When you make a conscious decision to leap from the top of a 18-foot tall tree stand (it’s a hunting thing) onto the top of a fox that’s walking by you’ve got to be prepared to live with the consequences of your actions. I suppose the first thing to consider is the drop. Eighteen feet doesn’t seem very long at all when you’re in an 18-foot canoe trying to negotiate the rapids on the upper Kennebec River, making your way downstream toward The Forks. The odd boulder that sticks up out of that fast moving water is eyeballing your centerline, intent on flipping you bumpkin over bean pot into the drink, and 18 feet starts to seem a little puny. Eighteen feet from that tree stand seat down to the donut pile that you put there back in August in hopes of attracting a Maine black bear seems a bit on the short side too, and when said bear suddenly appears out of nowhere, right there taking a bite of the sweet stuff, you find yourself wishing that the ladder was more like a hundred and eighteen feet up. The bigger the bear, the closer it looks, believe me. Add to that the fact that they show up just before dark and the whole situation begins to get unfunny in a jiffy. So, when it’s time to launch the 165 pound human torso into vertical flight to land on Mr. Fox, it’s important to keep basic physics in mind:
1. 165 pounds times a flight distance of 18 feet, when multiplied by Vertigo’s Constant for Crater Magnitude, adjusting for degrees above the equator (using the handy charts in the back of my old Physics text book) yields a pre-impact velocity of 2,138.77 miles per hour, which would be your ideal speed in a frictionless atmosphere just prior to touching the ground (note that use of the phrase ‘touching the ground’ in no way reflects what may actually occur in terms of noise, vibration, or physical damage to subject or surrounding terrain).2. The time required to travel the 18 foot vertical flight distance at the velocity determined above (see 1), is able to be expressed in two distinct formats:A. In real time, your flight duration would be about a second.These sorts of things are all focused on the journey alone – so far we’ve only covered the path from tree stand to fox/ground. Hang with me here another minute or two and let’s think about what happens upon landing. As foreshadowed above we now can assume that some portions of your physical person may no longer be operating properly. When you land on the fox, all calculations show that the fox will provide negligible relief from the force of impact, so here you are, at peak velocity, involved in a close encounter with the surface of planet Earth. This rarely ends well, so let’s assume that you blow out both knees, and why not throw in a hip displacement for good measure. That’s just in phase I of the incident, as the ambulance personnel will refer to it. You’ve had an “incident.” In phase II, your upper body half flops to one side or the other, which explains why you also have a broken arm on one side. That’s quite a list of injuries; you’re in rough shape, and you’re 12 miles back in the woods, no cell phone, nobody else around, and as you lay there in the mud, trying to figure out which injury hurts the most you feel a cold, wet rain on your face, and you sense some movement over to your left – there he is. That fox is looking at you. You missed. He looks pretty calm. Good luck getting out of this one, Mr. Brain Trust.B. In perceived time, meaning the amount of time that seems to pass as you move downward (note the use of the verb ‘move’ here implies no real sense of emergency, sounding almost like you’re just out for a leisurely float downward through a comfortable air mass), you’ve got plenty of time to reflect upon the lapse of judgment you’ve just committed and a sort of running commentary flows through your mind. “Hmmm,” you think to yourself, “I should trim a couple of those branches next time I come out here, assuming I can get a wheelchair out to this tree,” and “well, here comes the ground, so I’d better pull a Sully and brace for impact,” and “Oops.”
And that, dear subscribers to the Brettuns Village Newsletter & Leather Deal Jamboree, is precisely why I made the decision to stay in the tree stand and just watch Mr. Fox walk around down there. A beautiful sight, and one of those things that my friend with the float plane would say was a gift from the woods of Maine. It felt like a gift – the fox hung around long enough for me to see how they go about their daily search for something to eat, and I enjoyed every second of it. No, maybe I didn’t have an opportunity to nock an arrow with that big buck’s name on it, but it still felt like a successful afternoon, and I was able to walk, not drag, myself out of the woods at dusk. That’s the hunting report for the season thus far.
I’m not sure if you’ve seen all the new leathers that we’ve posted on the website or not – it’s been so long since I gave birth to one of these newsletters that I can’t even remember all the new stuff. For starters, and I mention this because it’s a leather that many of you liked in the past and now it’s back for another run, we received a large shipment of horse leather hip strips, vegetable tanned, soft rolled, very large strips that we’re selling by the piece or in groups, as you see fit. This leather has been popular in the past with our customers who make straps and belts.
Butter Chap is a nice side leather that comes to us from right here in the USA. This is a nice brown color, soft, but still pretty thick, so it ended up with a name that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, which is just par for the course I guess.
Vegetable tanned tooling leather bellies have been a very popular item for us over the last few years; just got a new shipment, which we sell per strip or in groups, 6 to 8 oz in thickness, firm, and works great for your wet forming, carving, or tooling projects.
Looking for a firm temper side leather, chrome tanned/veg re-tanned, in a nice cognac color? Well, isn’t that a coincidence? We’ve got sides of Smooth Cognac, 5 oz, smooth, firm temper cowhide that’s the nicest looking leather we’ve had in here in a while.
As more and more of us get the idea that bison meat is lower in fat than some other choices at the market, bison production continues to increase across the country. This puts more bison hides into the pipeline, and that means more bison leather. We’ve got a nice pile of it, blacker than black, struck through, in sides that run about 18 sq ft on average. We’ve also got a few that we classified as ‘second quality’ thanks to some holes, scratches, or other problems, so you can save a little money on these.
Are you a suede person? Grew up wearing Hushpuppies, had a suede vest with fringe on it, got a suede hat on that class trip to New York City, and now, decades later, you wear a suede jacket on cool days and your favorite Seinfeld episode is on the one wear Elaine’s Dad sings “Master of the House” at the very end (because that’s the episode where Jerry has a suede coat with the lining – well, you know all about it already). Yeah, you’re a suede person alright. You may find it interesting to learn that we got a nice shipment of jet blacker-than-black cowhide sides in a beautiful suede texture. This is very nice leather, but it came to us at low cost so we’re selling it that way too. See the Suede Leathers page for these.
Furs: On the Hair-On Hides/Furs page we’ve added Nutria furs and Weasel furs, just in case your weasel is - well, look, there’s just no proper or good way to end that sentence so I’ll stop right here. The nutria furs look like beaver or muskrat and may help you get a project or two finished up.
Thread: Some new colors and thicknesses – more to add so may be worth checking it again over the coming week.
Enough already. Sorry to blather on so. Everything described above is posted on the site, if you need help finding it just shoot us an e-mail or you can call and leave a message; we’ll call you back within 16 to 20 weeks, or that’s how it seems anyway. We’re growing like a weed and doing our best to keep up with you, our customers, and appreciate your understanding of how we’re going through this transition from family-run hobby in the barn to a corporation in the thick of planning next years’ public offering. Hang with us, and we’ll continue to do our best to bring you great leather at good prices.
Have a great week – and don’t count the Red Sox out quite yet as there’s always the possibility of one or more teams getting the flu and needing an emergency stand in team. Ever hopeful. Oh, one more thing – stay in the tree stand and don’t even think about it.
Brettuns Village Leather