Tag Archives: firewood

Woodpiles

We walked in over multicolored gravels eroded from some long-lost range. Some were petrified wood, glossy and tumble-polished. Among them a second generation of trees had grown; these too had fossilized, then eroded, and now looked simply like wood chips inexplicably turned to stone. Among them the ponderosas of today stood, living wood.

Next to a dissolving petrified log, recent woodcutters had left their beer cans and pile of slash. Old woodpile, new woodpile: the two looked remarkably alike, though the ancient one was yellow and bright as new wood, and the new one was gray.

Lightning, Wood and Iron

In the cobble hills above the Rio Puerco. Rain, snow, thunder. I was afraid of lightning, but Jan sheltered calmly under a juniper that bore the black scars of a previous strike. The wind smelled of wet stone.

In the sand lay an iron axehead, its handle long ago lost to weather. From the eighteen-eighties, maybe. The edge had a graceful worn curve, and the splayed butt showed it had been used as a wedge to split firewood.

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