Most of the month, my chainsaw and pole saw sit on the floor in the garage back in suburbia. Every couple of weekends they are called into service, especially lately as Libby and I have been cutting back the encroaching trees and branches along the road in our Ozarks woods.
On our latest trip to Roundrock over the weekend, I learned that they are in a conspiracy against me. That’s my theory anyway.
Normally, I have a bit of trouble getting the pole saw started, but once I do, it runs like a champ, slicing though hard-to-reach limbs and generally proving its worth. On this most recent trip, however, it displayed a new quirk. Every time I would raise the blade end of the pole saw above the horizontal, the engine would begin to cut out, and if I didn’t lower the saw, the engine would die. It did this every time I tried to use it. I managed to get only two branches cut with it before I gave up — and they weren’t even encroaching branches; rather, they were branches I had to clear to get to the encroaching branches. I tried later in the day to use the pole saw, thinking maybe it had overheated (those two branches I had managed to cut were on a Blackjack oak, which is an evil tree all around!), but it repeated its unwillingness to work on any branch above about waist level. (I later spoke with a man who has two pole saws that exhibit the same symptoms. It is his understanding that there is a crack in the fuel delivery line somewhere, and every time he raises his above horizontal, they begin to suck air into the fuel.)
Well, I still have my standard chainsaw, and there were plenty of trees and branches I could attack with that. And I did. One time. After I’d cut my first close-to-the-road tree (a wee sapling I could have used the hand saw on), the chain saw began its own sputtering-before-dying routine. I could get it started again, but it would just die as soon as I gave it some gas.
Obviously, during all of that time the two saws spent on the floor of the garage back in suburbia, they had a discussion and decided to cooperate in a sort of nonviolent resistance. No forced labor for them. I guess I’m going to have to send them both to re-education camps (repair shop) because winter is the prime cutting season in an Ozark forest (not hot, no bugs).
In the end I resorted to my trusty hand saw that you see above. It was a gift from my good friend Duff (the wood carver, so he knows blades), and while it limited the range of my cutting to what I could reach with my comparatively short stature, I managed to stay busy with it the entire time that Libby napped away in the truck.
- The Missouri Natural Events Calendar is blank for today.