Lanning Woods

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James Parton
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Lanning Woods

Post by James Parton » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:46 pm

ENTS,

Early last year while working on the LED line at GE Lighting Systems, co-worker James Lanning came by on a fork lift truck and told me of a forest with some nice pines and numerous holly trees and invited me on a walk into his forest to check out the trees. Well last Thursday, just before Christmas we finally done it.

I met James at the Auto Advantage car lot and then followed him to his home, located between Fletcher and Mountain Home. James also wanted to show me his weapon collection and hiking staffs/shillelaghs. I had brought many of my knives, a tomahawk, a Celtic short sword and my hiking staff to show him. He has some really nice weapons including two nice Samurai swords! Before examining the weapons we took a walk around his yard while he showed me his trees, standing stones and his hearth/forge. James is what I call a " Hedge Druid ". One that does not belong to a druid order and/or has not taken a druid course but has all the makings of a druid, including the reverance of nature and druid-like studies. He is truly a learner!

After our weapons discussions we headed out into the forest behind his house. He had a rough cut trail leading into a very young forest. He said he remembered it being a large garden when he was very young, 20 to 25 years ago. Today it is dominated by Pitch, Virginia and White pines as well as Alder, Maple,Tuliptree and American Holly. It also has a little clearing which reminds me of the clearing where the ents met in Fangorn Forest ( JRR Tolkien, LOTR ). The ground is boggy in places and also has a nice little pond which he plans to develop a little. Afterwards we headed deeper into the forest past his " Avatar " bridge into trees that are older and taller.

Heading across a creek located in a ravine we crossed into deeper areas of the forest. He was right about the holly trees. They are everywhere. The understory is green with them but most are small trees. However I saw two of decent size. One of them measured in at over 45 feet tall. The holly is more common here than rhodo!

One thing I noticed about the forest was it is choked in invasives and vines. Oriental Bittersweet and Multiflora Rose are all too common. Then there is Blackberry and Poison Ivy. It makes getting around difficult in some areas.

Heading up a hill we measure more trees including Yellow Poplar ( Tuliptree ), White Pine and Shortleaf Pine. Virginia and Pitch Pines are common here too. We also find Maple and various Oak trees. We also found Hornbeam, which the Native Americans used to make their war clubs out of. James Lanning found that really interesting.

Reaching the summit we found the standing trunk of an old dead White Pine. It had probably been the King of the Hill before it died. It was over 10 feet in circumference.

Heading back down we measure more pines and tuliptrees while wading through multiflora rose and sawbriars. Before crossing the creek again James hollered " Look at this! " It was a Tuliptree with a Holly reiteration growing outward/upward out of its base. It looked like the holly had a poplar limb! This is one, if not the best tree fusion I have seen yet. The Tuliptree had completely grown around the Holly, totally enveloping it's base. The holly appeared healthy and had grown upward beside the tulip to about 20 feet. However they were a slight amount of rot on the holly's trunk a little above where it grew out of the tulip. But otherwise it looked healthy. I just wonder how long the struggling holly will live before it is choked off by the tulip. Trees of the same species can and often fuse to form single trees but I don't think different species can do this. But I might be wrong.

Heading out of the forest we pass through numerous Crabapple trees which are very common here.

Heading back out into James's yard I measure his Hawthorn tree which turns out to be a little over 21 feet tall and a big multi-stemmed Maple. Upon first seeing it I guessed it as a Silver Maple but looking at the fallen leaves under the tree I believe it to be a Red Maple. It measures 15' 8 1/4" cbh and 63.7 feet tall, but the tree has multiple tops and I may have not found the exact highest point. Trees like this are always hard to measure for me. It's largest individual stem is 6' 7 1/2" cbh. I also measured the maple at its narrowest point. Only 1.5 feet above the ground for the main girth measurement.

Afterwards I had to leave for a friend's house for a Christmas visit but I thank(ed ) James for inviting me to accompanying him into the woods he grew up with. I hope to get him into ENTS as soon as he gets him a computer and internet connection. I believe he would be a good asset to us!

Overall, the forest was not overly spectacular and the trees lacked great height. The whites looked pretty good from ground level but turned out to not be that tall. Many trees commonly reached 100 feet but I measured none over 112.8 feet tall. Some taller ones are probably there but few probably exceed 120. Still, I had a great time and a day in the woods is always better than a day at work! The " Holly limbed Tuliptree " was an unusual bonus!

