Monday, March 11, 2013
There are many types of cane plants. Probably one of the most common is "bamboo". As a child, I recognized similar plants in the family garden. When I first visited the Far East, I was amazed at the use of canes for scaffolding and other construction purposes. It is very inexpensive, surprisingly strong, and widespread. One particular use I remember was for making structures, called "fishing stakes". I came across these when in charge of a small tug without a working compass, searchlight, or adequate chart. These were light structures in the channel between Malaysia and Sumatra, which we were navigating overnight. On each side of the channel were fishing stakes of bamboo, which we fortunately avoided hitting on a moonless night. Have you ever chewed sugar cane? I have, although nowadays I avoid more sugar than the limited amount in my diet. Blackberries and raspberries, etc. grow on a different type of cane. Then there is the cane used in furniture. It's a very versatile.family of plants, but when we speak of canes, we mostly visualize the thin flexible type, such as those used in corporal punishment. Then there is another use of canes--more about this next week.