Pontus beech – an enigmatic tree in western France

Pontus beech – the mystical tree of Brittany. France

We were interested in an unusual tree in the north-eastern part of France. In the forests of Broseliand in the province of Brittany a photographer photographed this amazing tree.

They call it Pontus Beech.

Pontus Beech on the map

We did not manage to find the exact coordinates and location, but the approximate data are

  • Geographical coordinates 48.017210, -2.188241
  • Distance from the French capital Paris is about 350 km
  • Distance to the nearest airport of Rennes about 35 km

The data is very approximate. If you know where Pontus Beech is actually located – please let us know

The tree is strikingly different from its neighbors. It doesn’t seem to be from here at all. It’s as if it was brought from some enchanted place or even from a parallel world. Well, it does not fit in the surrounding landscape.

Would you like to know about another incredible tree named (yes, by name) General Sherman? This tree is recognized as the heaviest tree in the world and grows in the kind of forest where they cut entire tunnels for cars in fallen trees.

Legends of Beech Pontus.

Of course, a plant as unreal as the Pontus Beech is shrouded in legends.

The most popular legend is this. Remember the knights of the round table? Well, one of those knights named Pontus lived in a castle, right on the very spot where the tree now grows. It was the 10th century. Pontus lived as a knight should – he had everything. Only the most important thing was missing. He had no children. The Almighty hadn’t given him any heirs. And for this, year after year, he angered, scandalized and insulted God. Such behavior made God angry, and one day Pontus’s entire castle was wiped out by a powerful hurricane. And as a lesson in its place grew a mighty tree.

Pontus’s beech – a friend among strangers

But there is one more legend. One day Prince Pontus fell in love with a daughter of the King of Britain Sidooine. The king liked Pontus and promised to marry his daughter to him. But the prince was not the only one who was in love with the beautiful Sidooine. Pontus was slandered by a certain court mate, Janellet.

The prince fell into disgrace and was forced to leave the castle and hide in the forest. For seven whole years he lived in the woods. In the meantime Janelet tries to find an approach to the princess, but she could not forget Pontus, and to all courtesies of the new-found gentleman she refuses. Then the treacherous scoundrel decides to find and kill Pontus.

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Janelet finds the prince and engages him in battle, which lasts for 12 days. The victory in the fight (as it is supposed in the legends) is won by the good in the person of Pontus. Soon it transpires that the prince was unjustly accused. The King gives his daughter in marriage to him. And in honor of his victory, Pontus plants a tree, which can now be seen in the works of the famous photographer Christophe Kiciak (in the original Christophe Kiciak).

Pontus's Book. Brittany

Kiciak later said that the tree is actually very difficult to get to and officially the part of the forest where it grows is private property.

A small remark. Christophe Kisyak is a famous man. He is famous for his surreal masterpieces created in photoshop. You can search the Internet – his work is usually shrouded in mystery and surrealism. In our humble opinion, the photographer may have used the power of a graphic editor to give Buk Pontus’ images a halo of mystique and mystery. But the result is superb, even if the photos are retouched.

By the way, the screensaver of Christophe’s Flikr page shows a Pontus Beech.

Pontus Beech photo

Pontus beech.

From this angle, the tree does not seem so magical The trunk of the Pontus Beech looks like the base of General Sherman, although it loses considerably in size

Pontus Beech in the Pamponne forest of Brittany. France.

Pontus tree

Once upon a time in a high school physics textbook I came across an assignment to describe a physical model of an onion. I don’t know what answer the writers planned to get, because, as you will see later in the post, an onion is not such a simple thing.

Let’s say we want to make an onion. And not just any onion, but a good onion. The first thing we will make sure is that the bow is tight.

The tighter the bow, the harder it will push the arrow. Of course, it will be difficult to stretch it. But this is a matter of practice.

At first glance it seems simple – you have to take a thicker stick. But let’s look at the bow from the side:

Pontus beech tree in the Pamponne forest in Brittany. France.

And now let’s stretch it:

Pontus beech tree in the Pamponne forest in Brittany. France.

It is easy to see that the outer side stretches and the inner side shrinks. And this effect is stronger the thicker our bow is:

Pontus beech tree in the Pamponne forest in Brittany. France.

