A Serendipitous Happening

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by Barbara Lloyd, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Both Grand kids are currently studing Wash. State History. The subject of "How to build/carve an indian canoe" came up. Living in Anacortes, we have several Tribes indigenous to this area available to ask questions of. We chose the Samish right here in town. They gave the kids a tour and a question & answer session with members repairing a canoe that had been stored in someones back yard and had rotted. This tribe had not made a new canoe in years! 1920-1930's or so.

    We still have land on Lopez Island where this tribe once held lands. My Daughter asked them if they would like to have a Western Red Cedar (or two) to build new canoe(s). The Tribe has accepted. Now the question is, do we have a Cedar tree large enough for this use? I certainly hope we do. There is 20 acres to choose from. The land has been in a forest program since the late 1960's and only the Douglas Fir and Alder have been logged, so I'm hoping they can find something that will work.

    I think, if they can find a tree large enough, that this would be a really great thing for the kids to be part of. Keep your fingers crossed!
     
  2. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Re: A Seripindipius Happening

    Now this is the way to learn history, botany, sociology etc. Hope it all works out.
    Liz.
     
  3. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Re: A Seripindipius Happening

    I question you this... the age of the cedar tree will likely be over 400 years old, to be large enough for such a canoe...

    do you still want them to cut down such a prize specimen?
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: A Seripindipius Happening

    Tend to agree with K Baron, old trees are best preserved alive.

    PS spellcheck: serendipity, serendipitous ;-)
     
  5. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Re: A Seripindipius Happening

    Liz, K Baron & Michael F,
    Yes, I did think of this. Most of the area now called the Salish Sea, No. Puget Sound, the San Juans and the Straits were logged heavily years ago. Passenger and Freight hauling was done at first by sail and later by steam driven boats about the 1850's, I believe. I really don't think there are any 400 yr. old trees left.

    The acerage the tree will come from is in Designated Forest Land (DFL), a state forest protection plan. I checked with Al Craney, of State Forestry. He thought it was a good idea. "To bring a piece of history forward", about 150 years. If it does happen the canoe certainly won't be one of the huge War Canoes of yester year because there aren't any of that size left, at least on my property. They are going to have to be pretty good at stretching when and if it happens.

    I'll keep you posted. Yes Michael, I'm lost w/ out spell check. Will have to figure out how to hook this one up or keep the dictionary handy.
    Barbara
     
  6. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Re: A Seripindipius Happening

    Trust our British fore fathers for the Queen's English! LOL, I cannot believe, that the updated Merriam Webster Dictionary, does not acknowledge English spelling anymore... ie: I spell 'neighbour', vs the Americans sp. 'neighbor'.... You say tomato I say tomaaato, lets call the whole thing off... silly humour....or humor....!

    In any event, glad to hear that the remaining old growth forests are left intact?!
     
  7. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Re: A Seripindipius Happening

    K Baron,
    Fraid I can't blame my lousy spelling on anyone but myself. I envy your living within what appears to be a fairly short distance from UBC.
    Haven't been up that way for years, and then it was to the Burnaby minature Rail Road club. Dad was a machinest and built 1 1/2 to 2 inch scale models of old Steam farm equipment and a Heisler Logging Engine which he took to the Burnaby track a time or two. He no longer drove so I got to go along as the driver. Don't we live in the best area?
    If you are interested you can google "480 Lloyd's Lane, Lopez, Washington" and check out where my property is. My Daughter (used to work for Public Works-Lopez) Said the road crew had to take down what they thought was about a 700 yrs old Cedar because the road scraping and maintenance was damaging the roots and they were afraid a big wind would take it out. That's the one they should have offered for a canoe.
    Barbara LLoyd
     
  8. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Re: A Seripindipius Happening

    You certainly live in a green belt! Do you grow guavas and tamarillos on Lopez, protected of course? The gulf Islands and the San Juans are truly a piece of paradise on our shores...
     
