Forestry Friday … Logcicles!

log deck, logs, sawmill

Decks of frozen logs.

We store logs in decks during the Summer so we have enough wood to run the mill all year-long.  Logging is curtailed in California during the Winter.  In the Winter logging is restricted to dry rainless periods or hard frozen conditions to avoid muddy runoff.



Frozen logs under the sprinklers…..logcicles!

The log decks have sprinklers on top of them.  This keeps the logs soaked, which keeps the wood in good condition until the logs are milled.  We had a cold snap last week that got down into the teens.  Irrigating the logs when it gets this cold creates quite an ice show.



This big deck of logs is a wall of ice.

An icy blanket...nothing warm under this blanket.

An icy blanket…nothing warm under this blanket.

Grass-cicles growing near the logs.  Perfect for stirring that martinis!

Grass-cicles growing near the logs. Perfect for stirring that martini!

They used to keep the logs wet in log ponds.  Now the log ponds are our water supply for irrigating the logs and other mill needs.  The local wildlife now make the old log ponds home.


Common mergansers loving the log pond.

After a security sweep by Blitz it was determined that this log deck was clear of ferocious jack rabbits.

After a security sweep by Blitz it was determined that this log deck was clear of ferocious jack rabbits.  “All clear you can inventory the logs now!”

65 thoughts on “Forestry Friday … Logcicles!

  1. Interesting pics. And once again, saved by the Blitzer! How does wetting the logs “keep them in good shape”? Often or usually, “lumber” is dried before use. Interesting.


    • If the logs dry out they will split or check open, and that results in a loss of wood volume. Value also decreases if the wood, particularly pine, is allowed to “blue stain”. Eventually, rot will set in and the wood will begin to break down. If the logs are kept wet these processes will be greatly delayed. It does result in lumber taking longer dry in the kilns because of the extra moisture in the wood.


    • I think your 2″ ice storm would kick our butts. We did get a few inches of snow. However, the ice in the pictures is all a result of our sprinklers running during the cold snap. It is impressive to us here in sunny California.


  2. Quite interesting to learn about all the process of how trees eventually become the 2×6, 2×4, 4×6, etc. for building. I’ve often wondered how the process goes and now you have become an educator as well as being a forester, great artist and blogger, and dog trainer, and the list goes on…

    And Blitz is looking good in the photo. 🙂


  3. Interesting pictures, especially the wascally wabbit watchdog. I have seen local sawmills run the same sprinkling system on cut logs here. When John was in timber framing, we didn’t have to deal with that. Our inventory was pretty much just what we needed for the house being cut.


  4. Really appreciated the logcicles – it’s currently 112 F here in the Perth Hills of Western Australia and it’s only the middle of the day! Great photos, so cool 😉


  5. What a lovely post! Such beautiful ice logs… amazing how thick the ice is.

    And I’d say: “Well done, Blitz – keep up the good work!” :-). Lost of pats and a big hug for the bravest dog around.
    Dina x


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