Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I was incensed!

It's always a pleasure to split Incense Cedar for firewood. It not only splits easily and makes good kindling, it has a great fragrance and is home to the Wood Wasp, a fascinating insect.
The Wasp in the top photo is not quite an adult and was fairly immobile when I picked it out of the crack made by my mall. The second photo is of an adult that was about to emerge from the log, but was still soft and weak. It wiggled its legs while I was photographing it, but it wasn't able to crawl away. Probably needed another week or so inside the log to gain strength. The bottom two photos are of the aesthetically pleasing results of a fungus that grows inside the living cedar trees. When they are cut, the fungus growth stops. Then the cedar makes great lumber that is long lasting and pest resistant. By the way, the Wood Wasps lay their eggs in cedar logs just after forest fires. They're seldom seen except by loggers and fire fighters, and curious naturalists. The act of drilling a hole an inch or so into a log to lay its eggs is a spectacular show I've seen a couple of times.

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