Sunday, December 5, 2010

yellow (or not, depending on your screen)

I burn quite a lot of Osage orange. My wood man saves it for me (or palms it off on me, whichever) because I have stoves, and it's dangerous to burn in a fireplace even with a screen, because it pops like crazy, throwing sparks everywhere. It's a reasonably good heat-producing wood, not as good as oak and ash, but better than fruit woods, and there's a lot of it around here, because early settlers planted it as a hedge. It makes good fence posts, because once it has cured it's hard as a rock and rot resistant, but that means that as firewood, you can't split it except when it's green, so it's not a favorite firewood even with people who have stoves.

It's called Osage orange not because the wood is orange, though it often is, but because the fruits, which stay green, are large and round and have a rumply-bumply skin rather like a navel orange. The color of the wood varies from light to dark, but I've never seen this bright yellow before. I was amazed.

And once again blogger desaturates color. I'm looking at the screen, sitting beside a small pile of it, and that's not it! What you see above is to the real color as banana-yellow is to lemon-yellow. Oh, well, at least the textures and composition are pretty.


  1. I'm sorry the colour didn't come through very well - I would have liked to see it.

    Speaking of fence posts, we are burning tamarack in our stove right now. We de-constructed (is that a real word?) an old fence, and cut the fence posts into fire wood. Nice heat and burns for a long time. Tamarack makes good fence posts, but everything wears out eventually, right?

  2. I like the texture of the photo and yes, it is too bad the colour didn't come through.

    Finally fixed my problem and can post again on your blog :)

  3. When I first saw these pieces of wood, I thought they'd been stained with something. (Some of the oak has orange spray paint on the bark from whoever marked it to cut.) Closer inspection proved it to be natural color. I'm enjoying looking at it.

    Yes, everything wears out. (Just ask my joints about that.)

    Welcome back to visibility, Reb!

  4. Just a fun aside... we used to groom an orange colored English setter named Osage. The owners were SO suprised that I knew the tree... they don't grow this far north. Anyway, great name for a dog. Much like the wood, she was hard headed and snappy!

  5. Never met an Osage, Daryl. Many a WIllow, and even a Hickory, but no Osage.

  6. So neat! I hadn't heard of this. I'll have to show this blog post to my boyfriend; he loves trees and knows all about them so I'm sure he'd be super interested in learning about Osage orange.