My friend, Jenny, asked what criteria I look for in choosing sticks I want to make into walking sticks. She even volunteered her young one to help in the search for new ones! So I contemplated what it is I look for. There seem to be some general dimensions I like, but there is something that defines my search more than that.
Have you ever started a hike and discovered that someone has left a walking stick at the trail head? It appears to be a stick that they found on their own hike, and liked it so much they wanted to share it with the next hiker. THAT is the stick I want. Looking at my collection of sticks waiting to be decorated, I can tell that at least half of them have been just that sort of stick. Previously loved.