Finally! It was actually nice enough to get out and work all day.
I probably mentioned that we have to cut 50 trees by the end of April. Well, it doesn’t actually have to be by the end of April, but that is when our fire license runs out, so it’s pretty much the same thing. The trees have to be cut as a fire break. Our land at the bottom borders the national park (Sierra de las Nieves), and the forestry guys keep a pretty close eye on what we do, for obvious reasons.
We wanted to cut some of the pines anyway – they take water from our more important plants, like olives, chestnuts and vegetables, and so on. They are generally considered pretty worthless here, except as firewood – and not even that good for firewood, as pine burns too fast. Our friend Manuel says we should cut down 100 or more, as “no one will ever notice” – not good advice, I don’t think!
Anyway, I digress – back to the day’s work. We have already cut down 10 or so trees. After cutting them down, Kenton trims off the branches, some of which are trimmed for firewood, and some too small for anything useful. The smallest we burn in situ (hence the need for a fire license). The largest branches and trunks he is saving for cutting on our sawmill, and after seasoning the wood, he will use them for making a shed. Medium branches will be logged in the autumn for next winter’s fires, and the pine cones are used as fire starter material – nothing gets wasted!
We had a huge pile of branches that has been sitting there for a week – it took us 2 1/2 hours to burn the pile. Meanwhile, our boxers Milo and Fitz race around the forest, even coming back with a treasure – what looks like a long leg bone of … well… who knows?