Saturday, 18 July 2009

Butterlies and log stacks

Yesterday I popped up the wood on my own for a few hours before the forecast rain arrived. My main intention was to stack some logs in a rack to accelerate their drying and have them ready to process later in the year. But first I was distracted by some butterflies, like this Peacock:
I waited a minute and it opened it's wings fully, letting me get an even better picture:
There were also still a lot of Painted Ladies around, both in the wayleave and in clearings inside the wood:
I also spotted a butterfly I've not seen before, or at least not identified. It's a Ringlet. Not rare, but still nice to see:
Anyway, I eventually got down to some work, building a rack to put some birch logs in. The smaller logs went straight into the rack after striping, and the bigger ones are waiting on the path to be split:
The striping is important, as it breaks the waterproof bark of the birch, allowing it to dry out quickly. You just skim the chainsaw (carefully!) along the sides of the log, leaving them like this:
The bigger logs can be split with the maul and wedges, though birch doesn't cleave as neatly as chestnut. Still, I didn't do a bad job on some of the logs:
They'll all now dry out very rapidly, and there's still room in the rack for some more:
One last thing - we had thunderstorms here on Thursday night, and it was pretty windy too. As a result this branch came down between the public footpath and our main ride:It's not in a dangerous place though, so we'll leave it for the moment and see if it can become a bit of dead wood habitat.


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