    • I also prefer to split wood by hand. I can do it faster anyway and the exercise is great. Last fall we bought a log truck load from a private tree farm because trees were a bit scarce around here. Next year I will start going out for wood into an area that was burned by a forest fire two years ago. The fire-killed trees will be dry by then and that fire covered 150 square miles. A lot of it was salvage logged, but there is still a lot of firewood there.


      Comment by montucky — March 30, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

  6. Whew-wee! That is a lot of work! There’s got to be satisfaction of the splitting of wood by ax and hand, though, from the exercise and the job at hand providing for one’s sustenance. πŸ™‚


    Comment by Anna Surface — March 31, 2010 @ 7:46 am

    • Yes, it is satisfying, especially on those really cold winter days when I load the stove and get nice and warm while knowing that I worked hard for it. The exercise is also a very good thing. After the first few days I can feel a big difference in conditioning.


      Comment by montucky — March 31, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

  7. Looks like fun…in small doses. Do you have to get a permit for harvesting fire killed timber in Montana? Hopefully CO puts something in place to manage all the Pine Beetle kill, or we are going to have some epic fires when everything dries out.


    Comment by DaveABirding — March 31, 2010 @ 8:50 am

    • The Forest Service sells wood cutting permits for about $5 per cord, allowing the cutting of dead trees. I have found that fire-killed trees that are still standing are the best.

      We have beetle killed trees and they can also be cut for wood. Actually, the pine killed trees have very little effect on the intensity of a forest fire. Once a fire grows to the point where it will climb the “ladder fuels” into the canopy, that canopy will burn, whether dead or green.


      Comment by montucky — March 31, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

  8. Isn’t it energy four times? Once to work to cut it,… once to work to split it, again to stack it, and last to carry it into the house? you should be very warm by the time you put it into the stove! I miss a wood fire, it’s been years. There’s nothing like wood heat. Ahhhh,…. but the carrying out of the ashes,.. that’s another story.


    Comment by Cedar — March 31, 2010 @ 11:21 am

    • At least four, Cedar. You’re right about wood heat: there’s nothing like it for getting good and warm. I’ve noticed that when anyone come over in the winter the very first thing they do is go stand by the wood stove.

      Our stove uses a catalytic combustor, which causes it to burn very clean and there are not all that many ashes. Even at the peak of winter I usually don’t have to remove ashes more than every two to three weeks, which is good because that isn’t my favorite thing either.


      Comment by montucky — March 31, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

  9. Oh, this brings back memories of my life in the Arkansas cabin a few years ago. Yes, you get heat out of this in many different ways. πŸ˜‰


    Comment by Barbara — March 31, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    • I find the whole process to be enjoyable. Another plus is that since electricity isn’t required, a wood stove works just as well during power outages, something we find very comforting out here.


      Comment by montucky — March 31, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

  10. I remember the photo you shared a while back with the truck carrying this load of timber. Looks like you have made a bit of a dent into it.


    Comment by Preston — March 31, 2010 @ 5:44 pm

    • Yep, I keep putting dents into it. Still is a big pile though, and that’s great!


      Comment by montucky — March 31, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

  11. Forget the energy part, and look at the great exercise you’re getting.


    Comment by knightofswords — March 31, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

    • True, Malcolm. I do really feel good after just a few days of work on the firewood.


      Comment by montucky — March 31, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

      • When I do this kind of work, I feel good, then the next day I feel bad when I wake up and feel stiff muscles and aching joints, and then when I look outside and see the work accomplished, I start feeling good again.


        Comment by knightofswords — April 1, 2010 @ 11:15 am

        • I know the feeling, although for some reason that I don’t understand I don’t seem to get stiff any more unless I pull a muscle. I do keep up a pretty high level of exercise though.


          Comment by montucky — April 1, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

  12. Hi.

    Your question is very good!!!

    I made during 12 years our firewood using only my axe and saw, not chainsaw. It was hard job and I think that You know it very good. Anyway, it kept me in good condition, surely.

    The photo itself is a nice one.


    Comment by sartenada — March 31, 2010 @ 11:04 pm

    • It would be very hard without a chain saw! One summer I learned to use a two-man crosscut saw and that was alright, but still harder than a chain saw. Cutting and splitting does keep one in condition!


      Comment by montucky — April 1, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

  13. I would hope that the energy you spend now allows you to relax when you use the wood!! ;o)


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — April 1, 2010 @ 5:28 am

    • It really does, Stacey. I will do a lot more work on this before winter, but I already have enough split and stacked to last next winter. I like to keep enough for two winters in case the weather is severe or perhaps someone else needs some wood.

      It’s comforting to know that the next year’s heat is all ready and already paid for. That helps me relax!


      Comment by montucky — April 1, 2010 @ 9:30 pm

  14. That looks like a lot of work. Great time to get a jump on chopping wood for the winter as spring rolls in.


    Comment by Maggie — April 1, 2010 @ 6:27 am

    • This is the first time I can remember getting such an early start. It’s usually the end of May. The last three days have been nearly perfect, with mostly clouds and temperatures in the 30’s and 40’s, although I did get a little wet Tuesday.


      Comment by montucky — April 1, 2010 @ 9:32 pm

  15. That pile of logs we saw several months ago has been whittled down to this? Wow! You’ve been busy! And yes, you’ll be glad you did even though it may not seem so at the time. πŸ˜€ Bet you could really flex those muscles now, couldn’t you? lol
    This is a grand shot to display your expended energy.


    Comment by Iona — April 11, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

    • The log deck in the background is smaller than it was, but there’s still about three years worth of firewood for us there. It’s such a pleasure this year to be able to cut, split and stack while the weather is still cool!


      Comment by montucky — April 11, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

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