Monday, 30 May 2011

Old Fashioned Catapults

Whilst out on a little bimble the other afternoon, i picked up three forked sticks, i was only looking for one as i have a commission to make an old fashioned "Dennis The Menace" catapult, all of the blanks pictured are from Elm and came from pre felled timber, ie stuff that the farmer had already taken down.

The middle one of the three is the one i shall use for the commission piece, the other two, well they are for me, why?, why not?, Ive even managed to get some proper old fashioned 1/4 inch catapult elastic as well, all i have to do is finish them off when the elastic arrives.

Gypsy Flowers

I made a load more Gypsy Flowers today, all made from Hazel, think i made a good dozen or more in the end, i have them dotted all round the garden now, front and back, just a little something different to look at, especially in the winter time when everything has died back and the garden looks a tad barren.

We have also found that where we have some big tubs and planters out the back of the house, putting a couple of these in the tubs stops the local cats from digging everything up and using the tubs as their personal latrines, of course they also make pretty good fire starters as well.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Hazel Cooking Spoon

I had a bit of time spare this morning, so i grabbed a piece of Hazel from the wood pile, picked up a knife or two and my folding saw and made myself a new cooking spoon, as i have fairly large hands, i like a spoon with a nice wide handle, and this one fits the bill a treat, the spoon itself is about nine inches in length, the bowl is just over two inches at it's widest point and the handle is half an inch at the neck, widening to about an inch and a bit at the top of the handle. 

I elected in this instance to give the spoon a sanded finish and i went down the grades ending up on 1000 grit paper , the spoon then had a couple of coats of Tung Oil that were applied as i watched qualifying for the F1 at Monaco, the spoon saw service this evening, as i used it to make a meat sauce to go with my egg spaghetti, both turned out wonderfully.

Caterpillars

During a trip out, late this afternoon, where we were  on a mission to collect a load more Elderflower's, that we intend to put in the dehydrator and then place into storage for use later in the year, particularly to make some more Elderflower Champagne at Christmas, we noticed in one patch of Nettles that we had to wade through to get to the trees that held our bounty, that the leaves were absolutely covered in Peacock Butterfly caterpillars, the photo shows just a small area where they were were munching away quite happily, in addition to these there were different hatching's, including some quite recent ones as the Caterpillars were really quite small, nice to see these around as the number of nettle patches  are decreasing and as the nettles decrease, in turn so do the insects and animals that rely on them, thankfully the Farmer around here is aware of the facts and leaves a good margin around his fields for the flora and fauna to thrive in.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Pigeon Shoot - Contains Images Of A Dead Pigeon

I was looking out the window at home earlier and as i was standing there, a nice plump Wood Pigeon decided to alight on the bird feeder, so having just come in from a spot of ratting up the lakes, my gun was still handy, into the breech went a 14.3gr Accupel in .22, carefully opened the patio door, aim, FIRE.

The result, one very dead Woodie and a rather nice dinner coming up, the gun i used was a QB78DL, i wouldn't normally use this gun for hunting anything except than at really close range, as this indeed was, about ten feet range to be exact, and i was even recently trying to sell or trade of this gun for a springer as it didn't get the use it probably should have done, but, you know what, I'm glad i didn't, as I've since given it a good service and with fresh CO2 cylinders it runs at 10.5 ft/lb, a single CO2 cylinder gives me 30 shots before i suffer a power drop, but if you are aware of this and count your shots, it's not a problem, it's certainly good enough for close range ratting with Hollow Points.

Northwest Woodsman Buck Saw

Repost of an old article i wrote about the NW Woodsman Buck Saw

The saw as it arrives from Eric at NW Woodsman is contained in a strong, draw top nylon bag, the packed saw measures 62 cm long and weighs in at 784 grams, the saw uses standard off the shelf 24" saw blades, once assembled the saw is rigid and the blade is held under good tension, it's not going to bend or break under normal use, the steel cross bar fits into the uprights perfectly and has no lateral movement at all once the saw has been tensioned, the blade is retained by strong metal pins inserted into the base of the uprights, In use the saw performs flawlessly and maintains its rigidity, something some saws don't do leaving you with a feeling that it may collapse at any time, not with this saw.

Disassembling the saw is, as you would expect the exact  reverse of the assembly, once the saw has been taken down, the uprights pivot over and the blade is contained safely within the handles

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

From an article i wrote in June 2009 about the GB Wildlife Hatchet.

I was given the opportunity to give my new Gransfors Hatchet a bit of a work out today, so where to start, i suppose the beginning is a good a place as any?

When i received the axe it was shaving sharp straight out of the box, no work needed at all to get a good edge, the cutting edge is a wonderfully shaped symmetrical convex and the head of the axe was lined up with the helve, as with all Gransfors axes, the company logo and the makers initials are stamped onto the axe head.

