Woodcutter Ross Taylor.
Woodcutter Ross Taylor. Toni Somes

Light frost has Ross making bank

MEET A man who loves nothing better than a south-westerly wind whipping down Palmerin St and ice fragments in the Condamine.

Warwick woodcutter Ross Taylor is a bloke who loves winter: the colder the better it is for business.

For the past decade the former Gold Coast local has earnt a quid cutting, splitting and delivering wood to keep Southern Downs residents warm.

“The past few winters have been a bit warm for my liking,” the personable wood- cutter explained.

“But if this week was any indication this winter could be better for my bottom line.”

The mercury dipped to 5.3 degrees yesterday making it our coldest mid-April morning in three years.

Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said the cool change had left much of Queensland shivering.

“It might have been cold in Warwick, but spare a thought for Mount Isa it was just eight degrees there, 10 below average and the coldest April morning in 45 years,” Mr Dutschke said.

In comparison the Rose City was just six below our mid-April average of 11 degrees and the daytime temperatures have hovered around an expected 24 degrees.

“There may have been some very light frosts around, but Stanthorpe and Applethorpe were still three degrees so we have a way to go before winter really starts,” Mr Dutschke said.

“I would expect the minimums to stay down for a few days, rising closer to the weekend when we can expect some showers.”

He said day-time temperatures would then drop below average falling to the low 20s under the cloud cover.

However as Easter approaches Mr Dutschke said we should experience some more wintry-type nights.

“Conditions look like staying fairly stable though so we may not even have our first frost this month,” he said.

Not exactly what local woodcutters want to read.

“In a good year I sell about four box trailer loads of split wood each day,” Mr Taylor said.

“There is nothing like a cold south-westerly to boost business.

“I have already had a few orders for this winter, so people are getting organised which is good.”

The downside for those in the chainsaw orientated game is the shortage of popular woods like ironbark in close proximity to the city.

“When I first started you could find paddocks of timber 12km from the city, today I do a 100km round trip,” Mr Taylor said.

“Good rain has also made collecting wood a little hazardous: the stumps are hidden by long grass, but the ute still manages to find them.”

But he said with a little travel and a few hours of hard yakka there was still plenty of hardwood around for those in need of a hot fire.

For those looking for some simple tips from a man who has tested his timbers:

Mr Taylor prefers ironbark – it burns all night, and makes for hot coals.

He also recommends using a little kerosene to get things started.

And it's helpful if you have a few pages – which you have read first of course – of the Daily News to help with the lighting.

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