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Saturday, 24 February 2018

Bone fish hooks.

I had some pieces of camel bone left over after a project and instead if consigning them to the rubbish bin I thought I'd make a couple of fish hooks.

The first thing was to scribble a basic pattern on the bone after I had flattened it out.

Then with a coping saw carefully cut out the pattern

Then the sanding and the finishing

Of course these hooks aren't meant for fishing but are based on the Maori pendants I've seen.
These are worn as good luck charms but also as an indication that the wearer is able to provide from the wild to feed himself and his family.
Very apt indeed I think.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Hair Ice

Hair ice or sometimes called beard ice is an unusual phenomena that only occurs in very set climatic conditions and only with dead wood with a particular fungi in it.

Unlike other forms of frost which we know about and see often, like hoar frost in the pic below

Hair ice only forms at certain temperatures and in certain conditions but the result can be spectacular

From a distance it can look like a plastic bag or other discarded trash

On closer inspection it looks a little like a fungus, but really close up..its pure ice and it's wondrous when it forms like this

You'll never see sights like this for real if you don't get out into the woods..

Monday, 29 January 2018


We've had quite a few storms recently and they're causing even more widowmakers and hung ups..

These were down when we went out yesterday, always look up and around, be careful where you set camp and take precautions.
Let's be careful out there.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

The perils of widowmakers

How many times have we heard the old adage, before you sit down - look up!
Of course on the day you get complacent is the day something will happen. Rotten trees and storms don't mix and if you happen to be in the vicinity of a widowmaker.... this can happen lol.

The thing that ticked me off the most was that we'd only been there 20 minutes.
Anyway, pack back on and a long march out of the woods and a trip to hospital.

Nothing that a few stitches couldn't fix and a story to be told around future campfires, no doubt it will be embellished with each telling !

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Green Earth Crafts

There is a wonderful artist based in Belfast who creates some stunning pieces in resin, textiles and ceramics

Her work is always nature inspired and consists of bespoke pieces and limited edition runs.

Quirky and original, her work is in great demand in Holland, Germany and most recently Japan.
If you are interested in seeing more of her creations check out Green Earth Crafts on Facebook or Instagram.

Shaggy parasol mushroom

A really nice find recently was this shaggy parasol mushroom.

Although classed as edible this mushroom does contain some toxins that can cause some serious stomach upsets in people even after it has been cooked so it maybe best to avoid it just in case.

The gills are white and if bruised they can turn a slight tinge of pinky red, the spore print is pale cream.

As with most mushrooms gathered for food, if in doubt..leave it out !

Amanita muscaria - fly agaric

Of all the mushrooms found on earth this is the most iconic, seen in every fairy tale book and pictured in every outdoor book. The red and white fungi is very striking and not easily confused with anything else

Although classed as poisonous it rarely ever caused death through ingestion needing around 14 caps of concentrated muscimol for a fully grown adult.

It's well documented about shamans using this after being filtered through reindeer urine but an even more interesting lecture was presented by Thomas J Reidlinger in 1999 to the Mycomedia millennium conference where he postulates that it was fly agaric that caused the warp spasms of the Ulster hero CuChulainn.

If you can get a hold of his presentation it makes remarkably interesting reading.