It is January 2nd and everyone is gone. My oldest daughter and her husband are on their way back to Washington, DC. Our son is on his way back to Labrador to resume his high school math and science teaching position. It is just my wife and I and the quiet is pleasantly present. It was time to take a short trip down to our beach to see what the tide has washed in, there is always something of interest.
After a short walk along the beach it was not difficult to come up with nine pieces of drift wood. The size and variety is truly amazing. On the small end of the scale I found pieces that can easily slip into my pocket and carry home. I picked up half a dozen pieces of that description. On the other end of the scale I found an entire tree roots and all. I actually had to cut the tree in several pieces to get is back up the ravine. I also found some mid size pieces of lumber, some measure 12X12 X36 inches. when I get these pieces home I leave them under the overhang beside my shed where that are exposed to the winter air but not to winter rain or snow. This allows the wood to dry up from the waterlogged state that I found them in to being dry and acclimatized to the winter air. I will leave these pieces outside at least until the spring probably longer. When they have been sufficiently dried by the environment I will bring them inside to my workshop where I will let them acclimatize to that environment before I start working on the wood. The entire air drying process can take up to a year depending on how dry, how large and what type of wood I found in the first place. The most important thing is not to rush the process. It is always better to wait longer before starting to work with a piece of than it is to hurry and find out that the wood was still too damp and it continues to dry as you work with it. This can only lead to undesired results. The wood can split, it can warp and crack. Unless you are aiming for this result wait until you found wood is completely dray before you start to work with it.
So , with these nine pieces of wood sequestered beside my shed I will just have to wait at least until Spring. Fortunately, I have plenty more fully dried wood inside my workshop just waiting to be used!