Thursday, January 24, 2008


The only industry in Dixfield is a lumber yard owned by Irving Forest Products. It produces kiln-dried pine lumber literally in my back yard. The long pine logs come in on 20 ton logging trucks that rumble through town. The logs are piled up and sprayed with water to keep fungus and other aerobic organisms at bay and are then moved around by a big green crane. Much of the land in town that we use for recreation is owned by Irving and they seem to responsibly manage their wood as a renewable resource. The trails on which we run and snowshoe were originally paths for the skidders to bring logs out of the woods.

Our home wood supply is ash. Last summer and fall, A brought in four cords. In other years we have burned oak or maple, but ash is my personal favorite. I love ash--it burns hot and long and is light enough for me to pick up a big piece. When I put a log on the fire and look at the long straight grain of the wood, it reminds me of Spring and baseball.

Ash is used in baseball bats because its strength to weight ratio is high. Baseball players can lift the bat and still have the strength to swing it and hit a ball over the wall. Likewise, middle-aged women can lift a big log and still have the strength to throw it on the fire where it will burn all night.


The Texican said...

I would love a fire today. It's cold here by our standards - in the low 40's and raining. Our word for Ash in Texican is Fresno. We have a city close by named Los Fresnos. I never thought about it as fireplace fodder. In your case it is "Ashes to Ashes" right? As always - a nice post.

Larry said...

Are you a Sox Fan? I've come across those big trucks on the road before-you sure have to get out of their way!

Beth said...

those trucks are scary.

I like the Sox but mostly I like baseball and athleticism and not competition so much. I'm in a mixed marriage (he's a Yankees fan) and we watch a lot of baseball in our house.