Sunday, September 18, 2011

Splitting A Branch Of James Monroe

The autumnal equinox is just a few days away and I’m preparing for winter here on Windsong. You know the drill; get storm windows ready to install, sweep the chimney with a wire brush, clean and condition lawn furniture for storage, keep ahead of the falling leaves, finally, start splitting wood; enough for a three month supply, about three cords. I have a high efficiency fire place that keeps the place warm, and if it gets really cold – below zero – I  have a wood burning Elvira kitchen stove from Canada.

By the way, the wood comes from dead-fall trees on Windsong. Except this year my son Alfred lost to a storm, a behemoth oak tree that fronted his commercial building in Dunlap, in the Sequatchie Valley, Tennessee. He transported some of the larger limbs, already bucked, up the mountain and piled them by my woodpile. The trunk of the tree was taken by some folks that apparently needed the wood more than the owner, bless their little hearts. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011


There is a sea in the sky, and the earthbound forests wave in the currents like the kelp beds to the lee of Anacapa Island. Almost daily, gusting winds lay the golden wattle grass flat on the windward side of the island where several goats, sure footed on the steep cliffs, munch their way through the vegetation. Rare golden eagles languidly bum rides with the off shore air currents, hungrily watching to see what fauna the goats flush from the flora below. The immense fetch of the Pacific endlessly rolls grinder waves past the Channel Islands towards the California mainland.