Weather Summary: High = 56ºF. Low = 27ºF. A new cold front finally arrived and put and end to the gusty south wind we'd endured for the past couple of days. Mostly sunny.
We walked the woods/pasture loop on our afternoon hike. Not much going one there. Some sections of our normal path are getting churned into a muddy mess by the cows.
Weather Summary: High = 70ºF. Low = 34ºF. A beautiful, mild winter day.
Chainsaw: The chain was getting dull so I'd decided to remove it and take it into town for sharpening on my next trip. For the time being, I'd replace it with a used chain I'd gotten sharpened toward the end of last year's cutting season. That was my plan, and that was eventually what I did. The problem was: I'd forgotten where I stored the sharpened chain.
At first, when I couldn't find the sharpened chain, I convinced myself that I must have already used it. I decided to move on to Alternate Plan B: Find the best used chain among my collection, install it, touch up the teeth with a file and hope it would get the job done until I could get a chain professional sharpened. I proceeded with Alternate Plan B up to the point of actually installing my best-looking used chain, then I suddenly thought of a another place to look for the sharpened chain. I found it, discarded Plan B and reverted to Primary Plan A. I installed the sharpened chain, cleaning and lubing my chainsaw in the process. Then, I topped off fuel and bar oil, cranked up the chainsaw, made a couple of cuts and readjust the tension on the chain. With the chainsaw ready to go, it was time to start cutting some wood, except by this time it was too late in the day for starting on that job. I stored the chainsaw and accessories away and we went on our afternoon walk.
Weather Summary: High = 63ºF. Low = 41ºF. South wind build for most of the day, then slowly switching to the north as a weak cold front moved through our area late in the day.
Sawed up the dead hickory tree that Saturday's strong south wind had blown down. A few sections of the trunk may be usable as firewood, but most of the tree is too rotten. Jo and I got a good start on removing the small limbs and other rotten sections from the yard.
Past generations of Ozarkians tended to simply toss all trash off the nearest bluff. While Jo and I refrain from that practice, I see nothing wrong with transporting tree limbs and such the shortest distance possible. We tossed the hickory limbs into the woods at the edge of the area I keep mowed.
PM Walk along the woods/pasture loop: Saw a bald eagle soaring overhead. We don't see many eagles up here on the ridge. There aren't a lot of bald eagles in this immediate area and most of those stay down in the valleys along the creeks and Buffalo River.
Weather Summary: High = 50ºF. Low = 36ºF. Mostly clear with a blustery north wind blowing. A nice day, but kind of chilly unless you could get out of the wind.
PM Walk: On the bench road section of our walk we encountered a large group of cows coming along the road from the opposite direction. We decided to give the cows the right of way, figuring that if we didn't, the cows would probably reverse course and we'd end up herding them all the way back home. Since we didn't want the cows back at the house, we detoured through woods and let the cows proceed on their merry way. That plan worked, but when we got back to the house, both Jo and I discovered we'd picked up hitch hikers. Both of us found deer ticks still crawling around looking for a place to call home. Neither of the ticks lived to see 2009, but will be recorded as our last ticks of 2008.
Nature in the Ozarks: A Mouse in the Woods -- Eeeek!
Jo and I did absolutely nothing out of the ordinary for New Year's Eve. Jo watched a little television, took a nap on the couch and then got up and went to bed. I was on the computer all evening.
So long 2008!