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Garden Gleaning on the First of October

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The best way to garden in the Fall is apparently to go to Norway. Then when you come back, it is actually Fall and time to move wood and gather in the last of the garden.

Farm Truck

First Load of Wood

The garden is quite the disaster.

But hiding behind all of those brown corn and sunflower stalks is a bunch of good stuff: pumpkins, sweet peppers, cayene, jalapeño, habañero, carrots, beets, and watermelon. More to come too!

Mini pumpkins hide under the grass and weeds.

An entire basket of peppers with more to come.

Hotey admires the flowers while eating corn.

Fin.

Fall bounty.

Dogs Declare Solstice Fire Ready

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Puck sez "Fire ready to light"

Puck sez “Fire ready to light”

The solstice fire is ready. The weather report is improving (sorry cynthia). Time to turn the sun around!!

Spring-like day on the Shenandoah

Spring-like day on the Shenandoah

Sunlight begets fire light

Sunlight begets fire light

Before.

2014 fire

2014 fire

After (2013).

More shrooms on our logs!

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Acer negundo good for something!

Acer negundo good for something!

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More Solstice Flame!

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The log that will not burn.

The log that will not burn.

one. big. dude.

one. big. dude.

Solstice Fire: Check

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10 hours of wood piling (2 today), chain sawing, throwing, and general merriment later—welcome to the solstice fire.

Before the day.

Before the day.

A job well done.

A job well done.

Quite the pile.

Quite the pile.

Done.

Done.

Time for a walk by Shenandoah.

Time for a walk by Shenandoah.

What do you do in Spring?

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Prepare for winter of course. No rest for the pattern bound on this planet.

Firewood in the red shed.

Firewood in the red shed.

Remember that tree? Well it has been almost completely consolidated.

Spring light on the winter woodpile.

Spring light on the winter woodpile.

It’s not just winter we get ready for in Spring. We have to get ready for summer too.

Freshly weedeaten and tilled.  Way too early to plant though.

Freshly weedeaten and tilled. Way too early to plant though.

Dirt.

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And the summer solstice fire is growing. (Thanks to the tree.) Architecture by Allen.

Solstice fire at 2/3rds ready.

Solstice fire at 2/3rds ready.

There

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After around 8 hours of work (times 2.25 people), the distinguished tree is dismantled. Plenty of firewood for next winter and wood for the solstice fire too!

Before
During
There

Black walnut dismantled

Black walnut dismantled

Wood piles

Almost as tall as Ame.

Almost as tall as Ame.

Several cords (splitter required)

Several cords (splitter required)

Solstice wood (several piles like this)

Solstice wood (several piles like this)

Butt log

Base by the ball (over 36 inches)

Base by the ball (over 36 inches)

An interesting joint.

An interesting joint.

Tree skeleton.

Tree skeleton.

Halfway from Here to There

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A distinguished tree is dismantled. Phase one. (before)

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Firewood

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The buttlog persists

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Black Walnut Demise

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Good morning walnut tree.

Morning sun peeks over the mountain.

Morning sun peeks over the mountain.

That’s what happens with 40-50MPH winds, soggy ground from 3 inches of rain, and a formidable old tree that had already begun its ultimate lean.

The butt log is several feet in diameter.

The butt log is several feet in diameter.

From time to time people wonder where the massive solstice fires come from. Wonder no more!

Down to earth.

Down to earth.

An ornamental Japanese dogwood is under the crown in the circle.  A second victim of the storm.

An ornamental forest pansy redbud is smashed under the crown in the circle—a second victim of the storm.

Adventures in tree removal begin tomorrow. Anybody want to buy the butt log? It has to be worth a few thousand bucks.

Firewood and Pig Poop

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Life at Apothecary Shed is not always a bed of roses and formaldehyde. After staying up way too late with some visitors at Coal Stove Sink on Friday (4am?), it was up in the morning to split wood. Our fence recombobulation project this summer resulted in a huge pile of large cherry and locust logs too big to burn in the fireplace. So we rented a splitter from True Value (a whopper packing 2 tons of hydraulic pressure). Saturday was spent moving the same log multiple times. Must have split 5 cords (and moved 13).

Tote that barge, split that wood, stack it in the shed.

Sunday involved moving more wood, finishing up the solstice bonfire (save the date: December 17th), and attempting to clean out the pig pen. Our well meaning animal sitter threw about 4 bales of hay at our pigs (Berlusconi and Sarkozy) in June, resulting in a very wet, absolutely disgusting mix of wet hay, pig poop, and mud in just about equal parts. It’s so heavy that shoveling is not an option. We removed a panel from the pen and got the tractor in there this evening. Still pretty much a mess.

Five weeks and six days until the solstice fire is lit. Here it is in all of its idyllic Fall glory.

The weather was absolutely perfect.