Tulip poplar blooms, Liriodendron tulipifera. They bloom at the same time as the black locusts in the woods here.
From left to right: Yucca cordage, hemp cordage, and a test piece of triple-plied linen with beeswax on it. Below is a set of honey locust thorns turned into needles, strung onto an old piece of dogsbane cord.
I've made and used honey locust needles before; specifically, to weave twine through the coils of a coil basket. These have some "hard as nails" I borrowed from my dad's fly tying stash painted onto them, so they should last longer than the ones i've worked with in the past.
All the cordage is hand-twisted, and all is two-ply aside from the linen. I tried rasping a bit of beeswax onto the linen, just to see how it worked out. (the dogs chewed up my candle, so it's good to have something to use the remnants for). Making triple-ply cord by hand is difficult, but it's a higher-quality finished product than double ply, being both more aesthetically pleasing and physically stronger. I just have to learn how to do it without getting frustrated lol.
The left photo above is the recent finely-plied yucca next to a bit of yucca i made several months ago. The right is some hemp i made a few months ago as well, next to a bigger set of hemp i made recently (and cleaned up with a lighter, hence the color/texture difference)
Definitely happy to see improvement!
And one last photo! Clockwise from the left: in-progress hemp, some tulip poplar from several months ago, dogsbane from a cordage class (has to have been well over a year ago now, dang...) and the old yucca cord.
I've heard of the tulip poplar's relative, basswood, being used for cordage, and considering I've messed around making string with it before I even knew the ins and outs of cordage, I do want to try to make some proper *strong* cord with it someday.
I wish i still had the photo of the cedar bark cordage i made, it's now all twisted up into a coil basket i made with japanese stiltgrass. I used relatively weak inner bark from a long-dead tree, but it was still soooo pretty all wrapped up for storage, and it was great practice considering i made a *lot* of it.
Big Leaf a Day update
13: Tulip poplar, Oakland near the Cathedral of Learning
14: Basswood aka American linden, Frick Park
15: Sycamore, Barking Slopes
Tulip poplar poster from the Big Leaf A Day series. Collected from the University of Pittsburgh campus. 2022.
Where we were at, as of 3/25.
Rue anemone: Lightly pink. Abundant.
Tulip poplar: Leaves smol. Flower buds tight & hard. Nectar flow still a ways off.
In the Forest
A flower of the Tulip Poplar tree (Liriodendron tulipifera). Giants of our native forests, the tulip poplar’s flowers are often 100 feet (30 meters) or more in the air. I feel privileged to have come upon a relative youngster in bloom with a single branch bent close enough to the Earth for me to catch this photo.
New Jersey, June 3, 2020.
Photo by @mellowcat-artist all rights reserved.
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Tulip from a tulip poplar.