We have a large Eastern Juniper in the front yard, and the Wife saw a piece of standing deadwood in it. I cut it, debarked it, and found that insects had carved the entire top side of it. Just a little filework on the few branchlets, a little sanding, two coats of Tung Oil, and it was good to go.
Fordj, that "foot" on your wife's second stick would make it an excellent "shrooming" stick. The little extra width on the base is perfect for brushing the leaves out of the way when looking for morels.
The forked foot has become one of my favorites. It works surprisingly well on ice, tile, waxed floors, and of course, uneven ground. I've been into Mycology for quite a few years, and Morels do grow here. It's almost time to look for them.
No metal, that is insect damage by the ambrosia beetle, which carries a fungus that causes spalting (the black streaks you see that reminded you of metal).
As I haven't had time to hunt green sticks, and age them properly, I have targeted standing deadwood and deadfall sticks, for the most part, and many of them are spalted.
I just harvested a gorgeous Red Osier Dogwood live stick, and was surprised that it ran sap when I cut it. I knew it would crack and split, so I put it in my soak tank for 4 days to cure it. The wood will probably not split, now, but it turned the bark to a mild spring green. I have endured many days of tounge lashings over ruining that bark. Next year will harvest in January, and store for 2 years to see if that retains the red color. A week later, the natural stands are rapidly turning spring green, also.
The Ambrosia Beetle only attacks diseased or recently cut wood, so that is why I have found its tracks in deadfall/standing deadwood. I am doing the tree a service by removing standing deadwood, as the fungus will attack living portions of the tree. I'm learning more than I ever thought possible about trees. My Irish/Druid ancestry seems to be coming to the fore, here.
I'm using Ron Kents' detergent, de-natured alchohol, water mix that I found talked about on this forum.
The only problem is, my soak tank is only 4" diameter by 60" tall, and since I seem to like crooked sticks, hardly any fit that small diameter. I'll make a 6" or 8" diameter tank whenI can, and make it longer, so I can make some proper staffs.
The bigger tank will also require some sort of stand, as it will be very heavy and hard to control once it is full of solution and sticks. I'm still thinking on how I'm going to accomplish that.
I love it! I guess I enjoy the more rustic look to it. The insect larvae can do remarkable and I treat my sticks much as you have when foundin this condition. I also love the black spalting that appears in the grain..... Great work!
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