I was walking along the shore and saw a log that had clearly been in the water and then out of it for a long time. All sorts of things had happened to the wood. Some of it looked like it had worn away while other marks suggested that creatures had been chewing their way through. Some wildlife was still clearly living on the surface and in the nooks and crannies. It was such an unusual looking log I just couldn’t avoid taking some pictures.
This tree trunk had been cut a while back. I was interested to see that some fungus was growing on the cut surface of the wood. However, there was clearly something about the outer rings of the wood that provided nutrients to the fungus that the older wood inside did not. The growth was focused on the outer rings only and there was absolutely no fungus on the inner layers. I wonder what the reason for this was. Any suggestions?
In the parts of Washington where there is heavy tree cover and plenty of rain, you can get some serious growth of moss on the branches of the trees. Go to the rainforest out on the Olympic peninsula and there are plenty of examples of this but even in the hills around Snoqualmie, you can see such trees. The softer light during the winter helps show up the moss well with it almost appearing to glow in the shaded areas.
I saw one tree across the river from us and in direct light and it really stood out from the surrounding trees so I figured a shot had to be taken. On our side of the river there was plenty of moss too so here you have a single tree and then some close ups of other trees to show just how the moss dominates the trees. Of course, it isn’t very dense so doesn’t overwhelm the tree but it really makes the structure seem much beefier!
This one is quick. A tree has broken and the trunk – not a very thick one – had not only broken but twisted as it fell. I was fascinated by the shape it took and the way in which the fibers of the wood had distorted as it fell over. It showed the inner structure of the tree in a vulnerable way which is obscured when the tree is intact.
Wood on the shoreline is usually pretty interesting from a texture perspective. Spending a bunch of time in the water getting beaten by waves and any other debris in the water tends to smooth out the surfaces and also emphasize the flaws in the structure of the wood. I saw a bunch of wood on the beach at Shoreline when walking along the shore there and one in particular caught my eye.
I’m not sure whether to categorize this as in interesting oddity or vandalism. While walking in the Lakes, we came across this tree. At a distance I thought it was an interesting type of bark but, once you get closer, it is clear that the tree has coins jammed into the surface. I have no idea how or when this started or even why it did. Obviously, a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon and now there are so many coins embedded in the wood that I couldn’t see the point of even trying to estimate how many there were. Instead, we just checked the whole thing out and then went on our way.
As we wandered around the botanic garden in Balboa Park, I was quite interested in a plant that had branches with an odd oval shape repeated across their surface. I mentioned it to Nancy and she had seen something similar in another part of the garden but that had been cut off. The cross section of the branch was more interesting than the surface apparently.
We spent a short while hunting for where she had seen this before and when we found it, she was proved correct. The outside of the branch had the same pattern as I had seen earlier. The inside was certainly unusual. Rather than try and describe it, I shall just let you take a look for yourselves.
Some days things are just looking like they will be good. The Warbird Heritage Foundation have their newly restored P-51 Mustang, Baby Duck, ready for flight. Before they can do too much with it, they need to get some hours on the engine. Consequently, they have had Vlado Lenoch coming across to fly the aircraft when possible to build the hours.
I knew that they had intentions to fly in the week before Christmas but I didn’t know exactly when. However, the weather was crap for the majority of the week. When I saw a good forecast for Friday and I had some free time, I decided to take a chance and head on up to see if anything was happening. If not, it was still a nice day to be out and about!
As it was, not only did the guess prove to be accurate, I got a bit luckier than even I had expected. Baby Duck was out on the ramp when I arrived which was a good sign. Indeed she would be flying and Vlado was coming to fly her. What is the easiest way for Vlado to get there? In his P-51 of course. Paul also was planning on flying one of the other aircraft that day as well. Bonus!
Vlado showed up and got ready to fly the Duck. I scooted across the field to be in a position for good light and angles and it wasn’t long before Vlado was taxiing out. A few other aircraft movements kept me amused while he headed out to the departure end. Before I had left the hangar, I had foolishly suggested to Vlado that he keep it low on departure. That was a pretty redundant thing to say. Vlado certainly kept the aircraft in a good position for me as he came past and he built up speed before turning it into height.
I headed back since we didn’t know how long they would be out. They actually landed away so were gone for quite a while. Chris Doud had been in the right place to bag the back seat so he was having a great time.
When they got back, Paul had a chat with Vlado about how the flight had gone and then got ready to take the T-2 up for a run. Vlado was also heading home in Moonbeam McSwine so I made a second run across the field to get the departures again. They ended up heading out close together. Both provided sporty departures so I was considering the day a very productive one.
I headed back to the hangar to await the return of the T-2. They broke back into the pattern and landed so some taxi in shots and then a few pictures of a very happy back seat passenger made for the end of the day. Time to head back to Chicago and enjoy all the traffic could offer on the last day before Christmas!