I’ve been scrambling the last few days. We’ve had a stretch of unseasonably sunny weather, which will change up in the coming days after a day or two of strong wind. This is wood seasoning weather!
I bucked up a couple of windfalls on the east side of the property, and have spent most of my time and energy the last few days packing the wood to the ricks on the “Power Point,” where it will soak in the sun and dry in the wind.
These conditions are most fortuitous for a birch I finished cutting up recently. While birch is our most valuable fuel, being a hard wood with highly flammable bark, it also absorbs moisture, and takes a long time to dry. Rather than leaving this tree in my usual half rounds, I chopped it all up into smaller pieces, and stacked it on our most exposed rick. Even before the high winds, some of it has dried to burnable condition already. I’d assumed it might have to season through the coming winter, to be burned the following year.
The trick will be to leave the wood exposed as long as possible before stacking it in the woodshed. The weather forecast is rather cryptic for the coming days. By Saturday, we have a 30% chance of rain. In our experience, if the Haines forecast calls for up to a 40% chance of rain, there’s very little likelihood that our property will get rained on at all. If the marine weather forecast’s high winds stay steady, I’ll likely leave the wood exposed. Even if it gets some rain, the wind will likely dry it, in addition to continuing to suck inside moisture from the wood, for a net gain (see Seasoning Firewood: A Scientific Approach). The forecast suggests we might get a day or two of sun after the chance of rain, so leaving it exposed would be advantageous.
However, the forecast says this rain, if it comes, will be “heavy at times.” That means I might have to scramble to cover any exposed woodpiles. Normally, I’m fine with that, but if it’s going to be in high winds, it’ll be harder. On the other hand, Michelle and Aly will be home then, so we’ll have the hands to do the work if necessary.
I’ll likely be going back and forth on that issue right up until the rain falls.