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Sunday 29 July 2012

Bone Needles

As most of you know already I really enjoy working with bone, so I thought I'd make a couple of quick needles..

a regular stitching needle to the left and a coiled basket stitching needle on the right..

And above you can see some bonework that was on display in a local museum, I always find artifacts like this very impressive and when I work with bone or antler I find it always gives me a connection to our forefathers, it almost transcends time and while we will never again be in a situation when we have to make and rely on bone impliments and tools it's none the less a very cathartic experience.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Bramble Basket

These are called by lots of different names but I just call them bramble baskets as that's what they're made off

Make out the shape you want your basket to be then start weaving the brambles in towards the centre from each end

If the brambles loosen it's easy to weave in more to tighten them up, these are easy as pie to make!

Monday 23 July 2012

Pretty Kittiwake

Probably the prettiest of all the gulls, and certainly one that is commonly seen when around the coast during the summer, they're less likely to be seen in autumn and winter as they spend their time further out at sea

noisy and boisterous and quite quarrelsome they can easily be tempted close in with a bit of bait when they tend to fight and bother each other in a race to the prize!

they are properly called black legged kittiwakes as opposed to the red legged variety (and you can see that clearly!) but as the red legged variety tends to be a bird of more distant climes, Kittiwake normally suffices.

very easy to distinguish from other gulls due to it's size and almost feminine appearance, the beautiful pale grey and white body with the wink tips dipped in ink, makes a good companion when afloat and can become quite tame if you feed them, even being bold enough to take the food from your hands.

When I lived in Portavogie the local fishermen refused to ever kill a Kittiwake believing that they harboured the souls of sailors and fishermen who had died at sea, it was considered a compliment if a Kittiwake landed on the boat for a rest and feeding the birds was a way of ensuring a good catch and a safe return to the home port, who am I to question the lore of the ancients?

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Hemlock Water Dropwort

Probably the most poisonous plant we have in this country, always one to watch out for although it's not very common unless you're beside a particularly wet or damp area

often confused with wild celery when you look at the stem you can see why but the umbels are quite distinctive

there are many reports of people being poisoned by this plant and even more of poisonings in animals, the mortality rate for humans after ingesting this plant is 70% so it shows you how positive you must be in identifying any umbelifer..
A few stories I know of are a man once ate wild duck eggs and nettles and "wild celery", 40 mins later he was convulsing seriously and required immediate medical intervention, he continued to convulse on and off for a further 10 days although in this instance he survived he continued to have prolonged medical problems.

The main "poison" in HWD is called oenanthotoxin and in one case a man died after ingesting just 1 mg of this toxin,so please ,please be careful with all umbels.

Sunday 15 July 2012

Moulds Hedgehog rescue service.

Davy rescued a hedgehog from the jaws of a neighbours dog recently, luckily the dog came off worse than the hog,

nursing the little critter to make sure it's all ok

well fed and watered and ready to go back home

and happy waddling back into the great beyond, well away from any more potential threats.

Thursday 12 July 2012

Scarlet Pimpernel

They seek him here, they seek him there...
Why did he choose this particular plant to be called after,was it for it's medical virtues?

it's a low growing creeper, barely noticable unless you are specifically looking for it, but it does have the most gorgeous little flowers, they can also be in white or blue!!!

they tend to only open in direct sunlight but as you can see are very attractive none the less.

This plant poses a bit of a dichotomy, some sources saying it's poisonous,some say it's edible, some say it's got medicinal properies,none seem to I tried it's very bitter to the taste and vitually unpalatable, so it's out as far as edibility goes..medicinally I know it has been used for virtually every ailment going, but especially for the liver and apparently is also a great antidepressant!
                                'No heart can think, no tongue can tell
The virtues of the Pimpernel.'

says one particular rhyme, and this maybe the case but like most plants, it's being able to separate the essential ingredient from the rest of the plant that poses the problem as it does contain some toxins.
One thing I've just read is that is has a lot of saponins and if so then like soapwort could be very beneficial to the outdoorsman simply from a hygenic point of view..I will need to experiment a little more!!

Sunday 8 July 2012

Rare Day at Red Bay

The weather has been abysmal lately so it's necessary to get out and do some things when the opportunity arises

The Buzzard boat loaded and ready to set out

a few hours between the showers produced enough to make the day worthwhile

even the odd herring made for a nice day with the prospect of kippers at a later date!

Thursday 5 July 2012

Wild Honey

A good friend of Buzzards has actually found a wild bees hive in one of her outhouses, they've been producing great honey mostly from Ivy and the stuff is delicious

Here is some honey with a big piece of comb still in it, plus all the impurities and bits you would expect to find

It's so different from cultivated honey and really after tasting this true ambrosia the shop bought stuff will never be the same!!

Sunday 1 July 2012

MORA 510 Back in Black

It's no irony that I've AC/DC playing in the background while typing this, back in black is quite apt.
Anyway,there have been rumours for the past few months that the mighty MORA 510 was coming back, I've emailed mora a few times about re-introducing the knife but never heard back from them, however a German company with much more clout than I have had a run made and here are some pics from their first production run

Here it is,the perfect Tactical Mora in Nightshade Black

The genuine article, stamped on the blade,it's not a fake !!

And reverse of the blade proving it's a first production run of the new 510.

Now when Mr Mears had these last year (and funny how Woodlore said that Ray always used the 510 yet I never saw them for sale on his site in all the previous years only the Clipper and Companion, until there was an outcry as to their imminent demise..I'm so cynical!) Mora said that they would never bring them back, to a certain extent they have kept their word as there are a couple of minor differences..firstly, well it's in black!! Secondly the blade is 20% thinner..Now this is where I'm a little disappointed (but only a little) I love the original 510, you have all seen me using it and I have a number of pics on this site showing the knife, I consider it my perfect outdoors knife and the 2.5mm thick blade on the original was perfect, thick enough to rely on and abuse but thin enough to be nicey slicey and a great carver.The new blade is 2mm thick, not a big difference but it' s NOT THE ORIGINAL 510 !!! I have no doubt it will still be as reliable as ever but I personally would have preferred to pay a little more for a thicker blade than the same price for a thinner one..regardless it's back and I for one am enthralled at that!!

the 2mm Blade showing the spine

and showing the shallower bevel needed with a thinner blade

and in comparison with the others

and the incarnation of the 510 over the past few years, top is THE original 510, the second is the Green handled Woodlore 510 similar in every respect bar the colour and the bottom is the phoenix 510 re-incarnated in it's new form... MORA, I LOVE IT, BUT BRING BACK THE ORIGINAL !!

(please don't use my pictures without first asking permission, they are all copyrighted)