It’s April 27th, and as if to remind us of where we are on this year’s turn around the sun the morning is cold, and a mist rises from the surface of the lake. Soon, it’ll be time to finish filling the woodshed in anticipation of winter’s lower temperatures. Myth or not, the claim that Eskimo languages have an unusually large number of words for “snow” makes me wonder why we only have one word for firewood.
Our firewood stacks usually consist of five different tree species. We have stacks of seasoned and of unseasoned wood with different densities and moisture content. There is split wood, round wood, large and small diameter logs, all with slight variations in length, and then there’s the pile of “leftovers” that burn just fine yet won’t win any prizes for aesthetics. It hardly matters once the firebox door is closed and warmth fills the house.
We all love the lenga beech, of which our wilderness ranch is favored with abundant forests, for when seasoned it burns hot and leaves little ash in the tray. For winter we keep on hand some stacks of larger Antarctic Beech, or ñirre. Feed two of these logs to the woodstove before heading to bed, and you’re sure to have a warm kitchen when you wake in the morning.