Shaun should really be writing this post, since he's the one who took up logging this summer. As one does.
His interest in logging didn't come out of nowhere. Shaun's parents live on and manage the timber land his grandpa Chick bought after WWII, and Shaun (needing a physical, outdoorsy hobby to balance out all the time he puts in at the computer) has spent much of his free time lately helping out.
Once upon a time, Chick planted Christmas trees next to his driveway. They're still there. Shaun's dad is gazing up at them in the picture below.
These trees are overdue for thinning, so that's what Mick and Shaun have been working on.
Perhaps Willem will carry on the family logging tradition. After he retires from his career as the first Supreme Leader of Planet Earth.
Limbing a tree with a chainsaw that weighs 14 lbs is a job for someone with more muscles than I have.
Here's the inside of Chick's saw shop. It's one of Shaun's favorite spots. Quite a sense of history in there.
Shaun has acquired the requisite logging uniform over the course of the summer: hard hat, gloves, safety glasses, chainsaw chaps over jeans, and a hickory shirt. (Red suspenders optional.) I didn't realize how important those work shirts are until the first day Shaun logged. He wore his customary white t-shirt, which was immediately splattered with pitch. The pitch stains dark, so even after a good washing the t-shirt looked as if it had come from a particularly grisly crime scene.
I have no interest in driving any vehicle bigger than my minivan, but I can see how it was a nice departure from the usual for Shaun to get to operate the skidder here.
Of course what's best about logging is that you spend the day out in the woods, and at the end of the work day you smell like trees. When we go to visit Shaun's folks and we pull into the driveway, Shaun slows the car and rolls down the windows, so we can all breathe in deeply at the spot where they've been working. It smells like nothing on earth. I'm sure that that's what Heaven will smell like on the days it doesn't smell like freshly baked bread or an orange tree in bloom.
*Buzz Martin, "The Singing Logger"