It did snow today, but there was no accumulation. Jonathan remarked several times that it’s only two weeks away from his summer vacation. He couldn’t get over it.

Tonight I am baking a pine log.

Is it ready yet?

Is it ready yet?

The one shown here is one I baked two weeks ago. The Pathfinders are camping this weekend, and one of the competitions is to split a pine log with a hatchet, making fuel, kindling, and tinder. Then lighting it with a match and boiling a can of water. The parameters on the log are that it be pine, and that it be no longer than 12 inches long. They do not specify the diameter, leaving it up to us to find the constraints there.

If the log is too big, there’s no way a kid will be able to split it with a hatchet. If it’s too small, it won’t boil the water. The one shown here was about 6″ in diameter, and it took the kids in our club about 40 minutes to get it split in half. So I’m thinking that’s too big. I cut one the other day (from the same tree, but higher up), and it’s about four inches in diameter. And like the one before it, it’s not exactly dry. I put it in the oven to try to dry it out.

The first log baked for about two hours, and when the kids drove the hatchet into it, water oozed out of the cut. Ouch. But it was raining the day I felled that tree (it had its top snapped out in our ice storm in December 2008). I removed this chunk over the weekend when it was dry outside, and it had been in the garage since. I did remove the bark from it tonight, but I should have done that right away to help the drying process along even more. I suspect that it will still not really be dry enough.

If I were more competitive, I suppose I would have gotten on this a lot sooner. Oh well. If they don’t win this competition, the world will continue to turn.

The house is starting to smell like rosin.

I cut down two trees tonight. One of them was a dead oak (four inch diameter) and the other was another topless pine (six inches). I will use these on Beth’s cabin. I fitted another log onto that tonight, so that’s coming along.

I talked to my Mom today. She went to the hospital at 1:30 am last night, after suffering a TIA. They did a CT scan, and everything looks pretty OK. She thinks she will come home tonight, and I sure hope she does.