Here in New England it is the perfect time to cut saplings that you would like to peel the bark from. On many species of tree the bark separates easily from the wood, because there is so much water and sap flowing throughout the trees. Even if you are not sure of a project right now, it is good to stock pile some saplings for future projects. Perhaps you've been thinking of making a rustic chair, plant holder, or even a rustic garden trellis. This is the time of year if you would like to gt the wood smooth, with no bark. If the bark comes off clean then you may not even need or want to sand the item. Just yesterday I cut some small Maple trees to use in future projects and the bark came off quickly and easily. These were trees within a meadow that I needed to cut anyway. You may also have some trees that are growing into your yard and driveway and need to be cleared. Why not recycle that wood into a useful, beautiful rustic piece of furniture? Much of the time you can peel with your bare hands and finger nails, but you could also use a knife of some kind to get the strips started. Another easy project is some simple wood hooks that you can use around the cabin or cottage. Look for interesting spots where branches come from the trunk and check that it is at an angle that will work well. Peel it and you've got a nice natural hook for coats, towels, keys, or whatever. If you can flatten the back a bit with a sander or knife it will sit better against the wall. Pre-drill for screws or nails so that you don't split the wood. Let the wood dry so that there isn't any moisture or shrinking problems later on.
So, if you like the look of the bare wood for your next project then get on out and do some cutting. Peel and set aside to dry, then when you have the time you can get going on a fun rustic building project.
Feel free to contact me with questions or ideas. Have fun!