Monday, December 22, 2008

Journal: Monday, 12/22/08

►  Heading down to our coldest night thus far this winter.  (Clear, moderate northwest wind and 12ºF/-11ºC @ midnight)

►  Down to 8ºF/-13ºC @ 4:30 AM.  I don't even like saying "single digit temperatures" much less experiencing them.

►  Sky becoming mostly cloudy.  18ºF/-7ºC @ 11 AM.

►  Jo made a routine trip into town.  She waited until early afternoon to depart, giving our temperatures a chance to warm up a bit, but they still did not get warm enough for the Nissan pickup to start.  I had to give the battery a little boost with the battery charger before it would crank.

►  Cut firewood this afternoon. The neighbor's cows came and watched but never offered to lend a hoof and help.  I'm cutting alongside the road where Jerry Joe cut some trees in early fall.  On one hand, these trees are very easy to access and I don't have to tote the cut sections very far to load them into the truck.  On the other hand, most are not the straight, limbless specimens that make for easy splitting.  They are also still very green.  Most are fairly small in diameter.

►  I cut the sections short to aid splitting.  Where there were a lot of limbs coming off the truck, the sections I cut were more like discs or chunks -- only six inches or so in length.

►  Getting a fire started with green wood is extremely difficult to impossible.  That's the reason I really needed to start cutting more wood before we used all the seasoned firewood on hand.  Once a fire is going good, green wood will burn.  You just have to load up the stove with wood.  The wood on bottom burns which dries out the wood on top so that it will burn.  Gravity does the rest.  The only trick is that you must anticipate the heat output you will want from the stove two or three hours in advance.

►  Damp south wind kicking up. NOAA says freezing rain is on the way. (23ºF/-5ºC @ midnight)

►  Nature in the Ozarks blog post/photo:  My World -- Frost flowers.

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