It’s a winter morning, six AM, very cold, minus eight. In the pre-dawn darkness, the house is still, but I awake to an odd hum. I listen for a bit. It’s not coming from within the house. It’s outside.
After 23 years as owners of 60 acres of land we decided to have it logged. For all this time, and no doubt for many years before our ownership, the woods have kept to themselves, growing wildly and naturally with very little human impact.
We invited a professional forester to assess the property for us. She came with a GPS and helped us locate the corners as shown on the survey. We discovered old wire fence lines, nearly buried stone walls here and there and a defunct, rusty manure spreader filled with rocks, its axle broken. One could imagine the expletives from the farmer who overloaded the spreader and broke an important piece of equipment for clearing land and managing manure.
The woods showed enough value for the forester to recommend logging. She returned another day and strategically marked the trees to clear out the old and make room for the younger hardwoods to mature.
From the house to the logger’s landing area is less than a quarter of a mile, yet his work lights in the dark are not visible. In the heart of January, with the ground hardened up, the loggers are at work. Just the sound of machinery hum penetrates the still morning.
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