STACK 'EM HIGH: Dean Jones chops fire wood to ensure the family stays warm as winter nears.
STACK 'EM HIGH: Dean Jones chops fire wood to ensure the family stays warm as winter nears. Ruth Jones

Cool change fires up winter preparations

THE slippers are out and families are huddling around the fire as the cold snaps have begun to hit the Central Highlands.

When he is not at boarding school in Rockhampton, Dean Jones is at his family's property near Rolleston.

He tries to get home at weekends as much as he can and loves getting out in the yard.

As winter hits, they generally start preparing the crops and, most importantly, the winter warmer.

"It normally gets to about 0-5°C at this time,” Dean said.

"So when the cold comes around, we usually start planting - wheat and chickpeas.

"Usually weeding time comes around when it starts to get cold.”

Dean is just one of the many rural residents who is already in the fields chopping firewood to prepare for the cooler nights ahead.

Although they don't have an indoor fireplace, because "Mum doesn't like cleaning the ash up”, they do have family camp fires outside throughout the evenings to warm them up when the lower temperatures hit.

However Dean said it took a bit of work finding the old trees and cutting them up, it wasn't a walk in the park.

"We have a fire outside that we chop the firewood up for,” he said.

"It is hard, there's a lot of chainsaw blades and a bit of work splitting them with the axe and stacking them up.

"It's all right, you just have to go and find the old trees to do it.

"You just push the trees down, carry them over, split them and stack them - the old firewood trees.”

Dean said the family loved to sit around and warm up by the fire and if they didn't have one in the yard they would have to "tuck up all together under the heater”.

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