Weighwood went missing for awhile early this winter. I feared I had mistakenly burned this chunk of white ash firewood. But finally, on the umpteenth frantic search through the wood piles, there it was, the dates and weights still visible on the side of the chunk I named Weighwood back in 2006.
It was a study in how much wood dries, from woodland to its stay in the wood pile. It now is safely in the garage, and, of course, I’ve weighed it again.
Let’s back up, to the summer of 2006. Weighwood was cut and split on June 18. It was, and is, 19 inches long, with two sides 4 inches wide and the other side 6 inches and slightly rounded — the side once covered with bark.
It originally weighed in at 8.25 pounds, the weight of a newborn baby or a nice walleye, whichever comparison you prefer.
It shed moisture and weight in a hurry, by half a pound to 7.8 pounds on June 26, to 7.5 by the Fourth of July, to 7.25 by mid July, and then at 7 pounds even on Aug. 7. Weight loss then slowed dramatically, to my last reading noted in magic marker of 6.75 on Nov. 11.
So this piece of firewood lost a pound and a half over 5 months. Then I quit weighing it, but never stopped setting it aside when I carried firewood from the pile to the stove.
It’s 13 years later. I put Weighwood on the scale recently and it came in at 5.75 pounds, only a pound less than in late 2006. I think it’s all dried out. So now what? Do I burn it, or do I keep my old friend around?
Greschner is Rice Lake Chronotype sports editor.