My favourite spot during this Covid lockdown winter has been our ‘sun trap’ wood stack at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains. Here I happily saw and split logs and enjoy the company of birds. Friends tell me I should get my husband Rob to do the work, but I say….NO WAY! 🤬 This work keeps me fit, both physically and mentally. The wildlife is simply a bonus.
Blue Wrens arrive in a family group of seven or eight whenever I start up my little electric saw. The males have yet to develop their bright breeding colours, but they are still adorable. Their tinkling chirps remind me of little girls giggling together.
The sweet fellow below is perched on my splitter about to enjoy an ant’s egg.
The ants are large enough to worry me a bit, though thankfully they are not aggressive. Some are quickly picked off by the opportunistic wrens.
Wheels of uncut wood stacked in the open have rotted at the centre and been colonized by an amazing variety of creatures; ants, spiders, beetles, native cockroaches, lizards etc etc. I must say I feel a bit guilty at ruining their refuges. My associate Editor Des was intrigued by this young huntsman, which thankfully scuttled off to a new abode.
Recently I split open an old stump I’d been using as a seat and destroyed the home of a funnel web spider.
The Eastern Yellow Robins take up their characteristic sideways perch on the stack itself, keeping a look-out for bugs. They are so curious and friendly. Only on the rare occasions that a magpie arrives do they make a hasty exit.
I regularly just down tools and sit watching the birds. Nevertheless, the wood stack has reached epic proportions.
I love my little piece of paradise, but I still hate lock-down for the dreadful effect it has on our local businesses and on those impacted so much more seriously than me.
For a truly delightful book on wood cutting and stacking may I suggest the unlikely bestseller Norwegian Wood.