I'm proud of my woodpile. Which makes slowly setting it on fire feel wrong.
But the cabin is nicer at 72 degrees than 12, so I do. Each morning feeding wood into the stove, maybe coaxing some life out of a few coals that burned through the night. But it's a small stove, and so mostly I start from scratch each day.
I cut all the wood that I burn, much of it from trees that were already dead and fallen. My land is a mix of hardwood and soft, a lot of pine and fir mixed in, and I burn it all. Plenty of people will tell you not to burn pine, but the key is that it must be well-dried. And I've got no shortage of fallen trees that are completely seasoned.
Outside, it's about 10 degrees. At night the ground sparkles when you shine a light on it, ice crystals on frozen earth. No humidity in the air, it's too cold, and absolute silence. Footsteps make a loud crunching noise, the soil turned to hard gravel in spots.
Twice this week I've come across a family of six deer. We startle each other and they run off, but slowly and in a single-file line, crashing through the woods.