If I were back in Chester County, I know I would smell it in the air, here in Southern California, the only smell I associate with fall is fire. The Santa Annas are going to be kicking in this week, the fire that started about the time Buck and I took our trip to Santa Barbara, I heard, is 94% contained, there is some fear, these winds will get this fire raging again. I miss the colors of fall, driving North on the Turnpike, up into the mountains. The yellows, reds, and browns overwhelm, these hues are set against a cold, cobalt blue sky. Mo, my old friend built a cabin up in these mountains, the Pocanos. This cabin was deluxe, all he learned through the years, was applied on this project. He brought Cypress he had stored, the wood from old Kennett Square mushroom houses, a wood he worked with all his life. It was lots of work, bringing this old wood, back to life. First, with a wire wheel on a grinder, all the soft wood is removed. This creates a relief, the hard grain raised. A pressure washer was then used to clean up the surface. Staining seemed to degrade the finish, bleaching added contrast. A couple things about Cypress, it loves water, hell, it grows in water, Termites hate it, they can’t digest it, it has something to do with sand in the fiber of the wood. Mo had hauled a large amount of this Cypress up for his cabin, through the Summer we skinned the exterior, set planks vertically, fastened with black iron cut nails, overlapping seams with 3″ rips. On the interior we used the Cypress as panelling. This is where the bleaching comes in, you could lighten the planks to a different degree, set them randomly, mixing up the light and dark, adding warmth and depth to the space. The bedroom was paneled floor to ceiling, living and dining room had a Wainscoat finish. Fall was here, we had it all about wrapped up, we had come up, to tie up a few loose ends, get the place comfortable for winter. There was some cleaning up to be done in the yard, not really a yard, the cabin was set in woods. We cleaned all the construction debris that had collected through the Summer of work. Most everything looked good, if you don’t get everything in order, before the first snow, you get a big mess, in Spring. Fall is a busy time, you feel it in a Forrest, the Squirrels all running around storing nuts. Only one issue left, a large stack of Cypress Planks set out under a tree. This was material for his deck, he planned to start in on it, when Winter broke into Spring. He had thrown up a shed in back, he wanted the wood protected. We started in on the stack, this Squirrel started to chatter. This Squirrel had been hanging out, acting lazy all weekend, he stuck out, most Squirrels are busy this time of year. there was the bitterness of winter in the air, it made no sense how this animal had acted. As we moved the stack, the Squirrel became more and more irritated, he wasn’t acting lazy now, he was panicked. It was quite a show, we were laughing, watching this crazy Squirrel, when we got to the bottom of the pile of Cypress, we found out what all the noise was about. We had uncovered his winter stash, it seemed he had been busy early, what we had perceived as laziness on his part, was instead a confidence, that everything was in order for his winter.