Wood can elastically deform – both stretching and compressing – only to a degree. After that, the fibers on the outside will start to burst, and on the inside they will go “in waves”. Of course, this is not good for anything.

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We can’t stretch the bow very far – we need the force to last as long as possible. So what’s the solution? Make the bow itself as long as possible, so that the curvature is not so noticeable:

Pontus beech tree in the Pamponne forest in Brittany. France.

That’s how you get a longbow. The most famous English longbow is from the 13th-14th century, but generally speaking, long bows have been around since the Paleolithic era. That’s understandable – taking a longer stick isn’t a goddamn invention.

Pontus beech tree in the Pamponne forest in Brittany. France.

A bow from the Shnideyoch Pass (Alps) is dated 2900-2700 BC. It is 162 cm long – quite a longbow, considering the average height at the time.

However, the long bow has a number of disadvantages, the most significant of which is the difficulty of using it on horseback.

The Japanese made a clever bow with shoulders of different lengths – a short lower one and a long upper one:

Pontus beech tree in the Pamponne forest in Brittany. France.

But the Central Asians of the steppe went the other way, inventing the composite bow. The outside consisted of animal veins, which stretched well, and the inside consisted of horn or bone, which shrank better. It is unclear whether the reason for this invention was the desire to strengthen the bow or the need to reduce the amount of scarce wood. But whatever the case, in the end they managed to get a fairly powerful and compact bow at the same time.

The first composite bows were known in the times of the Scythians, and go back to the Neolithic. But its evolution was going on all the time of its existence, so that the Mongol or Turkish bow was much more developed than the Scythian bow.

Pontus beech tree in the Pamponne forest in Brittany. France.

The Mongolian onion on the left and the earlier Gunn on the right

It is not difficult to notice that the steppe bow is characterized not only by its structure but also by its special shape including a reverse bend. In archery terminology, such a bow is called a recursive bow. Why is it necessary? Let’s find out.

If we take a straight (regular) bow and start stretching it, the force applied will increase. Simply put, the harder we stretch, the harder it gets. You can draw a graph:

Pontus beech tree in the Pamponne forest in Brittany. France.

So, the work done, or what’s the same, the accumulated potential energy, is the area under the graph:

Pontus beech tree in the Pamponne forest in Brittany. France.

Generally this is called a definite integral, but I don’t want to scare readers :)

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As we can see, the picture is far from optimal. The ideal would be like this:

Pontus beech tree in the Pamponne forest in Brittany. France.

It turns out that we want a bow that has the same applied force throughout.

This is exactly what the recursive bow is trying to achieve. When we pull it, the center part bends first. Then, as the force on the center part increases and the angle of the bowstring changes, the shoulders begin to bend and finally the ends themselves.

Pontus beech tree in the Pamponne forest in Brittany. France.

Thus, the applied force changes within a smaller range and the graph becomes closer to the optimum:

Pontus beech tree in the Pamponne forest in Brittany. France.

As a result, a recursive bow will be more efficient with the same pulling force.

And just pulling the bow with more or less constant force, in my humble onion experience, is somehow more pleasant. However, perhaps this is a matter of taste.

Now let’s see what happens when we lower the bowstring. Some of the potential energy will go into the kinetic energy of the arrow, but all of it?

Unfortunately, no. Even if we ignore losses such as heat, sound, and material fatigue, there is a purely mechanical loss. The point is that after the bowstring is dropped, the bow straightens, i.e. the shoulders of the bow come into motion. Movement = work = energy loss.

In that sense, the lighter the bow arms and the less they move, the less precious potential energy will be lost and the more of it will go into the motion of the arrow.

But that’s not all. Remember, in last week’s article it was discussed that hand throwing objects has a limited speed, so no projectile will fly faster than your hand?

It’s the same problem with the bow. The straightening speed, while great, is still limited. And there is no way to make the arrow go faster, no matter how powerful the bow is.

The block bow solves both of these problems:

Pontus beech tree in the Pamponne forest in Brittany. France.

First, most of the bow is static, with only the very ends of the shoulders bent, which means less loss of straightening.

