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Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Puff ball and Bacon

Was out on a forage recently and found quite a few puff balls. Most were the usual fist size but I found two quite large ones probably about the size of my head, we split them between the three of us so two thirds of the big ones each and the others were left to grow on a bit.


This was the biggest one, a bit slug eaten on the outside but perfectly edible still.


This was one single slice from my portion and it nearly filled a 14" skillet!


And what a feast fit for a forager, the rest was preserved for future use in casseroles or stews depending on what mother nature brings my way..happy foraging everyone.

Phil.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

The Gathering

Was at the annual gathering festival in Armagh recently, great time hearing stories of the Ulster cycle and realising the importance of fire to us. To those wonderful new people I met and some old friends too, here's looking forward to seeing you again in the near future..

Phil



Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Has anyone seen my Barn Owl?

I was at the Armagh festival of fire recently and had hoped to see a barn Owl, but with fewer than 13 pairs left in the country it was doubtful I'd have seen one..


Search as I may I couldn't find one anywhere, though I had a funny feeling one was watching me.





This little beauty is called Bowie and is from the World of Owls who put on a great display at the festival, many thanks for taking the time and lovely to meet you all, hopefully we'll see you again soon.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Bushcraft Bushido - Loyalty



Well we've saved the best for last, loyalty..  does it even exist anymore? It's funny how people change over the years and I find I was loyal to the person I once knew but not the person they've become. Once warm hearted and caring people now become cold, aloof and more interested in getting likes on Facebook than dealing with real world issues. It's funny how when ego moves in loyalty moves out. Betrayal comes not from enemies but from those we hold dear yet I see that those who betray us never even show the least amount of remorse or guilt, what does that say about a person? What makes them change in such a way?
I'm a very loyal person, well to those who deserve it that is and I'm not afraid to declare that loyalty openly but what if it's not returned? Well that old maxim holds dear " there is something wrong with your character if opportunity controls your loyalty."
What should you do when you reach out to someone multiple times and they turn their back on you and don't even respond never mind have the courage to meet you face to face, what does that say about their character? Unfortunately I've met a few people like that in my life as I'm sure we all have. I bear them no ill will and wish them every fortune for the future, but how much richer would that future have been if we could share it with those who cared.
Fear not for there is always forgiveness and a way to make amends, do you have the courage to do so or will you live in regret?

Peace and love to all of my Buzzard brothers and sisters, what ever troubles you're facing take heart for you are not alone and someone out there genuinely cares for you. Stay Strong.

Don't let your loyalty become slavery
If they don't like what you bring to the table
Let them eat alone.

The disloyal hide from the truth
They cannot bear to hear it spoken.

Those who are unaware they walk in darkness will never seek the light.
(Bruce Lee)

"I have sinned" he said " for I have betrayed innocent blood" " what is that to us?" they replied " that is your responsibility"
Matthew  27 v 4.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Bushcraft Bushido - Honesty



Probably the easiest of all the virtues to achieve but the one you can be sure very few will ever use.. ' is everything alright ' and the answer.. 'Yes, fine... when you know in your gut you've just been lied to. Why do people do it? well I guess they are just too cowardly to tell the truth. There's no excuse for not being honest and it will end up making you look like a fool.. the truth will always come out.. and then those who lied will run and hide in shame.. should have just been honest in the first place.
Nature can be nothing but honest, no lies no hiding in shame no hidden secrets, if only mankind could follow her example. Nature won't lie to You, if you find yourself being lied to then walk away, never be in the company of the dishonest.

Honesty is a very expensive gift, don't expect it from cheap people.
(Warren Buffet)

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Bushcraft Bushido - Compassion







Of all the virtues I guess this is the one I need most practise with. It's easy to have compassion for those you love and care about but it's not so easy to have it for those who have wronged you or you simply don't know. It's a battle I often face and I wonder if others do too, or do they just turn their empathetic feelings off and feel nothing?
It leads me to that old legend which I believe is a modern interpretation but nonetheless provides a good metaphor for this struggle;

An old Cherokee grandfather was telling his grandson that inside each person are two wolves, a black one which is evil and a white one which is good, and they fight for dominion over the persons character.
"The black one," said the grandfather, "is full of hate, jealousy, pride, anger, bitterness, betrayal, resentment, ego, pain and deceit.
The white one on the other hand is full of love, forgiveness, understanding, gratitude, diligence, honour, kindness, benevolence, empathy and compassion"
"But grandfather, said the boy "which one wins?"
The grandfather looked solemnly at the child and said " whichever one you feed"

Which one do you feed?

I love when people who have been through hell, walk out of the fire carrying buckets of water for those still consumed by the flames. 

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Bushcraft Bushido - Honour



Honour

The quality of knowing and doing what is morally right.
"There is no honour among thieves" we are told and it's a revealing maxim, as you can always discern how much honour a man has by an examination of his life. Does he cheat, steal, lie, claim money or valour illegally, backstab, treat others with disdain, break promises, is untrustworthy, has an over inflated ego, has no integrity or compassion, no courage to speak up, does he hide away when times get tough, does he get together with those of a like mind to plot revenge and whisper disparaging words simply to make himself feel better, does he belittle others?. Any of these traits would lead me to believe he has no Honour, it's a wonder the weight of his guilt does not crush him.
Though all the bushido virtues are quintessential to a moral existence this is the one most easily ignored, such a waste that men who were once sincere should fall so low.
 Nature has honour, she has to have to exist in the way she does. She is as you see her, no hidden lies or whispered words just open and challenging for all to see, you either love her or hate her but her honour is obvious, we could learn a lot from her, she seeks no glory or ego from others and just does what is right, just is herself. That is honour.

For those who try to keep their honour intact, hold your head high, you'll make yourself a target for knaves and fools, you will be mocked and ridiculed by the many but that will only prove you are on the right path and you should carry no burden of guilt, I salute you for standing tall in a world of weak willed men.

Better a brief spell of honour than a long rule of shame (laxdeala saga)

Honour is simply the morality of superior men (H.L. Menckcen)

To sin by silence... makes cowards of men.
(Abraham Lincoln.)

To lose your words is to lose your honour, for there is shame in silence.
(Attributed to Diogenes)

Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly. (Mahatma Gandhi)

Cowards die many times before their death but the valiant die only once. (Shakespeare)

There comes a time when silence is betrayal
(Martin Luther King)