Today was the first trial of the new chain saw. There’s a tree that shed a few very large branches over by the corral, and they looked pretty good for converting into firewood. It’s a white oak, a tree that usually has a lot of decay and rot and that’s why big old branches fall off and invite chain saws to make them into little 18" (46 centimeter) pieces suitable for a stove or fireplace. But this tree shed some really good solid wood. Eager to reduce those branches to consumables, we drove the truck over with all our gear and started to work. Karla got to use the new saw, and I used an older, larger saw. There was a lack of gloves, due to wearing out and loss, so I was assigned a pair that happened to be infused with cactus thorns, which I discovered about 10 seconds after donning them. I picked out about a dozen of those little stingers from my fingers and threw the gloves under a rock so they could rot. Looking around, I found only a right-hand glove to wear. As I was cutting off a branch that stuck up in the air, it fell suddenly and bashed my ungloved hand, leaving a 2-1/2" (6 cm) bruise and cut that immediately started hurting and bleeding. (If it had hit the gloved hand, probably only a bruise would have been the result.) Another part of the branch also hit me on the head, but I was wearing a hard hat and only got knocked off balance. I went back to the house to bandage the wound while Karla soldiered on and got most of the wood cut.
During my recovery regimen, I checked email and received a 33-page document from the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, an injunction that removes our guest ranch from the packing business. We can still do a limited number of day rides into the wilderness, but that’s it. We’re still mulling over the ramifications of this order.
There’s a whole bunch of trees at the ranch. Maybe we should go into the firewood biz.