The axe has a 3' face with a head weight of 1 lb

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Elm Spoon

Having not done any serious spoon carving for a while, i decided today was a good day to remedy that, so i  took a walk over the hill to where the Farm had done some hedge maintenance during the winter and collected myself some pieces of Elm from one of the  remaining rubbish piles.

Now as anyone who has tried to carve Elm knows. it's not the easiest of wood to carve, even when green, but if you persevere, you can get a spoon or carving that has some amazing grain patterns in it, the piece i chose for this spoon has a mix of dark heart wood and lighter coloured sap wood and a few small knots and inclusions that contrast beautifully in the finished spoon, as you will see, i elected to sand the spoon rather than leave the faceted look i normally finish with.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Bushcraft Alphabet

One of the games we play when we are up the woods is Bushcraft Alphabet, it's a little scheme i developed for when i was instructing, to get the kids  and indeed adults to think about their surroundings and what was actually around them that they could utilise.

It's a very simple, but very effective way of making people think, all you need to do is to look and search around your immediate vicinity and collect one item for each letter of the alphabet, so for the letter A, you could collect an Acorn, but then you also have to write down what it could be used for, so an Acorn could be used for food, making coffee or as was suggested on one occasion, as ammunition for a catapult (slingshot) even a float for fishing.

It's quite amazing how many different uses people will come up with for the same item, some of which, you would never have thought of, certainly I've picked up a few tricks by seeing what people come up with, by the way, we don't limit it to natural items only, you can opt for man made items as well, so for M you could have Matches.

Give it a try next time you are out, just take a sheet of paper with you, write the alphabet on it and then go and search and see what you can come up with, oh yes, we normally have a time limit of 45 minutes for this exercise, then everybody comes back to camp and we see what everyone has come up with.

It's great fun, gives a lot of laughs and is a superb way to look at items you might see everyday in a totally different light

Sunday, 22 May 2011

COMPETITION - MAY 2011

Ive decided to run a small competition to celebrate hitting 10,000 unique views on my blog, the prize is a small pouch that can be used for tinder, fire kits, well anything you want basically, it's made from Pig Leather and stitched with linen thread with four brass rivets for additional securement and decoration, the pouch does not have a closure mechanism other than the large flap, also included are the three hanks of twine you see pictured, so people are aware the leather does have a small blemish on the lower left and this can be seen in the photo, just peeking out from under the flap

So what do you have to do to win this pouch?, well it's pretty simple really, all you need do is follow my blog, then on the last day of May 2011, i will randomly select a number between one and how ever many followers i have at that time, and then count through the list of  Followers until i get to the number that was chosen, whoever that number corresponds to, gets the pouch, I'll even pay the postage for it to anywhere in the world.

Reposted 22-5-2011


THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Knife Sheath

I was going to go for a bimble over the hills this morning and do a little foraging, but things conspired against me,  so i caught up with a couple of sheath builds, this one is a standard belt sheath in dark brown with a buffalo head tooled onto the front face of the sheath.

Just have to finish it off, edge finishing, polish it up etc tomorrow, then it will be off on it's way to it's new owner.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Mystery Object

Made myself half a dozen of these today, made from Ash, so who knows what they are and what they are used for?

Wood Spirits

Not carved any of these for a little while now, so this week i carved the big fella on the right of the picture, the other two were carved some time ago and live in the garden, along with, i think about a dozen or more of their friends, i have these everywhere, along with a few stick chickens in some of the pots and planters.

The two big ones pictured are carved from Ash and the smaller one is from Laurel, the bigger ones have a few cracks and checks in them now, but this really does only add to the character of the piece, well i think so anyway.

Axe Helve

I decided today to modify the helve i carved out of ash back in January for my Kentish pattern axe, a couple of things prompted me to do this.

One was because i had loosened the head somehow, the other was the helve felt just a little bit too long to be comfortable, so out it came, a couple of inches were sawn off the  top end of the helve and it was then reinserted into the head, making sure to keep the alignment right, once it was in place and i was happy an Ash wedge was hammered in place and secured with an additional wedge made from brass tubing.

I also redesigned the poll slightly so it wasn't as pointy, the whole thing now feels more comfortable to use and has a better balance when in use, meaning it will be less tiring to use for prolonged periods of time. 

The picture below shows the original helve, if you compare the two photo's you can see the difference in the helve  length.


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Stinging Nettle - Urtica dioica

Another one of those love them or hate them plants the Stinging Nettle, personally i like the Nettle, i don't even mind the sting these days, mainly i think because I've been stung so often that I've developed a kind of  immunity to the sting, although just occasionally a strong one will  catch me out and remind me of the sting.

Many people will use the Nettle to make a weak tea, which i find to be quite revolting, and they will cook the leaves up like a spinach, now that i like, in fact when we go up the woods we will quite often collect the fresh young leaves from the tip of the Nettle and cook them up as an extra vegetable with our dinner, we have also tried them wilted over a fire, just like uncle Ray did on the telly, and yes he is right, it is possibly the best taste you can get from a Nettle, by the way don't eat the older leaves as they can have a laxative effect, the Nettle is very high in minerals, especially iron and is one of the few plants that contains a high protein content, oh yes, next time you have a packet of sweets etc and see the additive E140 listed, yep that's  also extracted from Stinging Nettles.

