December 28th, 2006
I came across another photo that seemed quite timely and appropriate as I continue my holiday project of amalgamating many years of files onto the new laptop and an auxiliary drive. This Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana), also known as a Hop Hornbeam to some, is one of our favourite trees along the McParlan Trail at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park here in eastern Ontario. It always reminds us of Edvard Munch’s painting, The Scream. I have to admit that the tree and I were on the same wavelength yesterday, but things are going better today.
As the common name suggests, Ironwood have very hard, tough wood. In R.C. Hosie’s Native Trees of Canada, he comments that the wood is heavy, close-grained, and was used in the making of objects that required a tough wood such as tool handles, or runners on sleighs. In this area, we often find Ironwood growing along dry, rocky ridges where other trees don’t generally do as well. Most times, the trunk is never more than 8 or 10 inches in diameter, but we’ve seen a few that are larger. Often, we find misshapen trees such as the above example.
Well, back to work on this computer project. Things should be “back to normal” fairly soon and I’ll be able to get to some photos taken while hiking around over the past few days.