  9. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Re: A Seripindipius Happening

    K Baron,
    Did not grow either guava or tamarillos while on Lopez. Lopez is probably the warmest Island. Black Widow spiders have been known to over winter, but it can be cold and windy and I didn't have a green house.
    I lived on Lopez but worked in Friday Harbor so most of my free time was spent on a Ferry to and from work, and taking care of aging Parents, so didn't get much gardening time.
    Barbara Lloyd
     
  10. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Updated information on the "Serendipitous Happening"

    And this time I spelled it right!
    Thank you for your input Liz, K Baron & Michael F, on my prior post.
    Several members of The Samish Tribe went out to the property on Lopez yesterday, Monday. They walked the property and found there were no trees large enough for a canoe. :(
    Some one mentioned that the tree would have to be about 400 yrs old and as I said before, the whole area was logged heavily about 150 yrs ago. So I guess I was hoping that my property being located mid island might have been spared - Not so!
    One of the Ladies that went out asked if she could strip some Cedar bark for weaving baskets and I told her to go ahead. Striping the bark has no ill effect on the tree if done correctly. She, being a Native American and a weaver would know how to do this. Squirrels do it all the time for bedding for their nests to keep fleas at bay.
    I guess there will be no canoe, but there might be alot of Cedar Baskets available. :))
    barb
     
  11. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Re: Updated information on the "Serendipitous Happening"

    Ah baskets I have made them from pine needles and flax. Do cedar trees have a wooly type bark? We have cedar here but I think it is a different specis. Makes beautiful light, red coloured furniture. Was used a lot during early settlement. I have one chest of draws and a small sideboard.

    http://lamington.nrsm.uq.edu.au/Documents/Plant/rced.htm
    http://www.aoantiques.com.au/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_11&products_id=77
    http://www.csiro.au/files/mediaRelease/mr1999/TheHuntForRedCedar.htm

    Liz
     
  12. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Re: Updated information on the "Serendipitous Happening"

    Hi Liz,
    Our Western Red Cedar, thuja plicata is really a cypress tree, grows to about 75-80 ft tall, and appears to be quite a bit different than yours. Here we line closets with it to keep out moths and it used to be used to make some furniture, but mainly shingles, fence posts and the like, because it takes forever to rot, even if buried in a peat bog. I have what is called a "car deck" ceiling in my house (built in the late 50's) that is made up of 4" by 6" Tongue & Groove planks of cedar that would probably not be available to build with now because of the scarcity & cost. The only furniture I have is a small chest someone made as a High School shop project. I keep linen in it and the cats think it their personal scratching post. It will have to be reskinned eventually.

    Our local tribes called the Cedar "the tree of life" because it gave them so many things. Yes the bark is kinda hairy/woolie, and would weave well. Google the above names and you'll get "the rest of the story"
    barb
     
  13. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Re: Updated information on the "Serendipitous Happening"

    Right got it. That is the stuff my house is covered in. Very different to our cedar which is fine grained and is rare now as they have removed somuch of itin the past years.

    Liz
     
  14. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Updated information on the "Serendipitous Happening"

    Shows the danger inherent in using inaccurate English names. Cedar should really only be used to refer to Cedrus species.

    It would be nice to know, and start promoting for widespread use, the indigenous Samish name for Thuja plicata. Using it would make a lot more sense than calling the species something that it isn't.
     
  15. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Updated information on the "Serendipitous Happening"

    Interesting (to me, at least) that this tree is a relative new-comer to the region, appearing only around 4-5000 years b.p...First Nations have been here longer, and experienced the gradual arrival of this new plant, which proceeded to colonize moist valley bottoms. Instructive, perhaps, their wholesale embrace of a plant that was, at one point in the human history of the coast, an 'alien' species. Imagine if they'd decided to pull 'em...

    The local Salish name is "Homus" (spelling varies widely). However, the Samish name will only be particular to the Salishan regions: many distinct language groups are found along relatively short stretches of coast. So...the promotion of the indigenous name (laudable in theory) may in fact be a step backwards, and sow confusion. The name would be one thing in the south, another in the central region, different again in the north, and, with the Makah and Quilete forming a distinct language group to the west, yet another thing 40 miles to the west.
     
  16. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Re: Updated information on the "Serendipitous Happening"

    woodschmoe,
    You certainly have a great fund of information, and you are right. Our Doug Firs aren't true firs, our West. Red Cedars aren't true cedars and on it goes......
    Do you know Rosie Cayou James or Dave Blackinton, members of the Samish Nation here in Anacortes? These are the people that were involved in the tree hunt.
     
  17. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Updated information on the "Serendipitous Happening"

    Hi Barbara,

    I'm sorry I don't know the Samish people you mention: I live in B.C., and most of my First nations friends/acquaintances are Salish or Nuu-chah-nulth. I've gone bark stripping a few times, though; you get an eye for cedars with long stretches of bark uninterrupted by branches, and I'm always amazed at how soft the inner bark becomes when it is worked.
     

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