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About tamarack

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  • Birthday 03/10/1946

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  • Location:
    New Sharon, Maine
  • Interests
    Family, church, forestry, weather, hunting/fishing, gardening

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  1. 10-15% of pedestrians were wearing masks when we visited our son/D-I-L in Japan (southern Honshu) in March 2016. Between that and Japanese culture, I highly doubt there was much anti-mask unrest there.
  2. Finally found some pike at North Pond (Belgrades) after not seeing one this year. After 3 hours with just a single yellow perch, was drifting and casting my way back toward the landing when a 20-inch fish nailed the spinner 3 feet from the canoe. Dropped anchor there and tossed out the spinner a few times, then decided to try the much bigger (1 oz.) faux-Dardevle. Shortly thereafter got a 25" fish, probably about 4 lb. Fish stew upcoming.
  3. Much easier to split when green. If I cut logs to stove length, I generally stack them to prevent the ends from drying. Full water content maxes the sideways hydraulic pressure. Of course, if you have a mechanical splitter that's no longer an issue. However, black birch bark is waterproof, just like white/yellow, so it will dry very slowly if not split, and in the warm season will be quick to decay. You've probably seen the bright fungi that colonize the sap coming from the stump of a spring/summer-cut birch.
  4. Ill, maybe, but here at least it would take a week with 3"+ to inflict a fatal would. Not seeing it.
  5. Our dug well is only 8' deep but has a good spring as its source; the normal level is at 5' but it's now down by 21". Was down 24" in 2002, but the 3' depth means about 300 gallons, though the bottom 50 may be below the foot valve. 0.15" for the month so far and 0.03" over the past 3 week. Some very nice reds and yellows in our area, though right near the house it's fairly dull, as always. Approaching 50% change, about 10 days ahead of average - 3 straight mid-20s mornings will do that.
  6. 30° is tropical winter when we lived in Fort Kent. Our 1st house there was a small (20' by 18') 2-story with a center chimney. Our Jotul 602, their smallest box stove (if they still make it) would keep the place warm if the temp was above -20, house had no wall insulation but everywhere in it was within 15' of the stove. We had a non-airtight (understatement - the cracks could light up the basement) old parlor stove in the basement for colder mornings. After our daughter was born my wife was active in La Leche League and hosted one meeting in late winter, temp about 30. She made sure folks wouldn't be cold by filling the Jotul, and 14 women plus 9 babies (I was elsewhere, of course) plus the full stove made things so hot in that little place that doors and windows had to be opened.
  7. He's north of much of the town as well. IIRC, he's less than a mile downriver from the Chops, the exit from Merrymeeting Bay.
  8. I'd put black cherry between white ash and red maple for heat value, perhaps closer to the latter, but it does split nicely and makes as nice coals as anything I've put in a stove. Very little red spruce (any spruce) on our woodlot, as the stands there have been high-graded for pine, oak and spruce for generations. Fir was the leading species until the 2013 harvest (80% fir) which focused on the abundant mature trees, as many had blown over in earlier years. Now red maple is slightly more abundant. Cedar has the very best aroma of any wood burning in a fireplace Eastern red cedar is easily the most aromatic wood in the eastern US, with only sassafras for competition. Northern white cedar (aka arborvitae at nurseries) is what we have around here. It's aromatic, as are all species called cedar, but much less so.
  9. A woman drowned Saturday on Flagstaff Lake, recovery only yesterday afternoon. Three people and a dog motoring their canoe back to their campsite from visiting an island, water got rough as the campsite was on a lee shore and they capsized. PFDs in the canoe but no one wearing. The 2 men each grabbed one that was floating nearby but the woman, 31 yo, headed for shore without. The lake is about 18 miles long so it doesn't take a whole lot of wind to build up the surf.
