Logs to Burn!

As the colder weather comes, most of my work moves indoors, and the hearth fire becomes all the more important. Our wood burning stove powers the central heating for the whole house in winter, and getting enough fuel to keep it going is a year-long quest. However, not all wood is equal, and some is hardly worth the effort of storing and burning, as the old rhyme tells us:

Logs to burn! Logs to burn!

Logs to save the coal a turn!

Here’s a word to make you wise

When you hear the woodman’s cries.

Beechwood fires burn bright and clear,

Hornbeam blazes too,

If the logs are kept a year

To season through and through.

Oak logs will warm you well,

That are old and dry

Logs of pine will sweetly smell

But the sparks will fly

Birch logs will burn too fast

Alder scarce at all,

Chestnut logs are good to last

If cut in the fall.

Holly logs will burn like wax

You may burn them green,

Elm logs like to smouldering flax

No flame to be seen.

Beech logs for the winter time

Yew logs as well,

Green elder logs it is a crime

For any man to sell.

Pear logs and apple logs

They will scent your room,

Cherry logs across the dogs

Smell like flower of broom.

Ash logs, smooth and grey

Burn them green or old,

Buy up all that come your way

They’re worth their weight in gold! [1]

Pine Cone Firelighters

I collect fallen pine cones in the park to make into firelighters. Dipped in melted wax, they are excellent for starting the fire.


[1] Attributed to Honor Goodhart, printed in Punch, 27 October, 1920.

Author: annafranklinblog

Anna Franklin is the High Priestess of the Hearth of Arianrhod, which runs teaching circles, a working coven, and the annual Mercian Gathering, a Pagan camp which raises money for charity. She regularly speaks at conferences, moots and workshops around the country. She is the author of many books on witchcraft and Paganism, including the popular Pagan Ways Tarot, Sacred Circle Tarot, The Fairy Ring, Herb Craft, Magical Incenses and Oils, Personal Power, A Romantic Guide to Handfasting, Familiars, The Oracle of the Goddess, Hearth Witch, The Path of the Shaman and The Hearth Witch’s Compendium. Anna’s books have been translated into nine languages.

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