March 13, 2013
Yes, lilac. There are some old lilacs (at least forty years) in front of the house and sometimes an older branch will fall off due to exhaustion, ants, old age, all of these. Such a branch was on the ground this March, thick for lilac at almost two inches. It called me.
First, I noticed the purple heartwood, and that it was very hard wood. I guess it’s a cousin of olive. Then I learned a little about ants, when I had run the thickest part through the table saw I saw them, still frozen in the saw dust, slowly shake off the cold and start to stagger around. Carpenter ants. The wood has a very distinct smell, not exactly like the flower but somehow related. There are still ant tunnels in the handle.