Second, the blocks allow the arrow to get several times the speed of the shoulders straightening. It works as a polycoupler, but in reverse – at the expense of loss in force we get gain in speed.

And at the same time the problem of constant pulling force is solved.

Modern block bows have a lot of devices that facilitate aiming and shooting: shelf, release (bowstring release device), sighting slat, all sorts of vibration absorbers. This allows modern sportsmen to reach the results that even the historic “Robin Hoods” could not dream of. However, this sports tool looks like a historical weapon only remotely.

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Since the topic came up unexpectedly, I thought I would look at a couple more weapons. And for today, thank you for your attention.

The Lord of the Rings series

The first series of “The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power” so far gets the worst ratings in the history of premium series in the twenty-first century.

So far, the viewer score is 2.7 out of 10 ♂

The Onion from a physics perspective Physics, The Onion, Sciencepop, Longpost

Who doubted it would?)

For good measure.

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Happy birthday to Kianca Reeves.

♪ On a good day... ♪

Babakin and customer centricity

Came across a post a week ago, about how our favorite knife maker (without sarcasm) messed up with the knife, which he forgot to sharpen and how he got out of this situation, well, tell me and my story: Oh, just flashbacks …. Ordered a knife from Babakin in March, it was a birthday present from my wife. The order was made two months before the date, and the master promised to meet the deadline of 28 days (there were no problems with the material, all in stock). Did not hurry, once every 3 weeks to write a message that I have not been forgotten and further in anticipation. Worried 10 days before the day X. Babakin assured me that everything is normal and if anything he will just refund the money, etc. Two days before my birthday, after another reminder skimmed me track, well, of course, terms are screwed up and the master does not give a shit about me, but I’m waiting, cut this track still hangs in the mail system as assigned, but sending the post office is not accepted. A day after my birthday, I wrote in anger Babakin, that it is not worthy to behave this way and cheat me to put it mildly, and that he returned the money because the departure to the post office, but just remotely created the track, ok, returns….. listened to a story about SWO, negligent employee and the damn May holidays, which were so bad timing. I think ok, the money was returned, but I was waiting for 2 months for the knife (assuming that I should not have seen it in the process), not the wasted nerves and refunds. I wrote to the master and asked him to send me a picture of the knife, and he sent me a beautiful pchak. I melted heart at what I saw, included the master excuses mode (the child was born, the May holidays, etc.) Ok, I say, finish it, send, money will pay. Waiting has begun, and the track and not beats, I say Babakin in 10 days, go to the post office to find out how. Master writes: “Your knife was lost post office, I’ll make you the same one, and absolutely free, give me another month. Sin, happy at first, that the knife and get and the money will stay, but half of me saddled, badly said, for all you have to pay, I reasoned, but also said in advance the money did not go. Again, a month of waiting. The master writes that the knife is ready and will be sent in a minute. After another reminder to get the track and oh my god, it is tracked. I am waiting for the package like a child, it is still in the waiting room at the post office, and I am already sitting at the window, waiting. I take the package with trembling hands and rush to spouse, in my head long ago forgave the master for the mistakes. I tell my spouse, I’ll close my eyes, and you open it and hand it to me… the rustling of the package and her words, “And what is this….?” I felt like a kid who was promised a dandy for his birthday, and gave him a plastic gun without a trigger. Yes the knife, yes the pechak, but a different one, huge, crooked, with scratches and potholes on the blade and an incomprehensible bird. Which I did / remade was good and correct (judging by photos), according to my wishes, and this is a huge pchak with a lot of flaws … I immediately wrote all what I think the knife maker, to which he told me that this knife is a gift and for him to pay, that this work was done while he was young and I myself need to resharpen, although at that time Babakin invited himself to a free sharpening. So wait, and what you were re-sharpening my knife this month wait. You promised the same, well, according to the terms of reference! It turns out you were doing my head for a few months, and then pulled out of a dusty box illiquid, who the hell no one will buy who even know a little bit about knives. Well, I sent the money for the knife to the charity, because you always have to pay for the knife, which I told Babakin, and I can not take the knife in my hands, at first I wanted to throw it into the sea, but I changed my mind.

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