Never having to say you're sorry for burning (stored solar) wood
"Carbon footprint"? My furnace belches smoke when it fires up, but mostly emits little wisps of smoke blowing off into northwestern Maine, maybe even the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, does anyone care about what the developing world is doing - or about flooding vast areas of Quebec's far north for hydropower, drowning billions of carbon sequestering, oxygen-producing trees?Much of what's fueling the outdoor furnace this winter came from removing unwanted trees in the home pasture - mainly ash, maple, black cherry, alder, poplar and white birch (killing this last species, some people out there are convinced, is a crime that could send me to the slammer).
The subject of white birch comes up because in early December I visited my daughter Kathryn, who had a display table at a huge Christmas bazaar at Nashua's Crown Plaza hotel. Her display featured decorated pieces of white birch adorned with Christmas lights and foofaraw. I asked her if anyone had taken her to task for using white birch, an urban-legend protected species. "Yup, two people said something about it," she said. News Flash: Her entire setup was based on Endangered White Birches. Film at 11.
Wood is renewable, and hardwood has always been part of the mix in my woodlot given what the last glacier bestowed, which in my case is not very good soil for maple, birch, beech and ash. No matter - I sell softwood to pay for the hardwood species that, thanks to the glacier, are abundant on my up-the-hill neighbor Dan Beloin's land.
Second Resolution: I want to get into camp more often. It's of little matter that this entails an uphill hike of a mile and a half or so with stuff on my back.
The first load in after we got the camp built in 2004, in my case, was a reading chair, a handsome rocker. Like the rendezvous trappers of the early 1800s and not much beyond, we are a camp of readers and music makers.
This brings to mind the line that one visitor to the farm house on South Hill Road once uttered, which was, and is, "Why do you need to go to camp? Your whole damned house is a camp." Right she was, snowshoes and ice-fishing traps and guns and fishing stuff and outdoor art hanging all around.
John Harrigan's address: Box 39, Colebrook NH 03576 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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