We’ve spent the past few days outdoors laboriously cutting trees that threaten our power line. Last year, days before Christmas, a dead tree fell across the line during a storm leaving us without electricity, telephone or Internet.


This year, we’re taking a proactive approach by removing all of the hackmatack and dead trees that could threaten the line. Hackmatack trees look much like a spruce in the summer, but in the autumn their needles turn yellow before falling off in flurries of yellow. All winter, these trees dot the landscape looking like skeletons. I’m not particularly fond of them.


Because the woods are so dense, the hacks have grown tall and top-heavy, struggling for their share of sun. Taking 80′ trees down near a power line is quite an unsettling task. Well, taking any tree of that size down is unsettling!


Thankfully, we have the tractor, old blue. Paul, Hannah and I blazed our way through the woods hauling as much as 80′ of heavy chain in. We wrap the chain as high up on the tree as possible without a ladder and attach the other end to the bucket of the tractor. We back up old blue putting tension on the chain. Paul makes a couple of cuts with the chain saw and then uses the tractor to pull the tree down – away from the power line. Then we all work at limbing the trees and discarding the branches so we can use the chain and tractor to pull the log out of the woods.


These logs are the result of two solid days of weeding out the woods. And that’s only on one side of the power line. Next weekend we’ll tackle the trees on the other side. Now we have 450′ of logs that need to be cut and stacked, fuel for the wood boiler, keeping us warm this winter.

I’m tired just thinking about it.