Re: NANFA-- stick glued to a rock???
Sat, 25 Jan 2003 01:10:00 EST

I pick up a lot of drift wood from the beach and the river. Sometimes I pick
up tiny pieces of wood just a few inches long but with twisted loops or
hollow places. Small pieces work really well in small tanks where you are
trying to give the impression of size in a small package. Sometimes I even
pick up green tree stumps, hollow pieces of wood that I find in fire wood. I
keep several 55 gallon drums that soak the green wood in until it is safe.
Sometimes this takes several years. I soak them until the bark gets loose and
then I remove all the bark and use a large drill bit to create large holes
that run through the wood. I always save hollow logs, they are such great
fish habitats it's worth the wait to cure them. At certain times of the year
millions of small pieces of wood wash up on certain parts of the beach. they
are worn smooth by waves and sand. I pick through the piles of these small
pieces and pick out the pieces with the best shapes. Sometimes the waves sort
them out by size and general shape. There is one beach that for some reason
seems to sort out pieces of brick dumped into the ocean for use as jetty
walls. The waves smooth and shape the bricks into interesting red pieces of
rock. I have even found several heart shaped pieces perfectly formed and
shaped in just one area of the beach. I soak all my wood so it sinks
naturally and drill as many holes in it as possible to increase the surface
area. Occasionally you find wood that sinks even when dry. Red oak is a very
heavy wood as is Crepe myrtle. Crape myrtle is heavy enough that is sinks
immediately and it's often strangely twisted and knotted. I scan the
neighborhood all the time looking for oaks, dogwoods and myrtle that have
been cut down and scavenge the good pieces. Collecting drift wood can be as
fun as collecting fish and can be done at the same time. I have slab of a
huge cypress tree I found at a construction site that was digging drainage
ditches to drain the swamp. the slab is about 2 feet by four feet and it came
up from at least 20 feet under the ground. No telling how old it is but I bet
it's hundreds of years old. I have one piece of elm wood that I've had for at
least 38 years. It was smooth and worn by water and sand and heavy and hard
when I found it. Now it's light as feather when dry and sinks almost
overnight when I put it in water. I never buy wood or rocks from pet shops,
it's too much fun collecting my own.

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