Yesterday I shouldered my shovel and patrolled the driveway clearing leaves out of the ditches and looking for low spots to fill. As I am want to do after a rain.
Where it levels out at the top of the hill just east of our drive, I came across a strange machine that had been set up there. It was eating trees being fed to it by the operator. Well, not exactly. After closer scrutiny I realized my mistake; it was de-limbing the trees.
I realized I was in the presence of a DELIMBINATOR, the invention of a ‘Native Son’ of our fair county, Eric Chambers by name. Who also builds and sells them, I understand, to other loggers such as himself. When he’s not attending meetings of the Choctaw County Board Of Supervisors, of which he is a duly elected member.
In awe I watched the machine in action. That claw, two opposing semi hooks, drops down onto a pile of trees lying in parallel and picks up about half a dozen almost as a hand would, lifts them and drops them in a slot, then pulls them through it. Being de-limbed as the go.
When only the ‘worthless’ tops are all that is left sticking out, an arm—actually a powerful chain saw, descends and cleanly lops the tops off in a new york second. [A guillotine couldn’t do it better or quicker.]
Then the arm with the hand at the end of it continues on its way and drops the logs on a pile, neatly in parallel, ready and waiting for a log truck to come circling in, take on a full load, and leave the way it came, up the drive to highway nine and there head out for parts unknown. [China for all I know.]
That’s all for now but never fear, I’ll be back with further installments of this continuing saga.