Reply To: Cutting the kindling with a blunt hatchet

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I love the actions of acquiring and preparing logs. I lived near a forest, virtually in it, and I used to collect fallen trees and hand cut them with a bow saw. This was deliberate because I wanted the benefit of the exercise and it was quiet and in keeping with the stillness of the forest. When I was active in the forest, the roe deer, at first nervous, would run away, but over time they became almost indifferent to me, and I could walk within a few arms lengths of them before they casually shied away, not pell mell, from their browsing. The capacity to form some kind of rudimentary relationship with animals amazes me. As one is absorbed into that different world, excused the rampaging of humanity, it is possible to see so much more. A sparrow hawk taking a pigeon within a few yards of me -the hawk like an arrow, followed by a fluff of feathers drifting on the air, as the conjoined predator and prey refracted to the ground like a beam of light passing through a clear pool.

The shapes, the positions and disposition of trees and plants gradually unfolds into an unrandomed environment, each change is mentally noted, each intrusion of a solitary place is felt as a blow.
The best burning logs are holly. i was frtunate in have many old holy trees nearby some of which had fallen over with great age.The wood is dense and grey discoloured when old, and white when new.
I try to avoid burning anything except the serendipitous fallen. Coal is god fr heat but it contaminates the ash and makes it less serviceable for the garden. Somehow the forest provided as much as I ever needed.
As for the log turning trick-do be aware that occasionally you might have to duck, when the log falls off the axe.