Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Surprising Challenge

Many times surprises occur when one goes into the woods. The surprise is often the sight of a beautiful deer or a red fox.

Recently, we arrived at the front gate of the driveway to the cabin and, to our surprise, a 12 inch in diameter balsom had been blown down and blocked the driveway.

It was 4:30 p.m. and it would be dark by 5:30 p.m. As we were surveying the situation, trying to decide how we were going to remove the tree, we heard this friendly voice. It was our neighbor who lives up the road. He had been hunting and had seen the fallen tree earlier in the day.

"Do you have a chainsaw?" he asked. "Yes, let's go get the saw from the garage." After putting gas and chainsaw oil into the chainsaw, we proceeded to remove the tree. My neighbor is a nice young man who loves the woods. He was very willing to help out.

He first worked on cutting off the branches. I grabbed the cut off branches and placed them into the woods away from the driveway. Soon, he started cutting the trunk into 16" to 18" pieces. These pieces were tossed into the woods and soon the tree was completely removed. All this was completed in about 30 minutes.

It's nice to have good neighbors who help with such surprises!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Burn Piles

It has been approximately a year since the logging operation in our forest. The logs were hauled away and new growth has begun.

A large pile of branches that were trimmed from the logs and some dead trees remained. It is dangerous to set the pile on fire during the summer months; but, the winter with 15 inch deep snow is ideal. A still day, without any wind, is just perfect to light the 15' high pile on fire. Our logger cleaned off some snow, poured some fire-starting liquid on the pile and lit a fire.
The fire was large and the ashes and remaining pieces of branches and trees were reduced to a pile approximately four feet high. After five days, the pile was still smoldering, but more snow fell, putting the fire out by covering the ashes.

Spring will arrive in a few months, the new growth will continue and the forest will renew itself. What a marvelous transformation!!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Gobal Positioning Systems (GPS)

A GPS is a positioning device that is a mini computer for road and water travel that can be used in the wilderness. It eliminates the need of using a map and a compass.

The GPS device will give your location per latitude and longitude with fair accuracy. The device uses signals from a number of orbiting satellites, usually a minimum of three satellites is required.

Our GPS device is an older version, hand- held, battery powered, Garmin, Model GPS12. It gives the satelitte status, our position in latitude and longitude, a compass navigation and map to our point of destination. We use our GPS for mapping and locating the boundary of our property.

Before leaving on your trip, plug into the GPS memory the location of your cabin, car or motel. Then proceed to travel, hike or boat ride. When you want to return to your point of origin, enter the cabin, car or motel from the GPS memory and the GPS will guide you back to that beginning location.

Of course, it is a good idea to have a good map and a compass with to see the overall picture of the trip.
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