Imagine the stories they could tell!
I remember as a teenager, my boyfriend (aka my husband now) and I went out east of our hometown to see the ‘big tree’. The ‘big tree’ had been growing for decades and it was fun for a group of kids to hold hands and encircle its mighty trunk. We tried to find it recently, but alas…now all the trees look big out there. It has either been dwarfed by the surrounding trees or it has met its doom.
Walking on my shore I come across other trees that have met their doom. Sometimes they are just short stumps with the roots all gangly and twisted. If I can lift them, I take them home. They find their second lives on my deck or in my house. The grey weathered branches bleach out when the salt brine dries. Small birds love to perch on them, the little branches offering a nice landing spot for their tiny feet.
Sometimes, my beach combing nets driftwood that is indeed a spectacular find. ‘Burl wood’ or what is left of the ‘burl’ occasionally drifts onto my shore. These pieces are like miners gold. Beautiful and rare in their twisted form, I cannot imagine how the rest of the tree looked. They can be brittle, so I handle them with care. Now if I was a furniture maker, sculptor or artist, I would be ecstatic. But since I am not, I will enjoy them as is.
“Most burls grow beneath the ground, attached to the roots as a type of malignancy that is generally not discovered until the tree dies or falls over.” (Wikipedia) Some, however are quite visible like the photo shown here of a tree with several ‘burls’ in Maine.
My piece of ‘burl wood’ has a place of honor on a mirror-topped table for all to enjoy. The bamboo frame on the mirror echoes the organic nature of the display piece. The camera does not do it justice. The ocean has been the ‘sculptor’ in this instance and that is just fine for me!