Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Well, it was 96 today. Quite a change from Saturday morning. I'm not complaining too loudly because it gets down in the fifties during the night. It's kind of weird actually. Almost too warm for a blanket when you go to bed and snuggling with your nose showing before dawn. Of course I've got fans in the windows so it keeps the cool air going.

Another thing that helps is that the humidity is way down. A two edged sword if there ever was one. The low humidity makes it more comfortable but it also raises the fire danger through the roof.

Back when my dad was working in the woods, this was "hoot owl" weather. So called because the guys went to work with the owls. This was pretty much pre Daylight Savings Time. On the first day of summer the sun comes up at 5:30 now, 4:30 then. Since it took at least an hour, often longer, just to get to a work site it meant the guys had to get up about 2 in the morning to be on site to start work when it was light enough. As soon as the humidity dropped to say 20 percent they shut down and went home. That was when the moms gathered up the kids and headed for the park. And in the pre cell phone ere we were on a four, count 'em four party line. The phone got wrapped in a couple of bath towels to tone it down so dad could sleep. :-)

If it got too dry, they just shut the woods down until it cooled off some and the humidity came up. And the forest service was very serious about this. If the ranger came up and said "shut 'er down," you shut down. You shut the equipment off and went home. A spard from a chain saw or an overheated engine could spark a fire. Better to shut down for a few days, than risk a fire. Bad enough dealing with what the thunderstorms caused. Fortunately the weather usually didn't stay that bad for too long. But, between being too hot and dry to work part of the year and being to wet, muddy or snowy to work in the winter it was a lucky logger who actually managed to get a full year's work. I understand they take other factors into account now. But, going strictly by humidity levels led to some funny things. Like being told to be sure fire equipment was set up on the worksite while there was still snow on the ground. This time of year does bring back the memories.

1 comment:

lisaram1955 said...

I love your stories of a logger's family life.  It's so different from my childhood--the suburban kid of a white-collar dad and retail worker mom.  We had our adventures, but I think your life was more fun...  Lisa  :-]