I can't speak for all gentlemen of leisure, but in lieu of writing and researching, today I spent my misty, drippy morning chopping up that tree that fell in my orchard late this summer. Chainsaws, wedges, splitting mauls.... Corking good fun.
I alternate among piles of things. The Burn Pile (this will make a capital bonfire; we're still allowed to do this sort of thing in these parts, as long as the Fire Department is told in advance). It doesn't look like much in the photo, but that pile is considerably taller than me, and doused in gasoline and set ablaze, the flames will lick high into the sky:
Here's the Chastened Culprit, denuded of its branches. I'm reliably informed it's a cherry. (And I, much to my surprise, am Marie of Roumania.) Fascinatingly, David Mull's original 1772 deed from Lord Fairfax stipulates that as a condition of sale he plant "upon the Demised premises One hundred good Apple trees and One hundred and fifty Peach trees at least thirty feet Distant from each other..." Can't wait to get to the trunk of this baby and count the rings:
Piles. And piles of piles. Wood to be split:
Wood already split, or not in need of splitting:
We ran out of firewood a few days ago, and the cabin where I type this has been bloody freezing. I tried to burn some of this newly split wood, but it wouldn't go exothermic for love or money. So I called the estimable Mr. Mills from Sandy Hook, and he brought this eminently welcome load of seasoned firewood, which now crackles merrily in the hearth:
Next year this time, it'll be my wood burning on that glowing, crackling, hissing hearth. I'll know every piece of it: Oh, this bit! I remember this knot, what a stubborn bitch this one was!
I love being unemployed.