Thursday, June 5, 2014

Un-Competence Project, with Carpenters

I stole this log. That's what my son says. Someone had cut down a tree by the side of the road and left the chunks in the ditch. I drove past it once, then twice, then turned around and stopped. I could barely lift it. If I were a decent photographer, you could see how big it is. I'm awfully impressed with myself getting it home. Except my son kept saying, "Mummy? Are you going to get in trouble? Mummy? Should you be taking that? Isn't that someone's wood?"

My mother-in-law happened to be visiting that week and spent some time trying to figure out what it was. She scoured the Internet for bark descriptions and tentatively settled on sweet gum. An architect friend of ours guessed cherry, but the bark is completely different from the cherry I scavenged elsewhere.

The other day I was inspecting some of my black walnut scraps nearby and happened to notice motion in the log. Big black ants. Carpenter ants. My modern home-loving husband is thrilled with this revelation. You should have seen his expression. I rolled it out of the garage and to the woods, but am going to have to do some inspections tonight. And I'm bummed. What pretty tables it might have made, ants and all. Do they have carpenter ants in Rivendell? I never used to wonder but now I do. The owner of the sawmill I volunteer at said I could throw it in the kiln, but I don't know how I could get it back into my car. Self-sufficiency requires so much effort. And driving time.

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