contact us at Buzzardbushcraft @

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Disappointing year for Blackberries

As the title says it's not been a great year for blackberries over here. September for me is a time when I look forward to this harvest and a site I know is usually stuffed with them..

But not this year..

and what few there are tend to be small and pitiful

What few I did find I left for the birds as this could be another very cold winter and those little critters will need them more than me.

Sunday 25 September 2011

Skinning Fish

I find it hard to believe that a lot of people find it easy to skin rabbits but don't know how to skin a fish. After all in a survival situation fish will tend to be one of the most reliable sources of food we can get..

Start with your fillet, whatever fish that maybe

Place your knife in between the flesh and skin near the tail

Keeping your knife at a very shallow angle wiggle the fish towards you, holding the knife in place and the flesh will start to lift from the skin

Again using the skin as the lever work the fish towards you keeping the knife at a constant angle

And here's the bonless skinless fillet skin side up to show you the result, the skin can even be dried under the right conditions to make a "leather" that small pouches can be made from..

Wednesday 21 September 2011

The Sulphur match

We went out recently and had a go at making some sulphur matches, not that we intend to use them very often but we like the historical/pioneer type ideology that allows us to light fires. It takes us back not to primitive ways which quite often can be conjecture but to historical time periods when fact is more definable, anyway,

Firstly melt some sulphur on the fire ashes, don't let naked flame near this and don't breathe in the fumes ( this was a common way of poaching pheasants in years gone by!)

When the sulphur has melted dip a small stick in the liquid and allow to dry, ( probably best not to use both ends like we did)

Once it's dry a sulpur match will need to have a significant heat source to ignite it, unless you tip it with Phosphorus (a la 19th century match girls with no teeth!) the traditional way was with a slow match

The sulphur will blacken, bubble ..

..then ignite, not always a practical solution to fire starting but to those interested in historical techniques it's nice to play around with..

Saturday 17 September 2011

Bolt from the blue

We headed out to rathlin and down along the coast looking for my favourite sea bird, the Gannet. To me these are one of the most majestic birds on earth and I've often wanted to get close enough to get a picture of one, so to ensure we concentrated on the birds we left the rods at home and headed out..

Along the picturesque Antrim coast but as you can see the sky was threatening and no gannets seemed to be around, until..

There was a splash behind the boat and a few started feeding on what we thought were probably launce, what magnificence as they entered the water, like a bolt from the blue!!

Gannets swallow their prey underwater so this was a great shot to actually see the bulge in it's throat as it swallowed a fish.

Another one of my favourite pics, it's only taken about 20 years to get these shots!

Another one of my favourite pics

And having a look to see if there are any still there!! One of the best wildlife watching days of my life!

Thursday 15 September 2011

Lazy doin nuthin

We have been nomad beach bums over the past few weeks, doing nothing much but camping, fishing, watching wildlife and cooking simple foods on wild shores, we've been over hills, down valleys, across mountains and sailed stormy seas, it's been a release like no other. September is a time to go whale and dolphin watching in the Irish sea and we've been afloat in all weather trying to spot some aquatic mammals and they are not easy to see and even more difficult to photograph!!

As I said difficult to photograph but enlarge the picture and look at the top left corner to see a common porpoise breaking surface, this day we saw a pod of about 6 of them but the stayed about 50 yards from the Buzzard Boat circling out of curiousity but not all surfacing at the same time, apparently we'd missed a few Minke whales the day before, ah well maybe next year..