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Monday, 13 August 2018

Strange creature in the woods

Sometimes you see strange creatures in the woods





Was able to sneak right up on what I thought was a turkey until I realised it was a peahen.
I guess it must have escaped from the local zoo a few miles away.
Just as well I wasn't on a serious survival mission.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Mugwort

It's supposed to be relatively common over here but I haven't found that to be so.
Mugwort is a lovely plant, and it has a myriad of uses,



It is one of the original 9 sacred herbs and thus is considered to have spiritual properties as well as practical ones.
It is edible but not in large quantities and has been used to flavour alcoholic drinks in years gone by.
An infusion made from the leaves is a great insecticide especially for eggs and on the larval stage.



It is quite downy underneath the leaves and when used in a tinder bundle gives off huge plumes of aromatic smoke which makes it a great favourite when demonstrating this technique.
It is said to ward off evil spirits and bad luck, to heal skin lesions, to help communication with the dead through it's smoke and also as a spiritual cleanser and purifier.
I just wish I could find it more often.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Prince or Horse Mushroom?

I'll be the first to admit that I don't spend enough time studying my fungi and it's at times like this that I regret that as it leaves me torn between possible identifications.



I found this one tonite, on a woodland verge underneath a huge cedar tree, it was last it's best and a little maggoty, it didn't smell bad at all just very mushroomy, if I had have smelt anise I would have said horse mushroom but I didn't pick that smell up. Due to the scales on the cap and the fact it was under a conifer then I'm swaying towards a prince.. but I'm happy to be corrected if anyone can do so..by the way



It was very tasty!!

Monday, 25 June 2018

Shelter placement and wind direction.

It's almost one of those instinctive things, build your shelter with its back to the prevailing winds, it offers you protection right? Yes but it can also cause problems



Looks good on an elevated rise to avoid a cold sink, back to the wind and room in front but..
The wind races over the slanted roof causing an acceleration of air draft resulting in a drawing effect towards the shelter..



And once you light your fire the draw will suck any smoke directly into your shelter.
I made this a very smokey fire intentionally to show just how the draw works in a strong wind and you can clearly see how the smoke bends into the shelter just like an eddy in a creek or stream.
When building a shelter with strong prevailing winds build it so that the wind is parallel to your shelter and draws the fire to the side, it could save you a lot of heartache if you've spent a long time building.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Great summer Fungi Find

When out leading a foraging walk recently I came across some lovely edible summer tree fungi



Chicken of the woods, growing on an oak. A little past it's best but we did take a little and cooked it up and it was outstanding





And dryads saddle also called pheasants wing or pheasants back, this fungi was in profusion but we only took a little to try, again all thought it was quite delicious.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Lost its Mum

While out on another short expedition we were sitting round the fire late one evening when we heard a chirping sound, it sounded like a bird but there were some who recognised it straight away, a fallow deer fawn had wandered into camp and was looking for its mum



It was quickly and quietly moved to the outside of camp where it's mum could find it safely. All ended well as we saw the two of them together as dawn broke the following morning.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

.50 cal shell Ferro rod.

Managed to get my hands on a few .50 cal shell casings so I thought I'd put a get to rod in one and see how it turned out.



This was the 125mm x 12.5mm ferro rod which was a perfect fit with some epoxy resin. Stuffed inside the casing so the rod didn't slip the whole way in and I also added a lanyard.
It's a big beast as you can see next to the Mora kansbol.