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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Scottish road trip part 1

For as long as I can remember I've wanted to tour around the sights of scotland incorporating a little bushcraft and wild camping along the way. After years of being let down I decided this was the year to do something about it, this journey is intended to be a recce for more and longer journeys in the future. At this time of year we couldn't really decide whether to go ultra lite or bring tents, but with the weather the way it was and wanting to cram in as much as possible we decided to just take the silver surfer and see where the wind blew us....

The mighty, all contained ( fridge, cooker, bed etc), silver surfer..  let the journey commence.


Sunday, 3 November 2019

Electric Mackerel

At this time of year most people have long given up fishing for mackerel off the shore and in the rare event they are targeted at this time of year its normally out in deep water from a boat, however there is a place along the Antrim coast that still produces in November. We headed up yesterday and had a great day with over 30 mackerel caught though they were all very small. The one thing special about them was their colour. Most mackerel we catch have a beautiful iridescent blue back but these ones were the most spectacular colour of electric green I have ever seen, not a single blue mackerel among them, all were vibrant emerald.. I have no idea if these were a sub species of scomber scombrus  but I really hope I catch them again, it was worth the trip for their magnificent colour alone!


Sunday, 27 October 2019

The White Stag

The white stag is the most magical of all of natures beasts, it has found a place in myth and legend beside dryads and sprites, the difference being the white stag truly exists if you are pure enough of heart for it to appear . It is connected to Cernunnos and the hunt, a symbol of the pathway between this world and the next, a harbinger of ill omen or good fortune depending on circumstances. It is said that he who sees the white stag receives a little of its magic, a better ability to connect to nature and a foresight to help on future journeys. Pictures and tales abound about the stag but few if any ever see his noble bearing, "have I ever seen one?" I hear you ask, funny you should mention that....

Not only have I seen the white stag  but also his hind, I'm hoping blessed good fortune awaits.


Sunday, 20 October 2019

Not quite a peck of pickled peppers.

By most accounts a pack is a volume of dried peppers that can weigh somewhere between 8 and 14lbs, I certainly didn't produce that but I'm happy with my first haul. I believe a bushcrafter or survivalist should be able to produce their own food not just hunt fish or forage it so this year I started with peppers and tomatoes, the Tom's weren't great but the peppers are still producing even now, below you can see the first crop to come off the plants and into the pickle, it's going to be a very merry spicy Christmas.

Cayenne and jalapeno peppers..yum


Saturday, 12 October 2019

Chorda filum - dead mans rope

One of the common thong like seaweeds found around our shores and can be easily confused with other strap or lace like seaweeds.

Normally found in the low to middle intertidal zone it's quite easy to see around the northern European coastlines. It's also called whip weed, mermaids tresses and boot lace weed. It is edible and high in antioxidants but not often consumed by people, it's ok and worth a try if you're feeling peckish. It can be dried and then broken up and added to stews and soups to provide a deeper saltier flavour. 


Saturday, 5 October 2019

Butterburr basket and hazelnuts

There is such an abundance of high fat foods this year and all the little furry critters are stuffing themselves that it's making me wonder what sort of winter we are in for. So not to be outdone and to give the squirrels a little competition I happened upon a great little hazel coppice near a lough and decided to take a few nuts for myself. I wasnt expecting to find anything so I didn't bring a bag but I did find a few nice butterburr leaves..

A couple wrapped into a cone shape and fixed in place with a twig made a very acceptable container

And another 10 or 15 mins collecting saw over a pound of hazel nuts gathered. They are still a little white but on the turn and will further ripen if kept inside. 
Thinking of BlackBerry Charlotte for pudding. Yum.