Sometimes my firewood delivery includes some wood that I prefer not to burn. A few months ago the last load included some spalted something: I’m really not sure what tree this was from, it’s so spectacularly eaten. Here’s a bit of a slightly less munched log:
I ought to burn it if only to reduce the number of grubs and beetles that might still be lurking in it, waiting to make their way to better-quality material in reserve for carving. Or my workshop roof.
These logs were on the way out. Full of big holes eaten away by burrowing creatures, patches of soft fibrous white rot, and crumbly brown rot. But spalting can be beautiful, making swirling lines and patterns, and contrasting colours. The interleaving, revealing, maze of vacant tunnels lead into and out of the wood, little squints into its heart.
Some of this dying wood would be just right for an elderly, crotchety, worn out cannibal fork that’s come to the end of its life almost before it’s started. It’s a poor old thing.