I’m a lumberjack (sort of)


The massive snow piles are almost gone from beside the driveway, the sun is out, and spring is in the air today. During the week I cleaned up the yard, picking up dozens of broken branches from the storms and raking. Today it was time to tackle the biggest job, clearing away as much as I could of the large trees that fell out by the road.


Here’s how things looked when I started. Two medium-sized pitch pines had fallen from the edge of the yard partly into the road, but had been pushed back to the shoulder by a road crew during the storm. I got to work with my trusty handsaw. The smaller of the two trees needed to be cut once, then I was able to drag it back into the woods. The larger one needed two cuts, as I found out when I couldn’t move it after the first cut. All three cuts took time, and needed several rest breaks. Yes, the best tool for this job is a chainsaw, and I have one, but I haven’t tried to start it in about 12 years, so I’m sure it’s inoperable by now. The handsaw is slow, but it gets there eventually, at least with trees of this diameter, about 6 to 8 inches.


About two hours later I was finished. My hands are sore, but I have the satisfaction of a job well done. I may not be a real lumberjack, but I did okay. Being a homeowner has lots of unexpected tasks, and this was far from the hardest. Eventually the road crew might have come back and cleared the trees off the shoulder, but I kind of enjoyed doing it myself.


I didn’t notice it at first, but a third, much larger pitch pine broke off and fell behind the others. Fortunately I don’t need to do anything with that, it’s off the shoulder in the woods, and can stay there until it rots. Good thing, it’s too big for me to tackle!


Here’s where it broke off. Pitch pines are pretty brittle, but the first blizzard, with very heavy snow and high winds, did in lots of trees in our area. The oaks seems to survive the best, having only thin branches for the snow to pile up on. The pines and cedars and hollies all took the weight, and many are down or damaged. We’re actually lucky nothing big fell on the house or the driveway.

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