Sunday, January 28 2007
Recently-scavenged wood includes the lowest five feet of trunk from a large Black Cherry that had once stood in the narrow triangle where Dug Hill Road meets up with Route 28-A at its northmost end (near the Ashokan Reservoir). I'd scavenged pieces from this same tree nearly a year ago, but those pieces had been of a convenient size, short enough that all I had to do was split them to fit them into the woodstove. Now, though, I have an electric chainsaw which permits me to cut up wood pieces of any size, so long as I can find a way to get them home. That piece of cherry was a bitch to lift, but somehow I managed to get it into the Honda Civic hatchback, the most useful car I've ever owned.
Being a cherry in a prime growing site, this particular tree had grown up quickly and it wouldn't be accurate to characterize it as having seen much in the way of history there at that intersection. Still, its place had long been a strategically visible one, and over its life it had been host to much temporary signage, mostly of the yardsale and political variety. Still attached to it were two wooden stakes, and its bark was a treacherous minefield of nailheads and staples. Still, somehow I found a path for my chainsaw's blade to pass through it all without injury.
I was less lucky with some pieces of pine (Jack Pine perhaps) that I'd found near the West Hurley Park on Dug Hill Road. These looked as if they'd been cut some distance from the road, in a place where human influences should have been of the non-metallic variety, but somehow I found myself chainsawing into a nail. It was a smallish nail with a largish head, not exactly the kind preferred by the ecoterrorists who enjoy spiking trees. (Though if there is anyone spiking trees along Dug Hill Road, their terrorism enjoys my support.) At first I thought I'd actually sawed into a bullet, since nothing standing as still as a tree can long avoid getting shot in these rural areas.
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