Check out the measurements and photos! The " Holly limbed Tuliptree " one is a higher resolution photograph.
Measurements.jpg
Attachments
Hollies.JPG
James & Tall Holly.jpg
White Pines.JPG
James & 8ft5inWP.JPG
Holly limbed Tuliptree!.JPG
TulipHolly!.jpg
Poplar Holly!.JPG
James, Story & Big Red Maple.JPG
James's Red Maple.JPG
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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Marcas
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Re: Lanning Woods

Post by Marcas » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:06 am

Nice tree's James Lanning looks proud and he should be.
Who speaks for the Trees? WE ALL DO!

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James Parton
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Re: Lanning Woods

Post by James Parton » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:43 am

Marcus,

James is a quite " treeish " fellow. He has quite a love for trees and forests and he probably does have some pride in his " home woods ".
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: Lanning Woods

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:16 pm

Is this his property, or just a grove near his house?

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James Parton
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Re: Lanning Woods

Post by James Parton » Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:43 pm

Part of it is his property and part of it is on both private and state land. Forests know only natural boundaries.
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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James Parton
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Re: Lanning Woods

Post by James Parton » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:33 am

James just sent me a picture of his hawthorn in full bloom! Check it out.
Attachments
James Lanning's Hawthorn.jpg
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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gnmcmartin
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Re: Lanning Woods

Post by gnmcmartin » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:08 am

James:

Do you know how the "real" Samurai swards were made? I saw an account of this many years ago on Jackob Brownowski's series on PBS called "The Ascent of Man." It was a very elaborate process controlled by ritual, and produced the finest blade made up until, and maybe even including, modern times. It started with the selection of the proper iron, and then the billet was folded over, and over, and over and pounded out again and again--enough times so that the blade had 20,000 layers of steel/carbon. The process went on from there in truly astounding ways to produce something truly amazing. I would like to see one of those swords close-up some day and be able to handle it. A true ancient Samurai sword in good condition must be worth many tens of thousands of dollars.

--Gaines

Joe

Re: Lanning Woods

Post by Joe » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:41 am

gnmcmartin wrote:James:

Do you know how the "real" Samurai swards were made? I saw an account of this many years ago on Jackob Brownowski's series on PBS called "The Ascent of Man." It was a very elaborate process controlled by ritual, and produced the finest blade made up until, and maybe even including, modern times. It started with the selection of the proper iron, and then the billet was folded over, and over, and over and pounded out again and again--enough times so that the blade had 20,000 layers of steel/carbon. The process went on from there in truly astounding ways to produce something truly amazing. I would like to see one of those swords close-up some day and be able to handle it. A true ancient Samurai sword in good condition must be worth many tens of thousands of dollars.

--Gaines
Yup, then the Samurai could go out and cut some people with those fine swords.
Joe

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James Parton
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Re: Lanning Woods

Post by James Parton » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:57 am

Gaines,

Yes, I have read how they were made. James Lanning and I talk of swords and other pre-firearm weapons quite often. They are quite fascinating!

I have a shield I made a number of years back. It is in the Scottish style ( A Targe ). It is painted green with a hammered metal central boss, the body of the shield is wood. A painted on triskle ( Three armed spiral ) radiates from the boss to rim. Names of trees in gaelic are painted along the outside rim on both front and back. A painted leaf is panted on the rear of the shield between the two handles. It looks pretty cool! The triskele, gaelic tree names and leaf are painted in brown.

When Asheville had a renaissance faire I would dress up and carry my shield, sword and sometimes my battle axe. I wore chain mail on one occaison! I was " Seumas An Uaine " that is " James the Green " in Scottish gaelic if I have it translated right. We have not had a ren faire here since 2005 but I still enjoy the two local Scottish Highland Game festivals that we have locally. But lately they have gotten so expensive to go to.

As a druid, I often get into conversations with others about Celtic culture and ancient weapons. And yes, trees! Druids adore oaks! remember? ~laughing~!!
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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gnmcmartin
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Re: Lanning Woods

Post by gnmcmartin » Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:48 pm

James:

I used to go the the Virginia Scottish games in Alexandria. VA every year. I loved the athletic competitions. I used to throw the discus in HS--I set my school record and it stood for 25 years after. But, of course, that is Greek, not Scottish. I did also put the shot, which may have had Scottish origins in "putting the stone." The caber toss is simply mind-boggling. I have always loved Scottish fiddle music.

Do you remember the movie--many years ago--called Wee Geordi (not sure of the spelling of the name)--about a young oversized Scotsman who became an Olympic champion hammer thrower? Alastair Sim had a wonderful part in it as a local clergyman--it was a kind of romantic comedy and I want very much for my wife to see it. But the movie has disappeared--can't find it anywhere on DVD. Anyway, I am a Scotsman, but I have never learned any Gaelic, or done any cultural recreation activities. But I did, for a while, try to learn Scottish fiddle playing.

--Gaines

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