Due to the fact that I sliced my forefinger pretty bad while hanging my new hatchet head, that project is delayed a bit while I create a leather sheath for it lest I cause any more flesh wounds. In the mean time today, in between steps to process the leather, I spent some time chopping part of a green narrowleaf cottonwood branch that I harvested from a fallen tree in the woods the other evening. The wood is very fresh still and the outer layer of bark came off very simply in big, nearly full sheets that were bendy and wet to the touch. There was a palpable sheen of liquid left on the bark and the wood round.
I was able to chop a decent number of rounds of various sizes from the branch piece. I'm going to let the wood cure and we'll see if any of it splits. I'm guessing it won't since it's such a small size, but I'm not very familiar with the dynamics of wood drying at this point. I can still carve some of them now while they're green, but I may wait until they're dry first just to alleviate any heartache from a roughed item splitting during drying.
I carved one spoon from the greenwood. It turned out pretty nice, more symmetrical than my last attempts. The soft consistency of the wood really helped make the process less finicky, however I can already see that the structural integrity of the drying wood is going to be questionable at best. Apparently I didn't shave down the branch section far enough before I started carving, so the pith goes right through the handle into the bowl and is now forming a rather large crack. Thankfully I didn't invest too much time into the carving process, but it was very good experience nevertheless. Moreover, I simply enjoy the process of carving whether or not the product is usable or just destined for the firewood pile.
In other news, I dug up a little patch of grass and planted some potatoes. Hopefully those start to take root and pop up, but I never have been great with plants. I may look into planting either snow peas or sugar snap peas, too. And onions may be interesting. We'll see what I come up with in the limited space that I have, but, whether or not I get around to other vegetables, hopefully in about 10 weeks I have some starchy edibles.