Thursday, March 18, 2010

A draining task...

(click on pics to enlarge)

Lake Junaluska (~30 minutes west of Asheville, NC) has been drained for some dredging and clean-up work....and if you've ever been there you'll realize how foreign these pictures look.

There are two kinda sorta parts to the lake, the shallowest being the part along the highway to Maggie Valley (where these pics were taken).  The other half, where the dam is located, has the deeper part and some semblance of a lake, still...with a lot of shoreline showing.

I took advantage of collecting some of the driftwood branches that I thought might make good branch flutes...nice to be able to pick and choose like that.  Not all branches make good flute material, not by a long shot.

As I drove one of the windy roads along the lakeshore, a special treat caught my eye...

It was a storm-damaged gnarly old, old maple tree, and now all you woodworkers get to drool.....keep in mind a large limb ripped down in a recent snow, so the surface is really rough (and the limb material long-gone, for good reason...)

Even as rough as the surface is, just LOOK at the intense curly maple wood that's in that wonderful tree!  I can only imagine a lot of that tree's wood would turn out to be some of the highest grade figured maple out there...

Guess I've never seen a raw exposed tear in a tree and seen such beautiful figuring all at the same time...

...which is why I carry a saw in the back of the car.  Ya never know when you might have the opportunity to take something damaged and turn it into beautiful art/instruments.

As I said earlier, whatever fell off was long-gone, and not even any good scraps were left.  *SIGH*  But it sure is fun to think I might one day find such a treasure someone would let me have.


Suzy said...

Oh my gosh ... Bob, go BACK and GET that chunk that looks like it's protruding from the trunk ... use it for flute BLOCKS and other carvings, for crying out loud!! Too good of stuff to waste!!! :)

Where's your sense of adventure?! Be stealthy, have fun with it, go under cover of pre-dawn / twilight semi-darkness ... 'no one' will ever 'know' it's gone!! ;)
HA!! :)

(Can you tell I have experience in such ventures ... many practice golf balls have made it into my bag over the years, just by the grace of a driving range and range balls just HAPPENING to be near a road ... oh darn, too bad ... LOL!!
That way I don't have to BUY practice-range balls, and I don't care when I shank balls off into never-neverland ...!! I simply return them to the 'wilderness' from which I found them ...!)

ALL things have a purpose and a plan, and a tree part needing to be re-created as 'new life' is no exception!

GO ... !! :)

Suzy :)

Suzy said...

Never mind. Changed my mind – ugh. Probably NOT a good idea for you to go cut that protrusion off the living tree – it will leave a fresh SCAR on the tree for starters (bad plan).
Maybe a good wind or electrical storm will take-out the whole tree or the other limb, and THEN you can look for the usable pieces. (Sigh.)

Suzy :)