After almost a month of snowy weekends (or the threat of snow), I welcomed the opportunity to spend some time outdoors. Even it came in the form of physical labor.

We've been systematically clearing out the dead trees surrounding the house.

We have been systematically clearing out dead trees from the woods surrounding the house – like these Hack and Fir trees that are a fire hazard and just plain ugly. Most of the trees are not conveniently located, so it’s a bit of a production.

Paul cuts the trees. Hannah and I lasso the trees with a chain so the tractor can yank them out of the woods.

Paul fells the tree. Then we haul a chain into the woods and lasso the tree.

Hannah helping her dad lasso a tree.

Here’s Hannah wrapping the chain around the end of a tree for her dad.

She doesn't mind helping outdoors as long as you keep her busy.

She doesn’t mind helping as long as you keep her busy.

Paul collecting trees from the pile we cut today and moving them to the wood pile.

Once we’ve chained the log, Paul pulls it out of the woods. We have three chains that give us about 75′ of reach and we used every bit of it today.

In our survey for which trees to take down, we stumbled upon this bumper left in our woods. Huh.

In our traipsing through the woods today, we stumbled across this curiosity – an old bumper. Huh.


We finished the day by collecting sap from the trees we tapped last weekend. The sap has been slow to come, but finally started to flow steadily yesterday. Some trees are producing better than others and we moved one tap to another tree hoping for better results.


Hannah and I collected 7 gallons of sap. And then we ran out of our saved milk jugs. So before tomorrow we need to drink a lot of milk or drum up some other containers in which to store the sap!