Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I spent Saturday and Sunday at the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin at a Game of Logging (GOL) course taught by Ken Lallemont and Nathan Stanford of Timber Resources. This course was designed to introduce students to chainsaw safety and tree felling. Each morning was classroom training followed up by in the field practical application (i.e. we got to cut down some trees). The class taught us how to assess a tree, understand the hazards, develop a plan, and then safely drop the tree right where we intended.
The main technique we practiced was use of an open faced notch followed up with a plunge cut, and then release of the trigger-wood. Once I figured this out, it became clear how useful this technique will be when we cut the trees for the outbuildings at the Stump Ranch.
And, hopefully, I am done hanging up trees. Generally, I can get a tree hung up in twenty minutes or so. Then, it normally takes a half a day (and a whole lot of swearing) to rig the hung up tree so it will release and fall to the ground.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
I am in need of my chainsaw for a class I am taking at Baraboo, Wisconsin next week. I am heading over to the Aldo Leopold Foundation to take a Game of Logging class. This class teaches chainsaw safety and tree felling. I figure the more you learn, the better off you will be in the woods. And, I have to cut down quite a few more trees for the sauna, the saw-shed, the outhouse, and a number of other projects. I want to do this as safely and efficiently as I can. Because all my chainsaws are at the Stump Ranch, I needed to make a quick trip up north to retrieve one.
I parked at the public landing on the west side of McGowan Lake, walked across the lake, and then used my snowshoes to access our property. This is only a 20 minute hike compared to one hour plus hike from Horseshoe Road.
It is a little unsettling to head out on the ice and needing to walk around a large open water area generated from a spring right at the landing. Since we haven't had weeks and weeks of 10 and 20 below temperature, the lake area near the spring did not ice up. You just have to walk within a few feet of open water and trust that ice under foot is adequate.
While crossing the lake, I stopped in the middle and talked with a few ice-fishermen that were hitting the pan fish pretty good. They said the ice in this spot was about 20" thick.
A view looking back at McGowan Lake from McGowan field, which is located on the south end of our property.
McGowan Field is the only area on our property that is not forested.