Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Most Dangerous Thing in the Woods





Now I know all of you read the title and had a different vision of some dangerous beast or something.

I am sure Rev. Paul was thinking large bears or rutting Bull Moose.

Rob was prolly envisioning bitter winds and snow.

The Florida Brigade (and yes there is about an entire brigade of them, Stephen, JUGM, Duke, Mammabear, Izzy etc) were either thinking about big damned illegal alien snakes or alligators or something.

Kymber and Jamby immediately thought about teenage boys sneaking around in full Gilly suits during a sun bathing session.

Harry was thinking about bears, boars or rapid ferret eating chipmunks.

Beetle Bailey was thinking about an IQ test or having to use a bic lighter to start a fire while several other ego's immediately thought of themselves I am sure.

But no my dear friends you would all be wrong. At least for around here, of which I know you don't have that much experience in Missouri woods so you are forgiven.

No around here the most dangerous thing in the woods is Wild Grape Vine.

This stuff is why I almost never cut wood during the Summer and prefer to stockpile it all over the Winter months. Even during Winter it is a constant irritant and accident hazard. I know in my case I am injured or almost injured many many more times a year by wild grape vine while cutting then by any other thing either directly or indirectly.

This plant is a literal health hazard. I almost got knocked unconscious today due to complications that arose because of grape vine. It is amazing how one little strand of this stuff not even a quarter of an inch in diameter can hold multiple trees that weigh tons almost stationary in mid air. It grows and attaches these trees together and can sometimes cause hours of delays just trying to figure out how or where it is holding up the process.

Today I had a lovely old dead Elm which was perfect size and dryness for burning with the split Oak and Locust sections. It would add just the right amount of flame for the slow burning heartwood to pump out the heat and most of it did not require splitting. As I soon found out though the grape vine had it securely attached to a perfectly live maple and only by about the last two foot of the smaller top branches. Even those little branches strengthened as they were with grape vine were enough to stop the entire process.

Out come the chains and the tractor. Nope not budging.

Down comes the maple.... Except the maple just stood there totally upright it wouldn't even fall when it was cut entirely through.

Attach the chains to the Maple. The entire mess just laughed at the tractor trying to pull it. Finally I got the chain wrapped around the Maple at about 12 foot of height  and had my Dad pull from a different direction with the tractor and it came down. However a branch off an entirely different tree which was also connected into the works by the grape vine was now free to slingshot itself with the force of a Medieval Catapult coming straight at my head. I ducked out of it but it knocked my hat off and one of the little whippy branches actually drew blood as it cut the tip of my nose.

Ouch. It felt like I had been punched.

Four hours of cutting and I barely got maybe two thirds of a load. Usually I can cut an entire load in less than two hours.

How many times have I had branches slingshot or whip up knocking my chainsaw around because of this menace of the woodlands?  It blends in and causes unseen hazards everywhere.

If any of you find that cutting your own firewood becomes something you need to do and you have wild grape vine be careful of this evil plant from hell.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!












20 comments:

  1. In out neck of the woods it is blackberry vines. A tiny little vine grabbed my darling husband this week, tripped him and broke his ankle. Home from work now for six weeks. Vicious little plants are they not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes they are Spinnersaw. And the big ones have thorns sometimes the size of raptor teeth. Then a wild rose bush are a real pain but at least they don;t hold 2 tons of tree up in the air to drop on your head. Still they vicious vine predators themselves to be sure.

      Delete
    2. Cutting and splitting wood is dangerous. I'm very leery of blowdowns. Pines get bent to the ground, but don't break. You cut something in the pile, it frees that pine, and it comes whipping out and breaks your leg or impales you. When you enjoy a wood fire made with your own wood, you have earned it.

      Delete
    3. Harry - I imagine pine would be about as dangerous as Cedar and I hate cutting Cedar. It tends to catch the chain and then bounce it around off all those little limbs if you are not careful.

      Delete
    4. Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic but I'd be interestes in a blog link exchange.
      My blog covers a lot of interesting and helpful posts just like yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. And also, I think you'll love my recent blog post titled When Things Fall Apart – They’re Actually Falling Into Place

      I'm hoping to hear from you too and quickly, you've got a great blog here.

      Daniel.

      Delete
  2. I feel your pain my bugaboo at the bamabunker is wisteria
    A major pain in the you know what but you already knew that.Stay Safe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no knowledge of Wisteria I must look that up online now.

      Delete
  3. So then you'd be horrified to know that I make Paul cut & doze AROUND the roots of those killer grapevines then, hugh? I LOVE wild grape jelly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carolyn - I have never seen wild grape actually produce anything and I have been around it at all times of the year when it should have had some grapes on it. I just figured it was like wild apples they mostly don;t produce.

      Delete
  4. OH, I hope you're OK?! I'm such a city girl, I wouldn't recognize wild grapevine. I'll ask the boys at The Compound this weekend if we have it creeping around our wooded areas. They're both contractors for the local power company, they remove the trees from around powerlines for a living. They're usually watching out for snakes, gators, raccoons or opossums that like to live up in the trees. Hope you're better today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Izzy - Ya can;t even tell the skin got broke just a little sore to the touch is all. Thank you for asking :)



      Delete
  5. We don't have many around here, the ones we do have seem to be isolated in individual trees. Now what I really hate is when there is poison ivy as big around as your maul handle going up in a tree and circling the trunk and limbs. That won't slap you silly like your vines though but it will ruin your day for several seeks if approached wrong. Good luck on that stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SF - Ya we get the damned poison ivy here but since it doesn't effect me I don;t usually worry about it. Yet it too can creep to neighbor trees and cause some issues.

      Delete
  6. We have wild grape and blackberry but the worst thing I hate are the "wait a minute vines" we call them that because you have to wait a minute to get loose from them when they catch you. They more common name is cat claw vine. Hate those things. It was a favorite snack when we had horses and now the goats love them.

    We have a huge pine that lightening got a few months ago that needs to come down. If my younger son was here, he would get his buddy and tree climbers and get it done. With Papa Bear and I we are going to have to take out a section of fence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MB - Never heard of them vines. Do they cause trees to hold each other up? That ability of wild grape is what causes all my problems with it.

      Delete
  7. Like Mamma Bear said, we have plenty of the stuff, and kudzu, but kudzu makes a fine soup, bit chewy, but thick and hearty. Might I recommend several cut stacks of wild grape as kindling. Or, for that bit of extra flavor on the grill. How's the nose?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen - I have actually cut some of it that was big enough to burn but it is usually way too wet and alive when I find it. It is really bad on Elm trees I have noticed.

      very s often a patch of kudzu will get started up here but then it usually dies off after a year or so. Not sure why.

      Delete
  8. Actually, my first thought was "Man", but bears are a close second. Grapevines are a pain, even when you're not cutting trees.

    Glad you're okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rp - All in a day's work. I just hate it when the vine ties me up for hours and had to vent some.

      Delete
  9. PP,

    I have to agree with your blogger friends, grapevines or even Wisteria is a pain to work around. Good thing you reacted when you did, otherwise you would have been hurt worse. One good thing though, you still can move pretty fast for being old, LOL

    ReplyDelete

Leave a comment. We like comments. Sometimes we have even been known to feed Trolls.