Red squirrels abound in the woods where I trek on winter afternoons with my skid tractor and logging cable. I have noticed when the temperature is in the sub-20-degree range they disappear. To re-emerge on a balmy 23-degree day.

As a kid I was curious, if not slightly disgruntled why our father attended household wood-making during the coldest winter weather. A 12-degree sort of winter day that even defies the Geneva Convention for prisoners of war, if not equally protective of farmkids. The insult of doing heave-ho work in a climate the likes of Pluto because we were not accorded the benefits of prisoners of war.

The first act of a good winter woodsman is the reverse-style show as every woodsman knows. When temperatures are of the plus 25-degree range, logging and wood cutting are best left to loincloth and kilt because anything else is over-dressed.

At about 12 degrees you can leave your shirt on. When we were kids it was disturbingly strange that our father on preparing to go to the woods put a standard summer seed corn cap in his pocket.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the Portage County Gazette at one of the many newsstands in the area, including gas stations and grocery stores. Or subscribe at paymentwizard.com/OrderForm.aspx?FormID=1406 to have weekly copies delivered by mail.

A website login function to view full stories online will be coming soon. Any current or new subscriber will have access.

For more information or to subscribe over the phone, call 715-343-8045. Please note, to have access to the online version, you will need to provide an email address.