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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hiking and the Sea

I've spent the last few days hiking in Vermont wondering at the beauty of the natural world, the clear mountain lakes, the enduring granite peaks, and the endless forests. Occasionally I'd think about this blog and wonder how in the heck I'd connect all this deep woods wonder with the maritime world. Today I wandered through the bookstore and found the answer.

Oak: The Frame of CivilizationI haven't read it yet but flipping through the pages it certainly appears to be well written and interesting. Hey - any book whose preface talks about building the American navy, well, it has to be maritime. Of course any boatbuilder will tell you of the key role oak has played in shipbuilding. Sure, the King marked the pine for his masts, but what did they use for the keel? the knees? and the trunnels.

In addition to outlining the oak's role in boat construction and trade as well as it's other uses, certified arborist and former New York Times columnist William Bryant Logan also gives the scientific history of this magnificent tree. Certainly another addition to the Christmas list.

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