Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Logger Blog

This weekend I took a couple of days off to help my husband log. We rent a house on 16 steep acres, very pretty and very neglected. The former inhabitants didn't do much to the yard or property except throw trash over the landing and into the woods. We found a wood cookstove, two bicycles, all colors of electrical wire, glass bottles, tires, truck canopies, beer cans, foam and more foam, plastic bags, there was a shed that crumbled, and it was filled with trash bin garbage! (Just 'cause there 16 acres with nothing but deer and a bobcat, doesn't mean it's a trash bin!) Our landlady is thrilled....and so are we to have wood for the fireplace to offset our heating bill.

So after trash clean up Michael got to work felling the dead trees. When he got 20 (!!) or so down, he called me out to help him yard them out. He pulled "green chain" (he actually pulled climbing rope) I commandeered the yarder/slash pickup truck. We took everything real slow, didn't want any crushed anything, with the dogs supervising from the safety of the back of the van. And lo and behold, after a bit of sweat and muscle, we gotta pile of logs. A HUGE PILE!!!! Perfect timing to get them in and covered before the rainy weekend ahead. A very satisfying, squirreling away for the winter.

Cutting out the deadwood is a good metaphor for me this week inspiring me to making more space to think and work. In a painting...taking out the excess, leaving only what is alive and thriving. A challenge for me since I love filling space with an overabundance of color and pattern. In my thinking...making room for new ideas or just letting in a little more air and light. Sorting through the old stuff, old ideas, old paint, doing some dump runs, and yarding up my new found treasures into a satisfying pile to fuel my creativity for the winter months ahead!

Now, onto my closets. Oh, how I love fall!


Anonymous said...

Just a minor quibble. The line that you use to haul your logs up to the "landing" is not a "green chain". "green chain" is a sawmill term. It refers to the wide table of delivery chains onto which the freshly sawn lumber is dropped. These chains carry the lumber down a line - also referred to as the "green chain" - where "pullers" drag it off, sorting it into various piles as they do so. Green refers to the "green", full sawn lumber, as opposed to kiln dried or dimension planed lumber like you purchase in the lumber yard

I don't really know what you'd call your set up for logging. The actual chain that wraps around the log - weather it's a chain or a cable - is usually referred to as a "choker". But that's a specific piece of equipment with specific fittings on the ends. It is usually tied to another line or chain to yard the log out.

Just a slight correction from an old sawmill dog.

I can really relate to the unfortunately common rural Oregon practice of simply throwing refuse off into a convenient draw. I've had to clean up a lot of that in my time. Kudos to you for doing so.

Derf said...

I worked as a green chain guy near Truckee, CA back in 1952. The green chain was hooked to a donkey engine. I would choke chain the freshly cut log and signal--the guy below would grab the lever and snake the green chain and log down the mountainside. I have never heard the green chain name used fro freshly cut lumber. That seems an odd use. I have no idea what you would call those chains.

Carrie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog "Ye Olde Sawmill Doggs", maybe I should create some logger art? Though I am a painter these days, I've had my time working in the woods. I fought forest fires, worked on BD crew, and planted many, many, trees. I haven't ever done logging, so I just repeated what I heard years ago from guys I knew who worked in logging. That's the trouble with hearsay...
thanks for the info, and the kudo's on cleanup. It's usually a thankless job.