Saturday, December 1, 2012

cedar firewood on the front porch

ha-ha ... i've now got cedar firewood on the front porch ...

i went cutting yesterday with [a friend] and his wife and youngest boy ... they led in their truck, i followed in ours (on loan from the rancher's brother) ... i think i heard something about it being [X] miles or so from here ... i didn't think to check the odometer ... i was told the gages didn't work in that old chevy ... and blindly went along with it.

i remembered:
extra 5 gallons of gasoline
extra car battery
jumper cables

i forgot:
truck water
drinking water

(you are always preparing for the worst out here.)

where we were was really in the middle of nowhere ... considering, that the ranch is itself in the middle of nowhere ... it could have well been the 1800's with bandits and marauders hiding behind the nearest rock outcropping ... if there had been, nobody would have been there to help us ... though i am wising up and now carry a pistol nearly all the time.

i think yesterday was the second time in my life using a chainsaw ... the first time was for just one day last year at another local ranch ... i'm sure that i'll get much more practice in the months ahead.

[the friend] taught me that with cedar, you want to do as much cutting as possible with the tree/branch standing ... that way you don't have to work to keep the limb off the ground while you are piecing it ... since hitting the ground/soil/rocks with the chain dulls the chain and is a big no-no ... (it sure makes it a lot more work when you are holding the saw out in-front of you or above your head.)

[the friend] and his wife and kid also scouted for elk ... they showed me the tracks, scat, bedding ... one trail was so warn it looked like a highway ... elk scat looks like large milk duds ... a bunch of them poured on to the ground ... and if it is soft, and smushes between your thumb and index finger, then it is fresh and current.

it's no list, but i can now identify scat from: coyote, elk, cow, horse, goat.
... and i need to learn: deer, antelope, wolf, bear, mountain lion.

[the friend's] wife said that there are also now hybrid coyotes out here ... the result of coyotes breding with domestic dogs ... they are larger than normal coyotes ... more like a wolf ... and i think she said that they are especially aggressive.