Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
They typically grow in clonal colonies from a single seedling, supported by a massive root system that can outlive the trees (40 - 150 years) by thousands of years. One colony in Utah is considered to be 80,000 years old. Aspen colonies can survive forest fires, since the roots are below the heat from fire.
The ancient woodlands of the aspen are gaining popularity in forestry, because of the fast growth rate and ability to regnerate from sprouts and does not require sowing or planting.
Aspen sapwood is white and soft with a light brown hearwood. It's low flammability makes it ideal for wooden striking matches. Wood of the aspen has a very low bending classification that reduces spliting from nailing and makes it easier to tool. Specialized uses include sauna interiors and chopsticks.
Aspens contain compounds related to aspirin, and their leaves and leaf buds has been used to treat burns, irritations, aches and swollen joints. Bitter herbal tea from leaves and bark has been used to treat mild urinaty tract inflammations.
If you should want to hug an aspen, I would totally understand!
Join us next week when we find Basswood in the American Hardwood series on Edge of the Wildwood.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The Naked People statue was dressed in their finest for St. Patricks' Day...
Leperachans prank the Musicia Roundabout
(wish I'd thought of that)
Monday, March 22, 2010
From the olive and lilac family, comes a medium to large flowering tree whose common English name is Ash. Meaning 'spear' in the Old English language, the Ash were known as the 'Widow Maker' because their large boughs would often drop without warning.
Rarely in whorls of 3, the leaves of the Ash are opposite and pinnately-compound. The keys or whirlygig seeds are a fruit with wings that catch the wind to carry the seed far away from the parent tree. Identifying an Ash tree is simple. Just by looking at it's branches that are directly opposite one another and grow from the same point, and 5-7 leaflets on each compound leaf.
The 'World Tree' from Norse mythology, when the first man, Ask, was formed from the Ash tree. But today, 7 billion Ash trees in North America are threatened by an introduced species of wood-boring beetles from Asia. The public is being cautioned not to transport unfinished wood (like firewood) to slow the spread of this destructive pest.
The thick, raised bark of the Ash forms a diamond pattern in mature trees. A young Ash has a smoother surface and thinner shell.
The wood of the Ash is prized for it's flexibility and ease of handling. Everything from musical instruments to architectural millwork to flooring, Ash machines well and is good in nailing, screwing and gluing. It's particularly suitable for food containers since there's no odor or taste.
The American Hardwoods series on Edge of the Wildwood continues next week with Aspen. Join us for a complete profile of 20 distinctive tree species and know your wood:)
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Alder, from the birch family, is found in the Pacific Northwest US. 'Alnus rubra' is almost white when freshly cut but quickly changes on exposure to air, becoming light brown with a yellow or reddish tinge. The leaves of the Alder are broadly ovate, alternate and serrated. The finger-shaped furry cones are male catkins that form on the same plant as shorter female catkins. Alder catkins are edible and high in protein. A bitter and unpleasant taste, they're best remembered for survival purposes.
Heartwood of the Alder is formed only in trees of advanced age and there is no visible boundry between sap and heartwood. The wood is fairly straight grained with a uniform texture. Alder is a soft hardwood of medium density that has a low bending strength, shock resistance and stiffness.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
The ammo is really coming in now. Since we have been here the Navy has saved our tail 3 times. I give our Navy and our Air Force all the credit. Although, they couldn't operate without the ground troops. I say, from what I have seen, that the US Navy, Air Corps, Army and Marines are the bravest fighting guys in the world. 'Course, we're scared sometimes, but that makes us fight all the more.
On Dec. 7th 1942 over here, we knocked down 97 out of 150 Jap bombers and the others turned tail & took off. The Japs are afraid of our P-38's and Grummans, not to mention our flying fortresses. 60 Flying Fortresses flew over the other day and what a beautiful sight. They carry 8 tons of bombs & 15 guns each.
