I knocked the back of a hatchet with the back of an axe, and split into that big red cedar crosscut that I've had in my yard for the past year. I was pleased to see a trickle of water seeping from the cut as I forced the hatchet's blade deeper into the wood.
"Good," I thought. "Still good and green." It is important to keep the wood wet when working with traditional PNW tools and methods-- these were designed for wet wood. Puget Sound's weather did most of that for me, but there were a few times last summer when I hosed this wood down. One more hard blow, resulting in a sharp *CRACK!* as the cedar broke open cleanly and evenly. No wonder this wood is so utilized and so prized. The Tree of Life. The grain is straight, but it's coarse, not tight- a male tree.
I plunked two nice little hunks into a bucket of water on my patio under the deck. One will become a frontlet, and the other is yet to be decided. The fragrance of fresh-cut cedar fills my back yard. I've left my studio door open to enjoy that fragrance even more-- there is nothing on earth to equal the scent of fresh-cut cedar. The bucket sits next to a bag of rawhide, which waits to be turned into drums and other things. Should be a productive summer.