I’m back!

Figuring out how to keep a steady stream of firewood moving from the woodpile to the woodstove, with a little help from my friends!

Hauling in firewood.

Pals Pam, Robin, Geoffrey and Nadia came over on a beautiful November afternoon and split about 2-3 cords of wood for me. The wood had been delivered, 3 years ago, already split, but still too heavy for me to pick up now that I’m in a wheelchair.

Wood splitting team!

The splitter itself is a much smaller machine than I thought it would be and runs on gas. I rented it from Saugeen Sales and Rentals in Durham (Ontario) for $60 per day. Geoffrey picked it up because he has a trailer hitch on his car. It was super easy to use and at one point I controlled the lever which just pushes the blade back and forth, whiile everyone else fed wood into it, or stacked. Wood is placed at either end of the blade action so you split one way then the other. We were done in 2 hours!

The Splitter.

How to stack wood

Every man [sic] looks at his wood-pile with a kind of affection. I loved to have mine before my window, and the more chips the better to remind me of my pleasing work. [1] — Henry David Thoreau

Falling down is the one wrong thing a stack of wood can do. [2] — Dirk Thomas

Last winter I ran out of wood, mainly because I was at home more and at my city sublet less. This was a big drag, especially after I saw my hydro bills. I have two sources of heat in my house: electric baseboard, which I use when I’m away, and airtight wood stove. Electric baseboard heat was costing me $300 a month! I nearly choked, rates had gone up so much.

Winter wood

So I asked a friend if I could buy some wood from him; he always has alot of it stacked in his yard. Here we are, digging it out of the snowbank, stacking it into the tractor bucket, loading it into the trailer.

It was freezing and alot of work to do this, and in the end the wood was too wet to burn properly. I vowed to get a load of wood in for the next winter.

Klemmer Lumber was delivering mixed loads – half hardwood, half slab wood, at a good price so I had it delivered. Daunting task ahead to stack it but the big problem was where to stack it!

Wood delivery

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Vid Ingelevics: hunter/gatherer

These images and the text excerpt is from an exhibition of photographs of woodpiles and hunting platforms by Toronto-based artist Vid Ingelevics. I wrote the catalogue essay for the show.  Vid is an old friend and one day when he was shooting the series, he and I snowshoed into some back country near to where I live so he could photograph a tree-stand hunting platform there.

Woodpile #10, 2006

hunter/gatherer: Vid Ingelevics
Curated by Joan Stebbins (SAAG)
This exhibition of photographs toured to Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square and the Art Gallery of Peterborough in 2008 and 2009.

Catalogue Essay by Kim Fullerton

In hunter/gatherer, Toronto-based artist Vid Ingelevics brings together photographs from two of his most recent bodies of work; one of hunting platforms, the second of woodpiles. While both structures are ubiquitous throughout Canada, Ingelevics focuses his lens on those found in the countryside of Grey County, northwest of Toronto.

Continue reading Vid Ingelevics: hunter/gatherer