June 25, 2007 at 10:18 pm #3106
I’m wondering if anybody – especially those near Alaska – have access to what is called “Diamond Willow” which is a wonderful wood for walking-sticks.
I was once told that it grows only in Alaska – but wonder if it doesn’t grow elsewhere.
I have put off getting or making a “fancy-dancy” walking stick for many years as I’ve been waiting for the Creator to see that I get a Dwillow, but now I have a friend who crafts many NA articles – and I would love to find him a supply as he has made my Canunpa with much love and I would like to return the favor.
I have also heard of a “birds-eye maple” being used … and he was asking about the twisted woods for sticks … I would rather set him up with Diamond Willow – but will consider any affordable avenue. ThanksJune 25, 2007 at 10:18 pm #27170
Immediately after making the above post, I googled Diamond Willow – don’t know why it has taken me so long to do that – and found that it is not a species of willow but instead is a fungus that glombs on to other willow – reportedly in boggy areas around 4000ft (it said foothill elevation – that’s foothill to me). I did see some possible suppliers online – but still invite those here to respond as I prefer to keep my circle closeknit and wellknit.
ThanksJune 25, 2007 at 10:18 pm #27189
Hey Dan, I don’t know about the fungus thingy but, we look at Diamond willow as a distinct type of willow because what grows next to it has no fungus.
It grows the willow on the east side of the Rockies, here I am about 2 hrs from the base and it grows here aswell.
I have seen this made into lamps and many other items, it usually has large diamonds in the grain, and is understand it is from a twig breaking off.
In the northern part of Canada it creates large stands and there is a highly sought after fungus that grows on it, that particular faungus is used as a smudge, like sweet grass.
The tallest that I have seen it grow is around 25 feet high and that is the branched crooked tree, for a walking stick it could be possible to get them as much as 6-7 feet maybe, I did see some people in a air port once and the crowd went wild over these things, why I have no idea but they got a lot of attention, and yes the people that did have them were coming back from Alaska.
I have no idea if I can get them across the border for you or not (I live in Canada).
Maybe!, if I cross the 49th maybe then, but I’ll ask around.
PS. I have no idea if the Montana Blackfoot are continuing with thier projects, but remember the Blackfoot here are Eastern Siouan and seperate from the Montana and the Blackfoot Sioux from the Dakotas.
The only similarity is the name.
Thanx for the question.June 25, 2007 at 10:18 pm #27204
And thanks for the response. I’m at the 45th. Yes, I realize the Blackfoot out here/up there (MT/ID/CA borders) are different. I just googled them up and did not see their website which has “threerivers” in it somewhere.
There seems to be a run on walking sticks lately. My town has 7 miles of trinket & bauble shops – and only one shop where you can buy a shirt! Every bauble shop has at least three walking-sticks for sale. I will suppose it is a “new yuppie” thing. I have lived thru the “Back to the Land”, the “Health Food”, the “Back to Basics”, the “Mother Earth”, the “Let’s make health food commercially” and the “Banana Republic is Good” movements – I don’t know where this “Back to the Walking Stick” movement is coming from.June 25, 2007 at 10:18 pm #27218
Probably from the fact that more and more babyboomers (of which I am one) are aging and prefer to have something stable to hang onto…without using a metal thingamabob that makes them look old. I have my own walking stick for tramping through the woods to keep me upright…LOL.
And yep, we are growing our own garden this year because of wanting more food that has no chemicals on it…as we as people grow more and more allergic to our environment. And I have added supplements to my diet since I am in that “meno” state…..refuse to take fake hormones.June 25, 2007 at 10:18 pm #27225
Well, for those who haven’t used a walking-stick, they’re great for uphills, great for downhills and great for sidehilling especially. Downhill and Sidehill is really rough on the toes and the outside edge of the foot and the stick takes the pressure off. Even on flat-ground, they’re good to lean on … but it’s kinda hard to get a good gait going unless you’re doing long distance where a sustained but comfortable gait is important. Some walking is better if you can pump your arms and the stick prevents that to an extent.
Kudos on the garden – I lived so long in Wyoming I got out of touch with it – no corn … no tomatoes hardly ever … no cabbage. Onions and Peas. Lots and lots of peas. Too cold all thru the year but too hot in summer daytimes – not enough rain, etc. Depends on elevation as to what you can try – but oh well, we run apartments for a living … no garden space and no control of sun-exposure.
Send me a ‘mater?June 25, 2007 at 10:18 pm #27237
walking sticks have been around forever, no doubt our first tool.
I personally use a spade shovel!
if I am working I am walking and a spade shovel is also my other hand.
As I have posted previously, I mine a stone for an income, that stone is most always found on rigid lopes that are an easy 60 degree angle.
The spade has been a real life saver many times, both to dig the stone and to dig a place to rest, also as a “brake” on the way down if need be.
I use ice climbing spikes on my boots, knee pads, duc tape around my calves to keep my jeands from being torn by the spikes,a back pack and shovel- gloves etc, really an odd job but very rewarding.
If I am just hiking which I enjoy, I’ll use anything that is handy.
I would suggest a nice length of river cane if I was in the south, just cover the bottom end with a small metal or wood cap and the same on the top, light as a feather and very durable., I find that some walking sticks can be just to heavy, cane is great stuff.June 25, 2007 at 10:18 pm #27240
I would be interested to know, Tom, what stone you mine – but if that’s none of my affair … that’s fine (or, you can PM me) – I spent time in geophysics and geology for oil, gold, silver, copper and coal – a glorified ground-pounder myself, and surveyor, and computer op.
I have found that there are four hardwoods available to me here near the Oregon coast – and I am soon off to discover them. Red Alder, Black Cottonwood, Big-Leaf Maple and White-Oak. These are what I will search for to satisfy my friend’s needs … and to build my own stick ’til you come down out of Candy, eh? Don’t forget me – I will gladly trade what I can for a true diamond-willow staff. I don’t own much – but like what I own … if there is such a thing as owning anything.
I enjoy your comments on this and other matters – especially as I delve thru the archives.
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