Free Wood #3: A morning in paradise

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Blog entry by Tony posted 05-26-2009 06:27 PM 944 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: A rainy morning and a gold mine... Part 3 of Free Wood series Part 4: A new playground »

I spend a lot of the time in the woods each weekend, catching up on my botany. I’ve always enjoyed woodworking, but as I concentrated on “making a living” through the years, I didn’t make much effort to fully enjoy those things that I was once passionate about. (I was a biology major in college.)

I have become very passionate about understanding the woods I use in my hobbies – everything from recognizing them in their natural environment, to studying their microscopic anatomical structure. I have come a long way in a little over a year. I still have a long way to go, but the journey is fascinating and very energizing!! A nice side benefit to the frequent hiking is that I’ve lost 30 pounds, and feel better than I have in 20 years.

Saturday morning, I spent over 4 hours hiking, taking photographs, and recording my observations. I was also fortunate to find a couple of small trees that were casualties of storm damage, from which I collected a couple of nice walking stick blanks. One was a Black Cherry. The other I believe to be a Cucumbertree (Magnolia acuminata). The leaves are alternate, simple, ovoid with an accuminate tip, dark glossy green above and pale green below. There were no flowers or fruit on it yet. The flaky bark is soft, and reddish brown underneath. The sapwood is creamy white, with tight grain. I cut a sample from the end of the stick for experimentation, and the wood carves like butter.

Here are a couple shots of the Cucumbertree:



I am eagerly awaiting my next jaunt into the local forests. There is always something new to see and learn!

3 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117420 posts in 3818 days

#1 posted 05-26-2009 06:36 PM

Sounds like a revitalizing hike, It must be nice to know what plants your seeing. Thanks for sharing.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3768 days

#2 posted 05-26-2009 06:51 PM

ahhhh Nature, where we learn how little we know. Beautiful man….......Right with ya….........natures variety store of whatnots… soon as you name, it you lose it, zen…............

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Emeralds's profile


143 posts in 3804 days

#3 posted 05-26-2009 07:24 PM

I’ve never seen that type of tree before. It looks a very similar to the leaf of the Buckeye Tree but lacks the serrations along the leaf edges found on the buckeye. Very interesting.

-- JMP

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