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Sunday 29 May 2011

Deciduous Forest

We headed out this weekend for a simple easy relaxing day with the kids to a new piece of deciduous woodland near at hand, no plans for today just a bit of fun,

It's an all beech forest with very little else about, but a nice wee place nonetheless

The kids set their hammocks up, obviously not intending to do too much today!

The static in the hammock played havoc with Evie's flaxen hair!!

It was the Dad's who did all the work today, setting the fire, gathering the wood, doing the cooking

There were some great overturned trees that would have been brilliant for shelter building if we had've been inclined

The Dad's job to tidy camp after we left and like good woodsmen you would never have known we were ever there

On the walk back out we saw some red clover which apparently makes a great tea, we never tried this but it's on the cards to try sometime soon.

Saturday 28 May 2011


James has been out and about of late around the north coast and was very fortunate to see a couple of peregrines up close, he even managed to get a pic or two. The picture below is one of the best I have ever seen an amateur take and with his permission it's posted here (copyright belongs to him).


Wednesday 25 May 2011

Scouts Education Programme 3

Nearing the end of this years programme and this time we had a quick talk on water purification, filtration and procurment including, wells, springs, transpiration and solar stills etc

Everybody excited and ready to rock

At the spring and going over the basics

Davy giving an indepth lecture on filtration that managed to hold everyones attention

On the way back to the minibus we asked the guys to pick out any plants that would be useful to the bushcrafter and the girls found some great burdock plants, well done ladies!

Sunday 22 May 2011

More new Ground

Buzzard have been very fortunate of late in having been able to use great new ground, as a matter of fact we haven't used the same place twice in the past 2 months, anyway today we went to a new stand of spruce we are able to use to try out some simple bushy activities..The only method of fire lighting today was the ferro rod, no matches lighters or other paraphernalia were used and we had the challenge of only using what could be found around us. Now bear in mind it has been very wet and windy here lately so dry tinder was hard to come by, but we persevered

Stephen successfully got the fire going in what were difficult conditions using only what he could find

He then set to work skinning another rabbit Davy had managed to procure.

Nicely skinned and ready for the spit roast

All ready for a light smoking over hard wood and a gentle basting of chilli and olive oil.

Boy does it look and smell amazing at this point! It was crisp yet tender and juicy and tasted absolutely wonderful.

Davy kindly left us the bones to suck the marrow from after he scoffed all the meat before we even got near it! Did you enjoy the back straps mate???

Once lunch was complete we also made some Pine pitch for future craft use..
All in all a great day and well enjoyed by all of us, especially by those who got most of the meat!!

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Snared a weeker !!!

Davy has been walking around the fields behind his house lately and noticed some rabbit sign, so I gave him a crash course in setting snares and left him to it, not expecting much to be honest but guess what..after 4 consecutive days and nights with no joy, he got one!! So I asked him to do a quick skinning skit for the blog and his pics are below, remember there's more than one way to skin a I mean rabbit !, this way is just the way Davy does it..

Just been paunched and ready to skin

Feet have been removed and back legs popped out of the skin

Skin pulled back over the hind quarters

Just nicking any stubborn bits

Perfectly skinned and ready for the spit roast next time we head out, the skin will be salted for future craft use too, well done mate, now go and get some more!!

Sunday 15 May 2011

A Passion for Pike

We at Buzzard like to challenge ourselves from time to time and we thought we'd take a short trip out to a lough not far away to try for a shot at the waterwolf, so with this in mind and a worsening forecast we headed off with the boat in tow. We launched and had a quick recce to see what was around

A fair few ducklings were about, waddling through the reeds and round the lilly pads, but it was what was beneath the surface that we were most interested in

Didn't take long for the first one to come aboard, predation in miniature to one of my favourite lures

Took a couple of hours for number two to respond to the lure, but it did with avengence. The weather started worsening at this point so we headed to cormorant island for an early lunch

Heavily wooded with sycamore, elder and hawthorn, but it's a nice enough wee place for a quick stop over

After lunch we weren't long out before we had another jack

We headed into some of the back bays to take advantage of the shelter from the shorline and trees from the offensive westerly that was blowing, we managed another couple here including the best of the day at about 6lb,it was really nice and calm in these wee places but once on the main Lough...

