What is produced by a free stroke charms us, like the forms of lichens and leaves. There is a certain perfection in accidents which we never consciously attain.
— Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
A delightful side effect of spoon carving is a walk through the woods. Not that an excuse for a walk is needed, but it’s a good one nonetheless. On a walk after a windstorm earlier this month, I found a big cherry tree lying on the ground, a victim of the gale. I was able to collect a few crooks from among the branches and carry them home in my pack.
The branches of that cherry tree were teeming with life, life so common and quiet that I usually overlook it. But as I prepared to split the few pieces I brought home that day, I took a moment to appreciate it up close. That was followed by a moment of realization that I didn’t know squat about this (a feeling I’ve become familiar with). Thankfully, there are lichen people. Here are a couple videos featuring them and fascinating information about lichens to add even more interest to your next stroll and/or spoon foray:
The link to the other one is here. There are lots of lichen people in Scotland.
I was eventually able to return to the crooks themselves, getting a few cherry blanks ready for the axe. These are much further along now, and soon I’ll have them and some other spoons finished.
Some, however, didn’t make it. Who put that open knot there?!
These aren’t the sort of accidents Thoreau wrote about.