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.


Kym said...

I'm a sucker for a sappy line and this one from the review of Heartwood--"where the trees are more than a livelihood, they're a way of life..." made me choke up. That's the way things used to be here. It's an odd sort of love where you cut down what you adore but it is a deep love.

I don't much watch movies but that sounds like something I could enjoy very much.

(I love tan oak, too)

Jill said...

Very nice Elaine.

Babzy.B said...

beautiful photos and a clever way to celebrate this special day :)

Dina said...

Snow? Hail? No kidding!
That's a lovely woodpile.

Anonymous said...

I like your pile of wood. I can imagine getting it for a fire. Nice post.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

Laurie Allee said...

Happy Valentine's Day wonderful Elaine.

Petrea Burchard said...

I hear that it's now against the law to put a wood-burning fireplace in a new structure, and the use of those in older homes is to be regulated due to pollutants. It's a good thing and a bad thing, I suppose. I will miss the smell of a wood fire.

Hilda said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about heartwood and sapwood — very interesting. Thank you, Elaine.

I hope you have a love-ly weekend!

Joe Cottonwood said...

Okay, you got me with this one. Happy Valentines to you.

Kim said...

You are so clever! Perfect for V-day. And Kym's line about sappy lines. . .too fun!
Ok, who is the guy above me, and how did you get him for Valentine's
Day, and are you sharing? ;^)
Seattle Daily Photo

USelaine said...

Kym - Sucker? Sappy? Deep cuts? I saw all that.....

Jill - Thank you.

Babzy - It seems to be a theme today over at CDPB.

Dina - It's normal for winter, but a long time coming, sad to say. I hope it keeps it up.

Abe - This was the most lichen-lush one I've seen this year. Woodpile with a sweater.

Laurie - And happy Valentine's to you, dear friend.

P - I can certainly understand such a restriction down in your region. I'm not so sure they're forbidden up here. There's even a fireplace shop here in town. I'll check that.

Hilda - Bless you, and have a great one too!

Joe - Beautiful wood gets the guys around here too. I know my audience. 6^)

Kim - I better nip this in the bud. *coubh* I think I got Joe in a heart-warming, heavy sigh sort of way. He's, uh, not available. But I do like keeping my skills up, and thank him for the feedback. 8^) Hey! Kim! Everybody, click through to his profile and blog - he's a writer!

USelaine said...

[that was *cough*]

Kris McCracken said...

Change the trees and this could be Tasmania!

Saretta said...

I love these logs, furry on the outside, smooth and red on the inside!

Amy at Woza Books said...

Lovely. So glad to have a bit of snow finally.
I don't usually put photos on my blog, but there's a classic of my dad in his kilt on this week. Check it out at The View from Amy's World. I think you'll get a chuckle.