Wow – I’ve been away for most of the past two months! First, for my field season in South Africa, then a short personal trip to Australia, and most recently, nearly two weeks in China. The trip to China was for the International Wood Culture Symposium, where I was an invited speaker. I gave a talk on the economic botany of coast redwood. I also demonstrated the use of coast redwood in woodturning – a very interesting experience, indeed.
The China trip was also interesting in that it was totally focused on wood culture – that is, the use of wood in cultural traditions. The theme of the symposium was the family formerly known as Taxodiaceae, to which coast redwood belongs. This is an appropriate topic for a meeting held in China because the species of trees from this group dominates the wood culture of this country. It was interesting to be in a meeting where the talks were mostly presented in Chinese with simultaneous translation into English or Japanese. Several talks were presented in English, one was done in Japanese. It was truly an international event, and I was honored to be an invited speaker.
I attended a pre- and a post-conference tour – again, focused on wood culture. I have way too many pictures to post here, but you can check my personal blog for some glimpses into the things I saw in China.