Friday, June 17, 2005


Originally uploaded by Thole Man.

About this time last year, I was up at Byrness, (where else?) and had Liam, my eldest grandson, for company. We'd taken our bicycles along and on this particular day set off up through Cottonshope Forest to the Hart of Toe on the Border and then on to the bothy at Spithope which is run by the MBA On the way there we stopped to take some photos and do a few drawings of an area that had been felled. Most of the timber had been cleared away leaving a desolate area of muddy pools which were quite deep in places plus lots of tree stumps and the usual detritus of logging operations. But standing alone and in a strange way, aloof, was this felled trunk of a Douglas Fir. The bole was a good three feet (1 metre for those who insist we measure in French) in diameter. I took several photos of if and this picture, "Annulus" was completed in the studio. The huge knot on the left is interesting. This is the start of a branch. Its amazing how big these knots can be. It is normal foresry practice to lop off these lower branches to prevent knot growth and ensure good quality straight grained timber. If the trees are intended for pulp then the knots are not such an impotant factor.

This Douglas Fir poses something of an enigma I think. All the other trees around were Sitkas. Its obvious this specimen had been around much longer than the Sitka plantation. Had it been felled in error? And why have they left it there? Has it been singled out for something else? If nothing else it has given me some good subject matter to work on. Compare it with "Double Annulus" in an earlier posting.

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