The wind split one of our cherry trees in two, and since it was unlikely that the tree would survive, I cut it down and added it to a firewood pile, after I spent the better part of a morning getting our gasoline-powered chain saw to start and operate without stalling.
There had to be a better way to saw trees and limbs, I thought. Then it occurred to me. Maybe I should try using an electric chain saw, because even though I was once dissatisfied with their power, it's been decades since I've used one, and saws have improved with time since they were first created by Perdix.
According to classical Greek mythology, Daedalus, an inventor, couldn't stand the thought of someone else inventing anything of value. But Daedalus was upstaged by his ingenious nephew, Perdix (partridge), when Perdix invented the first serrated saw by fashioning an iron bar into the shape of a fish's spine.
Legend has it that Daedalus was so jealous of Perdix's saw he pushed Perdix off a cliff. Just in the nick of time, though, a Greek goddess rescued Perdix by turning him into the first partridge, a bird that sleeps close the ground, supposedly because it fears falling.
Electric chain saws
Electric chain saws are similar to gasoline-powered chain saws, except that the electric versions are several times less expensive and several times lighter. They also cost less to operate, because they don't require gasoline or 2-cycle engine oil. Best of all, they start right up and don't stall.
While operating an electric chain saw, precautions for operating all types of chain saws must be observed.
Additionally, to avoid an electric shock, you mustn't use one when the ground, wood or leaves are wet.
I purchased a 14-inch, 1.5 horsepower model made by Remington that was on sale for $40, a plug-in type that came fully assembled. I simply filled its oiling well with bar-and-chain oil, before plugging it into an outlet.
I wasn't surprised when the saw operated quietly. In fact, I sliced through several branches before the noise startled a bird — not a partridge — in a nearby tree.
What did surprise me, however, was how well the saw performed. Perdix would have been pleased, and Daedalus would have been devastated, again.
This week in the garden
Fooled by a catbird, my neighbor's cat seemed flustered when it couldn't locate what sounded like another cat.