Last Sunday was a glorious day and Mother Nature was beckoning - I very much needed to get out of the house. One of my favorite things to do is gather driftwood and we have one of the best offerings right out our back door. The lake side of Shasta Dam is covered with it, particularly in the winter months before they remove the flotilla of wood backed up against the dam. One of the best features of the driftwood is how gnarly it is. Because it hasn’t washed for miles and miles in tumbling surf, it maintains far more of its character, and yet is still rounded and sanded down by its travels from the tributaries of the lake. I know Whiskeytown Lake also has wonderful driftwood and I have found it in the Sacramento River as well, so I am guessing one would find it on any large reservoir or lake with a good current.
Collecting this year was a bit more difficult than some, because the lake is still low, requiring a bit of a hike. Not too bad getting to the wood (although the rocks make it a little rough going), but carrying out 50 pound loads is another story! For the most part, we only need small pieces to add to arrangements, but it is impossible to leave the bigger pieces behind – they are fabulous additions to the gardens, and sometimes just what we need to use as a smacker for a Christmas tree. So, if it has character and we can pick it up, it comes home!