Two suburbanite boomers throw caution to the wind, postpone retirement, and move to a farm in Indiana. There they intend to live happily ever after.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Nature Notes: Grand Dad's Toes
It's Thursday again already. Time to take a walk and see what there is to see. Like, for instance, tree bark.
There aren't many really big trees on our property. Only the ones too gnarly for logging have survived the buzz saw; the forests are studded with the stumps of their betters. Those that remain have distinct personalities.
I think of the top one here as Grand Dad. I believe it's a white ash. He's a good three feet in diameter, and has skin like an old elephant. The texture is amazing, striated on one half and shot through with ragged diamonds on the other. At the base is a large burl that looks like a big toe. If you look closely to the right of it, you can see the other toes in the base of the tree, like a foot peeking out from under a robe. Well. That's what I see, anyway.
The third shot is a study in contrast. The rough tree is a younger white ash. The smooth one I had never noticed before. Research revealed that it is an American hornbeam, A.K.A. musclewood because it resembles sinews and muscles; A.K.A ironwood because its wood is dense and heavy. Apparently, excellent tool handles can be made from it and hornbeam charcoal can be used to make gun powder.