Bark is an essential aspect of any tree, protecting the delicate flow of life up and down the thin cambium layer that lies just under it. A branch flute aught to honor and include that important aspect of the tree, if it can. In this Arroyo Willow (Salix lasiolepis) branch flute, much of the bark has been left on, from the outer, grey colored bark to the coffee colored inner bark, transitioning to the exposed grain of the wood. Measuring 20 1/2" in length, with four tuning holes, it is tuned to a clear, sweet and bright, mid-range F# pentatonic scale, playing three upper octave notes. A few small knot holes and bark crevices have been inlaid with turquoise. Elk lacing with turquoise and horn bone beads holds the bird to the nest, the bird fitted with a redwood shoe to aid against wetout. The branch for this flute was gathered sustainably, with love, respect and gratitude, along San Marcos Creek, in San Diego County, CA amongst a wild grove of Arroyo Willow trees. California Indians found many uses for the wonderful willow tree, including bows, baskets, shelters, clothing, fish traps and medicines derived from salicin in the willow's bark, the original aspirin.
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