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Thread: A great axe day

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Olympic Peninsula Rainforest

    A great axe day

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    A great axe day

    Spring is still a day away, but itís in the air. The afternoon sun is riding high in a blue sky clean of clouds, which is not too common in the rain forest this time of year. There is stiff cold breeze blowing off the Pacific. My little salmon stream is running hard and noisy from the recent rain. I can hear pebbles tumbling in the current. Orange ribbons ó tied to overhanging twigs by the local tribe to mark steelhead redds ó snap in the breeze.

    Everything is perfect. I set my solar panels free, unbuckling the cables and ropes that hold them in place during the winter storms. The big array ó the lowest one ó tracks the sun automatically. Having gained its freedom, it immediately finds the sun and tracks it faithfully all afternoon. Itís like a hound with a snootful of bear scent. I turn the tall panels manually to keep them in the sun. Iíve welded periscope handles to the bottom of their pole. A three year old can turn them.

    This is a great axe day. I have a pile of alder rounds ready for splitting. They are mostly small and split open as easily as eggs. The new wood is so white when first split that you have to squint if the sun angle is just right. My old dog is there to keep me company, although I donít need much.

    So I am able to spend a couple hours splitting wood with a small Walters axe on a 36-inch haft. I donít work hard, just steady. The firewood pile just keeps growing. When I split enough to fill a wheel barrow, I cart the wood off to my shed. Then repeat.

    It reminds me how good the rhythm of an axe feels in my hands, especially with the sun beaming overhead and a stream babbling chaos a few steps away. And nothing but trees for neighbors. I suppose the Chinese have spewed pollution into the air, but I cannot tell. China is a long way away. Each breath of air is sweet.

    A new crop of nettles is just popping up. Theyíre my first vegetable of the year.

    The day feels perfect. Perfect for a session with an axe. There are not many tools that give me this much satisfaction. Thought Iíd share with the people who have taught me more about an axe than I could have imagined a few years ago.

    Share your stories, if you like.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Pacific NorthWet, USA
    Thanks for the writeup. A backyard salmon stream would be fantastic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    New England
    It's been months and months and maybe a year or two since I've had any outside time. This afternoon I took my newly hung 2LB camp/truck-size axe and the old worn Mann connecticut splitting machine into the yard and split a few pieces of firewood down into smaller bits just for funsies. Very satisfying.,
    Beckerhead #int((2/3)*100)
    "You have to admit it's a good looking heart attack." --Tradewater

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Maple Valley, WA
    Sounds like paradise! Sunshine. Easy splitting alder. I need to go check for nettles. Everything is late this year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    That sounds (and looks) terrific! I'll bet Spring on the Olympic Peninsula is a sight to behold.

    I spent yesterday stripping logs out back with my draw knives in the sun - your place looks idyllic.

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