.. the weather really went down hill,the clouds darkened, the wind picked up and the rain came down, so we figured discretion was the better part of valour and headed for home, all fish having been safely returned.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Ground Elder

Apparently it was used by the Romans and was a vey common vegetable until celery and parsley etc took over, but it's still to be found in many places and is a nice change from the usual greens from the supermarket

Some freshly picked leaves washed and ready

Slightly sweated in the pan for a few minutes till they go soft, then add a little butter

Serve warm with a knob of butter to taste, they were very nice, much better than spinach and could easily become one of my favourites!

Sunday 8 May 2011

Purists or Fools

A very great man once told me that only Purists or Fools make lives difficult for themselves and we at Buzzard are neither, so whatever is easiest is what we prefer to do, but the adage is one I hold dear as the great man that told it to me was my Grandfather.

The fire was lit today with cotton wool and vaseline, the wood in this place was very damp and this was the easiest way to get the blaze going.

This is a very small wood, no more than a couple of acres

Even got a pigeon shooting hide in the wood overlooking the adjacent farmland

Food today was simple fare, bread and cheese broken and shared between friends and some salami toasted till crispy over the embers.

Simple days for those of us who are anything but Purists or Fools

Wednesday 4 May 2011

White Bluebells

Sounds a bit of an oxymoron but as I was out walking today I found these little ones, just two plants in a field of blue, have no idea if they are the rare true British variety or the spanish variety but it was a nice surprise none the less.

Fields of Blue

and again,

and again in a 360 all around me

and in amidst of that sea of blue, a little splash of white!

Sunday 1 May 2011

The Deliverance Weekend (part 1)


Burt Reynolds...Me
Jon Voight...Alan
Ned Beatty...Stephen
Big mad baldy banjo boy...Davy

We had been invited down to Lough Ree by Alan for a long weekend doing adventurous things and pretending we were reliving the Deliverance movie , without of course the piggy bits, although Davy's got an "awful purdy mouth"..anyway while the landlubbers took the kit down to the rendezvous point Alan and I picked up the transport for the weekend,

Heading out from the pick up point to the main lough

The lough is full of islands and it was on one of these we intended to spend the first night, a little overgrown place called little yellow

Just a few items of kit loaded into the boat, we didn't want to overdo it!!

Davy sets up an open camp hoping some toothless rednecks might pay him a visit later,     ( quite a good picture of him don't you think?)

Once the sleeping arrangements had been set up we set up a tripod and jerkied some venison, scrummy!

Alan thatched himself a beautiful hula skirt

And Stephen (aka Pignut) went out foraging!!!

(stay tuned for part 2)

The Deliverance Weekend (part 2)

Having survived the night from the watchful marauders seeking to penetrate I mean our camp, the next idea was to transfer to the mainland to a beautiful hazel copse Alan knew well.

I was up early in the morning to check the night lines and watch the sun come up over little yellow

There was a plentiful supply of wild protein!!

A scout around the island before the transfer to the copse revealed that the local varmints had been gnawing on the swans eggs

The next camp place was greenwood, well named and a very beautiful copse full of wild flowers

It was full of beautifull bluebells, wild garlic, and these early purple orchids, we even camped in the shadow of some huge Monterey Pines

Dinner was woodsmans garlic bread, tortilla wraps, butter, cheese and wild garlic, all slowed cooked on the fire grill, it was an absolutely gorgeous treat.

Stephen took down a dead standing birch for firewood to keep us all cosy and toasty, it was over all too soon.

We would all like to say a very special thanks to Alan and his gorgeous partner Hazel for the invitation and very warm welcome, thank you both so much for all you did for us it was sincerely appreciated, we hope we can do it again some time!