We invited our dear friends L. & D. to come up from Nevada City to visit us on the land today. D. promised to bring along not only his chainsaw, but also a close friend who also has an even better chainsaw and truly enjoys doing forest-work and is apparently an expert at it.

This was too good an offer to pass up.

As James and I checked out the news online this morning, he suddenly let out a guffaw while he was reading the NY Times. I asked what was so funny and he said, “Did you realize that we’ve invited these guys to help us cut down trees on Earth Day?”


Actually, we hug our share of trees and cherish them, yet…there is a need for occasional thinning of the ranks, which are so numerous on this particular piece of land that we’d never live long enough to cut them all down, should we be so inclined — which we’re not. The trees are truly a blessing on this land, and we are awed whenever we walk amongst them. But as most people who are intimately connected with forestry know that some of them need to be thinned.

We don’t want to be excessive about it, but we DO wish to preserve this meadow in all its open glory and magnificence. Quite a few pine trees have sprouted up over the past dozen years, some growing too close to our electrical wires, and others which obstruct the view down towards the river. Many of these fifteen-to-twenty-foot tall trees are not healthy, showing many branches of brown pine needles, which can happen when they grow too close to their neighbors.

And we sure can use the firewood! Never again will we need to PAY for firewood as we did last Fall, when it was too late to gather a winter supply. Now we have the time, and there are certainly enough felled trees to keep our trusty-rusty Franklin stove burning for years to come.

Note: Many of the downed trees all around this land are harder wood (oak, cedar) which burn best in the stove. But it is nice to be able to start fires with faster-burning, softer wood such as pine. Rest assured, we will keep a close watch on the chimneys to make sure that creosote doesn’t build up too much.

L. & D. and D’s friend M. drove up from Nevada City shortly after 10 this morning. The skies were overcast and the breeze was cool. Rain was imminent, so we needed to get started cutting as soon as possible before it got wet.

M. was a marvel at cutting the trees. His chainsaw was indeed powerful, and he prides himself on keeping its blades sharp. As you can see in the following video, he wasted no time felling the trees.

When it came time for a break, James served a wonderful lunch of hot butternut squash soup, salad and garlic bread on a folding table overlooking the meadow in the quickening cool breeze. Then the guys went to another part of the meadow to thin out more dying trees before they left — just moments before the rain blew over the mountains.

Many thanks to these visitors for their company and for their valuable help with cutting down a few small trees. The meadow looks fantastic! (Pics soon.)

So that was our Chainsaw Massacre on Earth Day. We bless the trees, again.

We trust that the Spirits of the Pine understand.