Saturday, February 14, 2009
Up at Howard State Forest, about as far south as I can go while remaining within the watershed of this blog, a young tanoak tree was recently cut up and stacked. We have a cold storm pelting us with hail, accumulating nicely at this higher elevation, and snow is building up on the ridgetops. Many households in the area, especially those outside the city infrastructure, still use wood-burning stoves to heat their homes, and tanoak properly cured packs a good amount of heat. The dark center of the wood is called heartwood, appropriately for Valentine's Day. Sort of. Even better, I love the lush growth of lichens on these logs, even as my heart breaks for their possible destiny in a fireplace.
Bonus Valentine trivia: The movie Heartwood was filmed in and around Willits and these mountains, with many locals involved in its production.