As you can see, the log pile's location has partially protected it from our recent precipitation. Its slight wetness is a reminder that this is not kiln-dried wood like we had been buying in small batches over the last two winters. In fact, it is probably slightly past its best. Apparently, one-year old wood makes the best fires - this is older than that - slightly surprising since the news was full of places selling out last winter as a result of bad weather, power outages and high oil prices.
In any case, the wood burns very well - a bit of axe-wielding to reduce the size of the larger pieces has helped, as has some really dry kindling and fat-wood to get the fire going well. This wood, even when split, needs a really hot fire to get it to burn effectively, rather than just smoking quietly to itself. I remember learning about how to build fires with care to get the heat up to a level that could cope with the larger logs when I was a teenager. The kiln-dried wood really takes all the skill out of it, but now I'm getting back in my stride. We had a really good one this evening - very toasty indeed, I didn't really want to drag myself away from it. Just as well we have given ourself a warm evening, as tonight is set to be the coldest of the season so far.