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(P) 1.800.667.2275 (W) www.westwindhardwood.com, www.flooringgallery.ca (E) info@westwindhardwood.com
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april 2009


Forest Facts:

A Different Look For Each Season - Spring

In the Northern Hemisphere spring officially begins at 1:32 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 20, 2010—the vernal equinox, or spring equinox. It is annually celebrated by the children of Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico. They enjoy a parade through the streets, culminating in the crowing of the King and Queen.

Quote of the Month:


I believe in the forest, and in the meadow, and in the night in which the corn grows.

~ Henry David Thoreau

West Wind Hardwood Newsletter images
West Wind Hardwood Newsletter images
West Wind Hardwood Newsletter images
West Wind Hardwood Newsletter images


  latest news
Lie-Nielsen TOOLWORKS – Hand Tool Event
lie-nielsen Friday, May 7: Noon – 6 PM
Saturday, May 8: 10AM – 5PM

Located At West Wind Hardwood
5-10189 McDonald Park Road, Sidney, BC

Visit our website for more information.
Follow Us on Twitter

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
—Ken Olson, President,
Chairman Founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977

Between and betwixt the old and the new. Join us in the twitter revolution and give it a try. I will try to be both entertaining and informative. Follow our tweets.
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Welcome to Miles Lim and Warren Ohl


Warren (right) is back by popular demand........well only for the summer, but Miles Lim (left) is new to our team and a
soon-to-be Parkland Grad of 2010. He enjoys outdoor activities as MBXing, fishing and camping, with future plans for travel. We are hoping he enjoys his work life at West Wind before moving on too quickly.
Miles Lim Warren

New Lumber

  • Butternut
  • Tupelo
  • Basswood
  • Yellow Cedar
  • Ash – 3" thick
  • Teak 1" & 2"
  • 25mm (1") Meranti Marine Plywood
  • Skateboard Kits - ShortBoard
Visit our New Arrivals Picture Gallery
feature story



As Romina Falbi Franzoni said so eloquently in our February 2009 newsletter, Mexico is "More than Beaches, Tequila & Mariachi", and she has every reason to be a proud Mexican as a student completing her Business Degree at Royal Roads University, Victoria BC, however, Jan and I also find Mexico irresistible with its many facets:  the culture, the people, the language, the food…and of course, the weather!!

Combine our admiration for Mexico and Jan's need to document 'things' digitally, we are always on the lookout for 'tree or wood' photos; be it a tree growing in the wilds, commercially milled lumber or someone's personal 'stash' in their backyard. If you see something mislabeled, or would like to share you Mexican 'wood' experiences, send me an e-mail at shelley@westwindhardwood.com.  I offer a random selection to share with you and invite you to visit our picture gallery.

Sayulita Lumber Yard wood lathe

Sayulita Lumber Yard – Pine Stock (left)
Wood Lathe in Yelapa (right)

Mexico has some of the most interesting forests in the world, and one quarter (55 million hectares) of its total land areas is rich in temperate and tropical forests.  The country possesses 1.3 percent of the world's total forest resource, with one-quarter of Mexico's total land area classified as forest lands, according to the World Forestry Institute.  The country boasts the highest number (50%) of all known pine and oak species in the world.

We have traveled to Mexico each year since 2001 with the majority of our travels within a 200 km radius of Sayulita, Nayarit (40 km north of Puerto Vallarta).  These adventures have taken us high into the cloud forests of San Sebastian del Oeste – 1300 km high in the Sierra Madre Mountains, through the volcanic landscapes near Compostela and Tepic, and into tropical jungles of the coast and the higher agricultural inland plateaus.

Cloud ForestCeboruco Volcano Lava Flows

Cloud Forest near San Sebastian del Oeste, Jalisco – March 2005 (left)
Ceboruco Volcano Lava Flows – between Compostela and Ixtlan del Rio, Nayarit – March 2009

Of particular interest on our recent holiday was a day trip out to Presa Cajon de Peña; a beautiful lake surrounded by the towering peaks of the Sierra Madre mountain range and nestled snugly inside of the lush tropical jungle.  Here, not only did we see firsthand a watershed worthy of protection, but we passed the personal wood stash of a local tradesman.  We stopped the car and in my best 'classroom' Spanish, I told the wife – who was busily hand washing the family laundry in her front yard – that my husband was a carpenter and was much excited over the pile of wood she was standing beside.  She told me her husband also was a carpintero and that this was his wood.  She called it 'brazil wood', and then kept pointing to her heart and saying 'corazón' (heart).  My Spanish was too limited to determine if she was saying it was the heartwood that her husband valued, or that this wood was valued and dear to them for some other reason.  It was one of those awkward moments where we just smiled and nodded our heads; neither of us ever really knowing whether we had come to a mutual understanding, and such are travels made from these cherished moments.

mexican-woodmexican beach

Brazilwood  - March 2010 (left)
Presa Cajon de Peña – March 2010 (right)


This wood fascinated me to the point of pursuing a reasonable identification.  My searches lead me to Wayne’s Word Website – An On-Line Textbook of Natural History.  If Wayne P. Armstrong’s (Spring 1992) research is credible, my 'Brazilwood' is actually Mexican Logwood or Palo de Brasil – Haematoxylum brasiletto – a small, spiny tree with a deeply-fluted or corrugated trunk.  Similar to Belize logwood of the 'potent red dye' fame, it is reputed to have many qualities including medicinal, a wonderful 'green' flame when used as firewood and a beautiful colour for joinery work.

While enjoying these day trips and over-night excursions, we have had glimpses of how important wood plays into the Mexican economy.  Remarkably, 80% of Mexico's forests are owned and managed by about 8,000 communities, mostly composed of indigenous people. Some of the greatest social, ecological and economic benefits provided by the country's forests consist of environmental services, notably watershed protection, but like the majority of the world's forests, Mexico's forests are suffering modern-day pressures.   

There are a number of positive actions aimed at slowing deforestation and improving reforestation. Linking forestry to environmental services, including ecotourism, would be a strategic move.  Communities that have depended on forestry potentially could diverse their income through tourism; much like we see here in British Columbia.  But until environmental tourism can prove its resilience, age-old practices will continue as a way of life. Additionally, other "non-timber" value-added products include botanicals, artisan food products, mushrooms and bottle-spring water are increasing in commercial value.

The United Nations Forum on Forests has officially launched the 2011 International Year of Forests to bolster efforts that will promote sustainable management, conservation and development of forests worldwide; serving as a platform for significant pledges in support of forests worldwide.  The UN has said that dedicating 2011 to be the UN international Year of Forests would be a celebration of the importance forests play in everyday life.  West Wind will be honouring 2011...stay tuned to twitter to find out how.

(P) 1.800.667.2275 (W) www.westwindhardwood.com, www.flooringgallery.ca (E) info@westwindhardwood.com
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