A Portrait of the Artist

I have often wondered about the creatures that live under the bark of my firewood carving strange patterns on the surface of the wood. Today I came face to face with one as I cut logs. It is the larva of some sort of beetle.

They seem to differ with the type of wood. This one is on wattle. The lines made are relatively wide and dense. On pine they are narrower and sparse. My favourites are the amazingly intricate patterns on macrocarpa.

I cut up dry branches from tree trimmings to add to my meagre store of firewood. Firewood is in short supply this year. The usual vendors are thin on the ground. The only order I have had accepted keeps getting postponed. Now it may be delivered “some time after Easter.” It will be green, and therefore not suitable for burning this winter. I think I have enough for three months if I’m careful. This is two or three months short of the normal time I have the stove going.

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