Winterbourne: Poplar Tree

The story of collecting the wood for the panel of this icon is one that I realized I haven’t told yet in this blog. So here it is:

On February 5th, 2007 the temperature in our area went down to -32°C. To the Mennonites in our area this meant that it was the perfect time to head out into the woods and cut down trees for lumber. And, they’re right too! With it being so cold the sap inside the trees goes far down into the roots and no sap means nice stable lumber. That evening I got a call from Henry telling me that they had cut down the nicest Poplar tree he had ever seen.

So I headed out the next morning to see what I might see! And sure enough, it was a beautiful tree. It was solid throughout, had little heart wood, and measured roughly 24 inches across. The owner of the lot was amenable, so I bought three lengths of the trunk. As each length was lifted onto my trailer I had to admire this beautiful tree.

My next stop was a sawyer I know, Walter, who loaded it onto his mill and carefully slabbed it into two inches boards. Each of these was then put back onto my trailer and I drove it back to my studio/barn. Up until this point there had always been an extra set of hands to lift and help but here, at the end of the day, I was on my own. Wet wood is very heavy; a fact that I was reminded of as I carried each board up my ladder into the attic where I carefully stacked it. Here it would sit until the fall …

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