“People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results.”
Earlier this summer we found four pine trees that we could cut down for firewood. We waited until the weather got a bit colder as its more pleasant to work in a cooler temperature and we don’t have to worry about the bugs. Firewood is an important source of heat and comfort during the colder months in Finland so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we need a decent amount of it to stay warm, especially for the sauna! The problem is that its a long process…but a necessary one.
I decided to test the chainsaw on a smaller tree to see how sharp the chain is and to make sure the chainsaw was working properly. Two thumbs up for well maintained forest machinery!
First off, the tree has to come down. We need to keep an eye on wind direction as a tree is tall and if it is severed at the trunk, a gust of wind could make it fall in the wrong direction. We also need to plan in which direction to let the tree fall. To do that, we use a method with the chainsaw where you cut a wedge out of the trunk and then chainsaw from the other side. Once the tree begins to fall, it will naturally fall in the wedge’s direction. Thats the idea anyway!
Once the tree is down, branches need to be cut off before the trunk can be sawn into smaller logs for transport. The branches that are too small to use as firewood or kindling are put in a bonfire pile (‘kokko’) to burn later. The rest of the wood is repurposed as firewood.
The last step is to chop the firewoods into smaller pieces and rack them with the bark facing down so that they can dry. The chopping part is the best part because you get immediate results of your labour and theres a sense of accomplishment every time that axe splits a piece of wood!
We spent a few hours working before ending the day with sauna and ice cold beer. Tomorrow we will probably feel a bit sore as chopping down trees can be quite a workout! There is still work to be done and the wood needs to be in dry storage for the winter but we will do that another day.
Det börjar kännas mer och mer som höst. Björklöven är fortfarande till stor del gröna och det är fortfarande varmt, men stormarna har börjat. Havet lever verkligen.
Jag gick länge omkring och tittade på hur vågorna betedde sig för jag ville så gärna kajaksurfa. Jag har sett potential till det förut och var ganska ivrig.
Jag tänkte att en udde skulle ge mig lite vindskydd, men jag hade fel. Eller det blev inte tillräckligt med vindskydd i alla fall. Jag kände på stormen i max 10 minuter, sen var jag helt slut.
Vinden mojnade, vågorna stannade kvar och jag lekte omkring bland dem. Det syns på många av bilderna att jag tyckte det var superkul.
Till sällskap hade jag många fåglar som chillar ganska hårt, fast stormen river i dem. Och Chris förstås som tog bilder och gjorde ”hang loose” tecken eller gav tummen upp när jag fick en våg.
Efter en storm är det alltid kul att gå längs stranden och se vilka strandfynd havet har hämtat åt en. Oftast är det tyvärr plastskräp man får plocka, men ibland kan man hitta någon fin bräda eller en lastpall som man kanske kan använda till något. Torka ved på om inte annat.
Rester av stormen ”Dorian” fortsätter ge oss vind och regn några dagar till. Vi väntar med spänning på att se hur havet reagerar.
On a day like today, the wind blows from the southeast so we can hear the waves crashing on the beach. Out on the horizon we can see seagulls and sailboats taking advantage of the uncommon wind direction. Jenny and I sit by the window, drinking strong coffee and discussing how to trim the blackcurrant bushes as flies bump against the window in the summer heat. Tomorrow we should chop down two trees for next year’s firewood and if we have time, we should clean the rain barrels before this week’s rain. Maybe go watch the sunset before dinner too. This is the lifestyle we have chosen and we call it ‘landeliv’ – cabin life in Swedish although the literal translation would be ‘country life’.
We are Chris and Jenny and this will be our bilingual blog about living by the coast in Southern Finland. The plan is to share some insights and experiences from our cabin life. We are not sure how this blog will evolve but for now we will be keeping you updated through weekly posts about our living style.
Before we get started, maybe some background information would be good. When we started discussing moving out to the coast, we both had full-time jobs in Helsinki. Despite the city being so close to nature and offering endless conveniences, we felt unfulfilled and frustrated. Working 5 days a week just to have 2 days off was not an ideal setup for two nature enthusiasts; we needed more access to the outdoors. After two years of saving up, we left the city for the coast in the spring and so far so good. Everyday we get to set our own schedules as long as we also spend time preparing for the cold winter. This means doing things like getting firewood, painting exteriors and tending to our plants. In our free time however, the sky is the limit!
Our blog aims to be insightful and perhaps even act as an exercise in journaling our lives. Complacency can take over anyone’s day to day living and we hope that by providing a glimpse of our life out here we will remember to see each day as a unique and special day and not let each one slip away like the last one. Hope you will stick around!