It has been a long winter and it’s an ill wind that blows no-one any good.
Be that as it may, whilst not particularly cold, with few severe frosts, this year has seen exceptional rain fall coupled with a series of rampant storms. What we didn’t get in snow and ice we got in wind and rain.
As bad as it gets – and winters can get very bad in the hills to the point where it’s difficult to get in or out – we don’t get hurricanes here in Wales. This year the worst of the stormy weather has been on the south coast of England and in the Irish Sea, but I believe that they recorded winds in the region of 110 MPH in North Wales – unheard-of tempests of in this part of the world and there have been plenty of folk with severe flood damage in the Severn Valley, the Somerset Levels and the Thames Valley. One severe storm is bad enough but since last November, there have been a succession of strong storms from the Atlantic, one after the other.
The West Wales coast got hammered more than once, the sea wall in Aberystwyth was demolished in two separate gales but here in the Mid Wales uplands we have had no structural damage and thankfully no lengthy power cuts, but there were lots of trees brought down all over the place.
This was where the ill wind bit came in…..
This was a particularly fine Lime tree in the lower half of our garden. I’ve never seen a tree split vertically down the middle like this. Even though the tree was bare, still in bud, the wind took the canopy and split the trunk from top to bottom; one half was still standing, the other disappeared over the hedge. I think that the clean cleft was caused by the tree’s trunk that has a buttress habit; look at the section in the lower left in the picture where the bole of the tree separated since it was very young. I counted the rings and this tree was about 26 years old.
Clearly the vertical trunk was quite precarious and Sam-Saw cut the rest of it down for me. The brash went through a chipper and I was left with four large pieces of trunk to air-dry for carving…………………
………..plus some firewood…………………. to dry out.
I have never turned Lime; it is excellent carving material, therefore as it cuts well and cleanly, should be OK for turning, even though the wood itself has a bland appearance.
We’ve had plenty of ill winds in this part of Wales this winter, lets see if this one blew a little good.
There’s no shortage of carving material here when it dries out, plus I’m preparing a stack of Oak boards to make a couple of big bookcases.