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Sunday 28 June 2015

Yellow Pimpernel

It's one of those little plants that is supposedly very common all over, yet it's a rare sight to see these days as most deciduous forests in Northern Ireland are in serious decline, still when you do come across it, it's a very pleasing little flower to see.

it's often confused with creeping Jenny but that has a buttercup like flower and not flat like the pictures shown here.

It's not edible and it has past out of use as a wound herb to be replaced by more common and more effective plants....though in Counties Clare and Mayo it was called the kidney plant, the flowers were simmered in milk for a short while then drank over 3 or 4 days, the resulting kidney pain then supposedly disappeared.

As for Folklore it's an interesting one, There was once a King who loved white flowers and often went walking in the woods to admire them, once he saw a beautiful little white flower with five petals and emerald coloured pointed leaves, it was the most beautiful flower he had ever seen so he bent down to pick it as a gift for his beloved and as he did so it turned to gold, and ever since that flower has been coloured bright yellow in memory of this first golden flower, oh, and the king's name.. was Midas.

Sunday 21 June 2015

Another Custom Blade - Killrathi Knives

Hi, I'm Phil and I'm an addict, a Knife addict!!
There I said it, it won't come as any surprise to you guys out there and I guess any outdoorsman has a healthy respect and appreciation for good cutting tools.
Thing is there's this little Goblin that sits on my shoulder and whispers 3 little words into my ear, those words are
"just one more"...
Now normally I can ignore this temptation and just swat him off my shoulder, but occasionally it gets through, and recently after finding some superb new Bladesmiths I found myself buying a new custom Blade Blank from Marcin at Killrathi Knives in Poland.
It's his take on the Bushcraft knife made from L2 (for all intents and purposes it's the same as 80crV2).. I've used L6 before on knife blades and this is similar just with less nickel in the mix.

It's an unfinished blade (which keeps the cost down) though it's HT'd and tempered with an RC of 60, sharpened and looking good so far.. I'll put a simple walnut handle on this one and give it a run though over the summer and report back with a review when it's been heavily put through it's paces.
Just one thing, that little Goblin on my shoulder is still there and keeps whispering those same 3 words...

Sunday 14 June 2015

Roadkill Lunch

Not one to pass up a free lunch when nature provides it, Davy and I came a cross a head flattened grey squirrel lying in the middle of a country lane, so we did what any good bushcrafter would do when coming across such a feast, stop, grab it and prep it.

so onto a stump to prep it for cooking. We did find out that it's guts had been squashed though there was no serious smell, so we figured that it would be okay

The majority of it was in a bad way, bones all broken and meat torn, but we made the most of what was usable, it was dipped in flour and prepared for the pan.

gently fried in butter and looking good

and KFC eat your heart out, it looked fantastic, taste however was something else, it was vile!!

(Maybe next time we won't leave it in a hot car for 5 hours before cooking it!!!)

Sunday 7 June 2015

Not So Blue-Bells

Blue bells are one of the most beautiful flowers to be found in our woods at this time of year, but the white variety are becoming more common
They are relatively common these days and can be found in  most wooded areas, but a variety that are less common
are the pink variety, this is the first time I've found them and they are very pretty, the same in every way to our regular bluebells except the colour.