  10. Low near 50 this morning, big change from the past 4 days which averaged 59/26 and 12.5 BN, taking the month to -2.7 after being +2 on the 10th. Now we go the other way, though I think the month ends up a bit BN. Morning GFS chopped yesterday's 1.4" for Monday in Augusta down to 0.5". A blip or a trend?
  11. Noted that someone evidently is still reporting snowfall (129.3") from Clayton Lake even though the co-op obs disappeared in 2011.
  12. There are several insects that attack ash. If that's truly EAB, or if you're unsure, I recommend contacting whichever state agency that has responsibility for the health of NH forests. The major EAB infestation in NH has been 100 miles south, in the CON area, from which it spread into SW Maine 3 years ago. An infestation in your area would be a huge leap. (It also would be about 50 miles closer to my ash-rich woodlot than the York County EAB.) Worth noting that apparently some white ash are tolerant or resistant to EAB, while green ash (more common in the midwest) and brown ash have unfortunately shown no such behavior. Our woodlot has both, and in total they're the 3rd most abundant species there, behind red maple and fir.
  13. Black locust would fit in the top level, but it's an exotic and generally a planted tree with some escapees via root sprouts, nowhere near as invasive as Norway maple.
  14. Will probably need to extend the hearth or place an insulated fireproof mat on the floor with a freestanding insert, unless the floor is stone (maybe even then as stone conducts heat well.) White ash is the best wood if one has to burn green stuff. Some years back the annual "Forest Trees of Maine" included a firewood poem. I can only recall 2 of the dozen couplets: "Elmwood reeks of muck and mold; even the very coals are cold." (One can get really hot trying to split the stuff, however.) And the final couplet was, "Ash wood green or ashwood dry, a king shall warm his slippers by." I'd nominate balsam poplar as the very worst wood to burn when green. Many years back when discussing green firewood with loggers over lunch in the Allagash, one older fellow said, "You couldn't afford the oil it would take you to burn balm o' Gilead!" I've longed for safety glasses with windshield wipers when splitting that species. Charts of firewood value show some variation, but for me the priority for seasoned wood available in NNE goes something like this: Top level: Hophornbeam (ironwood), white oak group (white, burr, swamp, etc), hickory, possibly black birch Excellent: Red oak group (red, black, pin, scarlet, etc), sugar maple, beech, yellow birch, black birch if it's not in the top level. Very good: White ash, green ash. Some would drop yellow birch to here. Not me, though its often tough splitting makes it less desirable to work up than other good/excellent species. Good: Red maple, brown ash, white birch. Some would add elm, others would push WB down a notch. That wood will rot before it dries unless split, as the bark is waterproof. Norway maple probably fits best at this level, though IMO it all should be burned, even if it's July and still standing. Fair: Elm, silver maple, striped maple (moosewood), tamarack. Some would put tamarack slightly higher - it's clearly tops among NNE conifers. Eastern red cedar may belong here; almost unknown in Maine. Poor: Gray birch, all aspens/poplars, willow, basswood, all conifers other than tamarack. Some would bump up well-seasoned hemlock; green, it's as wet as balsam poplar. Couple of conifer notes: Because red spruce has such a low moisture content when green, I've seen it rated 2nd to white ash for cut-today-burn-tomorrow. Northern white cedar is the lightest of all NNE species, but it makes great kindling. For that I put some white birch outer bark (burns hotly, even when wet) under kindling made from V-match white pine taken down during a reno 2 years ago. We have a Jotul combi-fire now; had to replace the old one 3 years ago because the door mechanism broke, and since the model ended production in 1990, replacements were not to be found. Even my wife's cousin from near Oslo couldn't dig up one. Thanks to Uncle Henry we found a used (barely) one 2 towns this side of BGR.
  15. August had only 1.79" here though June-July total was close to average. September is at 0.15" to date and driest September here is 0.84" in 2014 and driest for any month is 0.31" in April 1999. Almost a shame to wreck an all-timer only 3 days from being set; drought wouldn't be any worse if it ended on Oct. 1 rather than Sept. 28.