The Jap solider is well-equipped and well-trained & they got alot of courage for a little man. "Tojo" said he was going to take this island if it cost him his whole empire. Tojo is making good that little threat. Roosevelt says it will take your whole empire & you still won't get it.
We sank 6 Jap cans (destroyers) yesterday up around the point and we lost one PT boat. 2,000 more Japs go on the island someway. When they drop depth charges this whole island shakes from it, the same way with a big bomb.
This is Harry's War Diary
They have a chance to take stock in their situation, and Harry likes the way our troops measure up to Tojo. This is where they will prove their worth and face the enemy with valor. The comments about bravery and courage tells us that Harry and his crew are facing fear on a level that we will probably never know.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
We started to our camp around dark and we had no sooner got in bed when (washing machine) "Maytag Joe" came over. A lone Jap bomber. He dropped 8 bombs around the airport Henderson Field, only two of them hitting. 8 Marines were killed in their tents from flying shrapnel and concussion.
We are right by two 105 batteries and they are shelling the Jap's in the hills all night. They estimate there are around 10,000 Japanese on the island still & they are dug so far in the ground up on the forest that they can't get them. They are trying to starve them out. They claim they are getting supplies from a sub or from Washing Machine Joe. We've had continuous bombings since we've been here.
I'm now with part of the co. located between the two airports (Henderson and the small airport at the fighter strip). Around this grove the Jap's unload the bombs. They are flying so high they can't hit the runways on Henderson airfield (we can see in the distance). We have an ammo dump between the 2 airports, of all places. We are having bomb raids around every 20 minutes now. We are spending most of the night in fox-holes. They don't show their face around here in the daytime, because we can pick them off with the 90MM AA gun. If they do come over, however, they are between 38,000 and 40,000 feet. Our 90MM will only shoot 30,000 feet (around 6 miles).
This is Harry's War Diary
Harry's Ordinance Company is working in support of the Marines that are taking over Guadalcanal. They are expected to move, store and guard the ammunition. In their current situation, they aren't able to do anything but hunker down.
The American troops develop a talent for identifying the aircraft by sound. The annoying engine noise of a particular Japanese plane earned a nickname: Maytag Joe.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Nov. 29, 1942
This morning around 6:30 AM I was awakened by a loud explosion. It sounded as if one of the harbors had blown up. The boat rocked to and fro and I went up in the bed a couple of times. I knew then that we had been torpedoed. By the time my feet hit the floor, water was pouring in and the room was full of smoke. I took time enough to put on my pants and shoes. By the time I got out on deck, the port side of the ship was practically touching the water.
We could hardly walk to the starboard side. While we were waiting for the command to Abandon Ship, we saw the Jap sub fire two torpedoes at the USS Burnette. Which missed. I mean, she was getting the heck outta there. Then we got the command to Abandon Ship and we did so in a hurry.
Some of the fellows (4 of them) in their haste to get off, jumped into the screws (propellers) and were ground to bits. One fellow tried to save another one and he got caught, too. Some jumped close to the ship & got sucked under. A horrible sight.
We were finally picked up by landing boats and rafts & were safe on shore. Then they started dropping depth charges (ash-cans) by the tons. They accounted for 6 to 8 men killed and quite a few wounded. By the time we reached shore, the ship was really burning. We went back to help fight the fire, but there was nothing we could do about it because the gas drums had exploded and all the oil on the water around the ship was a blazing inferno.
This is Harry's War Diary
Eyewitness account of the sinking of USS Alchida as told by Private Haslam. They were keenly aware of the possibility of being struck by torpedo, and Harry has mentioned the danger several times in his diary since leaving New Caledonia. Surviving this attack was one of the most memorable events of WWII for Harry, and when he told this story (in person) he would say "the Navy fellows were the first ones to jump off". He and his Army group waited for the Abandon Ship command.
This section of Harry's War Diary doesn't contain any dates. At all. If you've been following the diary posts, you're familiar with Harry's habit of using a complete date. I believe this demonstrates the level of stress that these fellows were under.