Wood Wenches Help Fuel the Local Economy


We’re contributing to the local economy by meeting an essential human need for warmth — selling firewood from deadfall at Lone Bobcat Woods. In the past month we’ve cut and split large and small dead down oak trees (yes, we’re leaving plenty for habitat and food for the soil).  Still dependent on petroleum, though, for chainsaw gas and to deliver the firewood.

How did we spend our summer? Doing woods work. Massive thinning of a slope along the South Yuba River canyon —to reduce wildfire danger and gain a peek at the other side of the canyon. We’ve given away cedar poles and hundreds more remain. There are piles of rounds and limbs, now seasoning to become next year’s firewood.

We love living mostly outdoors. Gentle warm days eating lunch in the incense cedar shade, hearing the red-shouldered hawks (a noisy newcomer to the Sierra foothills) and Syncopated Raven (whose calls are really are a complex syncopated rhythm) and spouse.

The end of summer was declared last night with a great exclamation mark! The first storm of the season arrived, a cold rainy winter storm.  So yesterday we covered 15 woodpiles with plastic, closed the electrical conduit trench bringing power from the solar panels, and stored the summer outdoors furniture.

It’s a big shift. We’ll miss the sweetness of summer, while welcoming the interiority of winter.

P.S. I posted this in the morning. That afternoon and evening we had a local tornado warning — the first in memory, even of the old timers. One funnel cloud was indeed sighted, with lots of tree debris. This storm marked not only the precipitous end of summer, but also extreme weather brought on by climate chaos.


  1. Br. Curt, we ARE happy working in the woods (though the nerves in my shoulders and hands tell me not to work TOO hard!). But we feel more alive in the woods, just as you say — a part of the natural community even if our equipment isn’t.

  2. You two look so happy and so amazingly healthy. I will confess that I am a little envious. I guess the Creator won’t mind a little envy of this sort. I’m getting there.

    I have always felt more alive when I was in a wooded place where the quiet came a little more easily. One can hear the animals and plants working together to provide what each needs for sustinence. Would that we all did the same. If we opened our soul to them we could hear what they have to tell us.

    You both have beautiful hearts.

  3. Ed Adamthwaite says:

    Now that’s a chainsaw!
    (memories of Crocodile Dundee)
    Good on you both. It’s a valuable reminder you provide by showing that the closer to nature you live, the more forward thinking you must be to not get caught out. Living here down under, we are now watching the incredible spring growth and checking pumps, sprinkler systems and hoses in case of another lot of bushfires. I’m now about to move the wood we didn’t use this winter a little further away from the house.
    Life goes on.

  4. Good going Gals!

    Gotta show these photos to my wife and daughter; time for me to rest my aching back making cookies while they get the firewood under roof :o)


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