Happy Squirrels, Happy Furniture Makers

I took my workshop helper, Pip, out for his morning walk today. We were in Saltoun Big Wood, East Lothian, which is close to my workshop. Pip loves it in there. He’s a border terrier, so he was off springing over fallen branches and sniffing around in the undergrowth for who knows what. And as we walked, I was looking at the ground too, staggered at the number of acorns covering the path. It’s a mast year this year. That’s a year of incredible forest abundance, and they happen now and again on a rhythm that no one really understands. It’s great news for the small animals of the forest who can gorge themselves right now and store the rest for leaner times in deep winter.

It’s a cheering thought that even in the autumn of the year, with vegetation dying back and creatures hunkering down for the coming winter, nature can provide. The squirrels will be having a field day, and good luck to them. Naturally, being a wood worker and furniture maker, I’m looking at those acorns and thinking not of food but of timber! Some of those acorns will indeed grown into mighty oaks providing magnificent timber for us, and the thought that “nature can provide” applies just as well here. Wood is infinitely sustainable, and a very “green” material. Nature does indeed provide, and with just a little responsible management we can all benefit.

Acorns on a fallen branch

Pip looks up as I hold a fallen Oak branch clustered with acorns.