Fall is a great time to go woodcutting. The weather is crisp, and motivation is high, because if you WANT wood for the winter, you'd better get it quick! My sister and my father both use wood for most, if not all their winter heating. Mark likes to get out there and help with the woodcutting, partly to be helpful, and partly because he just plain enjoys it. Last year, he smashed a fingertip, completely popping his fingernail out of its bed (very gross). This year, it was my brother-in-law's turn...he sliced his kneecap open with the chainsaw.
But other than that, boy is it fun. You can see the draw, right?
Mark and Scott were out a couple weeks ago, downing a dead tree and cutting it into rounds. As Mark was cutting the downed tree into 20" sections, Scott spotted something moving. They turned off the chainsaw and moved in for a closer look. Here's what they saw:
The center of the tree was hollow, and there was a little owl in there! This little guy just barely escaped getting chopped in half, but he still looked a little sleepy. Maybe he was stunned by the fall as the tree came down. Of course, the guys were also concerned that this might be the legendary spotted owl, which is endangered. Later research showed it to be a Western Screech Owl, common in these parts, and audible on any given summer night, when our windows are open. We were pretty positive of the ID after it flew away. It was about 10" tall, an excellent flyer (so presumably fully grown), with yellow irises and small "horns". Here it is in a tree:
We were all happy to see Mr. Owl fly away without incident, especially given our track record! And we collected enough wood to keep everyone warm and snuggly all winter. Looking forward to it!