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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, the lay off I mentioned in passing a while ago has happened; Aug 5th was my last day. Got a severance package that will keep things going until Oct, though, so all is fine. Been keeping an eye on the Help Wanteds in the paper and online, but until something comes up, I've decided to spend a bit of time in the woods looking for blanks. I know it isn't the right season for collecting but the best time around here also happens to be deer season and there are too many "If it makes a sound, it's down" types in the woods. Woman got shot and killed a while back because she had on white mittens while hanging up laundry on her back deck and the hunter mistook it for the tail of a deer.

Anyway, I went out three times last week and going again this morning. I brought back seven maple (including two striped or moose maple), two yellow birch, an oak, and a cherry. The cherry was standing dead, which I wouldn't usually bother with, but it had a nice straight branch on it so I took a chance. Under about a half inch of punky wood is a nice solid shank about 4 feet long and 1 1/4" at the top and 1" at the bottom.

One of the maples (see photo) was a great find as the handle was an inch or so above ground growing on root "legs." There is another just like it I'll go back for sometime.

The moose maples were a great find. One is quite tall (eye level for me and I'm 5'8") the other cane size with nice root handle.

The yellow birches were cool, too. Nice color bark and one has a 4" head on it for potential carving.

Took a picture of one of my favorite spots in the woods. Like a wall of emerald when the sun hits it in the summer and because it is a mix of sugar maple and poplar, it turns golden yellow in the fall.
 

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Looks like you had a good day.

The other best time to get a stick is when you see it.

The only thing I've noticed with picking in the summer is the bark may be a little looser when the stick dries. Not a problem if you peel them anyway.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Grabbed a few more today and yesterday, one of which was of particular interest. A few years ago, I decided to try and create my own twisties. I brought a coil of wire with me and spiraled a roughly 2' length of it around a half dozen small ash trees. The wire wasn't as stiff as I would have liked, but it was what I had to hand. Looked for them a couple of years later and of course couldn't find them. Should've used some of that orange surveying tape on them too.

Yesterday I managed to find two of them. One had died, but the other had a nice 3-4 inch area of spiraling on the shank. The shank is about 4 feet long and has a really crazy root system to pick a handle from. Going to get some tougher wire and try that again.

Got a few more maple blanks and a bunch of walnut ones. The walnut ones were easy, though, since they're from a tree in my front yard.

Did a google map picture of the area I have access to for gathering, in case anyone was curious. The bit circled in blue is where I live (with the gf, 3 dogs and a horse) and the red area is the woodland I gather from. I think it is an early spring picture since the only green to see in the woods is the conifers. For scale: from my house to where the road runs off the bottom of the pic is about 1/4 mile.
 

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