Every year, we become more at home here as we add yearly traditions.
Winter is the Great Christmas Tree Hunt -
Spring takes us to Custer State Park to look for the first baby bison of the year -
Summer finds us hiking...and hiking...and hiking...
But until now, we haven't started the fall tradition we've been planning.
We had to collect some equipment, first.
A truck is all important:
A permit is also necessary. We get a permit at the end of November to cut our Christmas tree, but this permit is to cut firewood. Each household can gather/cut/harvest up to twelve cords of firewood a year. There are restrictions, of course. But this program helps clear out the dead wood and downed trees that are part of any forest.
So last Saturday we loaded up the truck and headed out to the forest.
Scouting out the right place was fun, and we finally found the right tree. It was a beetle-killed tree that was blown down in a recent storm.
And this brought out our other necessary equipment: a chainsaw, an ax, and a couple Eagle Scouts who know how to use them.
We cut limbs and trunks...
Split logs and hauled wood back to the truck... (the hauling was my job)...
And all morning, I was reminded that the days are growing short.
Look at the colors. This was Saturday:
We've had our first frost, and the higher elevations have seen the first snow. The colors are fading and everything is telling us that winter is coming.
And we're getting ready. The pantry is stocked, the stove is waiting, and the woodpile is growing.
We learned several things on this first outing.
1) The truck works great!
2) The chainsaw is too small for downed trees. The one we have works great on branches, but saving up for a larger chainsaw is on the list.
3) We'll need to rent a wood splitter if we're going to be serious about this.
4) We also need to plan an entire day if we're going to be serious about this.
5) Spending the morning in the woods with our two younger boys is still a lot of fun, even now that they're both in their twenties. :)
Once the temperatures cooled off in the evening, my husband and I were feeling the overused and forgotten muscles that got a workout that morning. So we relaxed with some hot cider. You can find that recipe here: Lazy Sunday Afternoon
I think we've found the perfect fall tradition!
Other than anything dealing with pumpkins, what is your favorite fall tradition?
Jan Drexler loves her family, her home, cooking and just about anything made by hand. But she loves her Lord most of all.