Power still going on and off... It has been on and off over 10 times. I'll post again when the power is back on to stay. Snowing 'till Wednesday.
The power went off last night just before I could publish this post. I'm finishing this up quickly and publishing it before the power goes off again.
I took this photo this morning. What's left of the stump is under snow. It warmed up and the snow was melting. There's not much snow under the trees. We have 4 inches of snow on the railings. Snow forecast 'till Tuesday. It's raining now.
Fatwood: If you click on this link to Google Images and enter the word fatwood in the search box you will see scads of photos of really great fatwood. The easiest way to get fatwood is to buy some. I like having the fun of searching around in the forest and finding my own fatwood.
Yesterday and today I spent time stomping around in the woods looking for pine stumps. Unfortunately, I didn't have much luck.
Most all of the stumps I found were oak or madrone and when I did find a pine stump they were beetle eaten and mostly sawdust.
There is a stump next to the axe and is a photo of the best one of the lot. I knocked it apart with a few blows of the axe. I think it would have come apart if I just kicked it a few times.
I lit one of the sticks over the sink to see if it was fatwood and would burn. I'm not really sure? From what I have read, fatwood should smell something like kerosine? This stuff is pretty much beatle eaten, but it does have a pitchy odor.
I left looking for fatwood too late in the year and this wood was wet, but it still burned when I lit it with a match. So, I kinda think it must be fatwood.
Anyway, the whole reason I decided to see if I could find the fatwood was because I wanted to put together some firestarter paper egg carton boxes.
I didn't want to mess around with the scary melting wax part of the project, so I thought I would just take a knife and shave some wax off a little candle onto the lint I had put in each egg compartment. I figure the wax would melt when the paper started burning.
I rolled up some of the fatwood sticks in some newspaper and put them on top of the lint and wax shavings. Then I shut the top and tore open the ends of the egg carton lid, pushed it closed and the lid closed. Neat.
The fire in the wood stove was almost out. There were some wood coals still burning red. I shoved the live coals into the middle and placed logs on either side of the coals. I put the egg carton fire starter I just made in the middle over the coals. Put some kindling on top and two small logs.
This test doesn't really count because there were live coals to help get the fire started, but I have had a lot of trouble getting a fire started with just paper and kindling when there were coals. So, I would say that this egg carton fire starter experiment worked out pretty good and was a big help getting the fire going.
I think I will make a few more of these egg carton fire starters to have handy when I need to start a fire from scratch. Usually, once it gets cold enough to fire up the wood stove we keep it going and just keep adding wood. Not much need to start a fire unless we get some warm weather and we let the wood stove fire go out.
When I use a fire starter egg carton to start a fire from scratch I'll post an update here.