Of course the Nettle is not only a good plant to eat, but it also has a number of medicinal uses and is used in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism by stinging the affected joints with the plant, this action is believed to act as a counter irritant and brings increased blood flow to the joints and to help remove toxins, of course the Nettle will also treat it's own sting, next time your stung by a Nettle, instead of reaching for a dock leaf, crush up some Nettles, this takes guts by the way, and squeeze the Nettle's as hard as you can to extract the juice, then rub this on the affected area, works just as well as a Dock Leaf, try it, you will be surprised.

Of course the Nettle has others uses as well, the fibres from the stems can be used to make one of the best natural cordage's, a bunch of freshly cut Nettles also makes an effective fly deterrent, to be honest there are so many uses for the Nettle, that it warrants more than a single post on the subject and this is something i will address in the coming weeks with a couple of further posts on the subject.

Lastly, if you want to know why the Nettle stings so much, have a look at this photo i took of the stings with a macro lens on my camera.



Thousands of natures own hypodermic needles, each with it's own reservoir of Formic acid, just waiting for the unwary.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Black Widow

Ahhh yes, the days of my youth, spent rabbiting with my faithful old Barnett Black Widow catapult and as you can see, i still have it and it's still in perfect working order nearly 30 years after i bought it, lets face it, not a lot to go wrong with it is there?, apart from the odd set of replacement bands it's the same as when i bought it, i have a couple of the new Black Widow's and they are in my opinion, not half as good as this, they just don't feel as solid and substantial as the old one does, perhaps it's because I'm used to my old faithful Widow?.

I can clearly remember a friend of mine and i going around the area doing gardening jobs to raise enough cash to go and buy one of these each from the gun shop boy did we have some with them once we got them as well, rabbiting, target practice, of course those were the days when you could walk down the road with a catapult hanging out of your back pocket and a Rambo Survival Knife strapped to your leg and nobody gave a monkey's about it, these days  the coppers would be round quicker than a Ferret down a hole.

I still use my Black Widow and fire 9mm steel ball bearings from it, although I've not used it for hunting for a long time, only for the odd target bashing session, even though it is still legal to hunt rabbits with catapult in the UK, i will have to get my eye back in and start using it for hunting again i think.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Mors Kochanski - Try Stick - Cut Names

Thought id make a composite image of the stick that shows and names the different cuts on one of the sticks i carved today, the image is in three parts, from left to right, the rear of the stick, the side view and the top view, hopefully it will all make sense?.



Mors Kochanski - Try Stick Pair

There has been quite a bit of conversation around in recent days about Try Sticks, and it prompted me to carve a couple more, i usually carve a Try Stick fairly quickly after receiving a new knife as it enables me to evaluate the blade with a multitude of different cuts and grips in a short space of time, but it dawned on me today that i have so far neglected to make try sticks with my JLT Woodie and the latest incarnation of the JLT Woodsman, so having an hour or so to spare, i grabbed a couple of Hazel sticks from the pile and started whittling, the sticks are ever so slightly different, they both contain the regular cuts and carving i would do, but having a longer stick, i thought id add some extras on the one i made with the Woodsman.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Hoku Knife / Flint Knife

Just rediscovered this Hoku knife i made ages ago, the picture was taken at the time i made the knife, the handle/shaft is made from Hazel with a jute wrap to keep the blade in place.

The flint blade is made from a flake/shard of flint that has been struck off a large core and then roughly chipped and shaped to give a cutting edge, from what i remember it worked fairly well, will have to have a play sometime soon to re familiarise myself with it

Throwing Sticks

Went for a bit of fun earlier in the end field with a couple of throwing sticks also known as Rabbit sticks, i carved these last year and they have lived on top of the wardrobe since last September, guess they are  fairly dry now then?, the picture to the left was taken last year and shows three different styles of throwing stick, the middle one being instantly recognisable as a boomerang (no it doesn't come back), it does fly fairly well though.

I have my eye on a couple of branches up the lane that will make some superb throwing sticks, just have to nurture them for a bit longer before they are ready to harvest.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Sunset

Just been witness to an incredible sunset, picture below is unaltered other than resizing for the web, shame the TV aerial and the power lines got in the way.

Bug Barns

I'm a great believer in encouraging predators to my garden, especially those that will help me control aphids and other "undesirable" insects, so dotted around the garden we have a number of bug barns, we make these ourselves (sell a few too) from a variety of woods, the one pictured is from Hawthorn, but i have one made from Birch that has to be a good four years old and it's still going strong, albeit of a slightly different design to the one shown.

The bug barns are located in sheltered sunny spots around the garden and provide a snug haven for insects like Ladybirds and Lacewings, which as any gardener knows, are just two of the most beneficial insect predators and will make a good meal out of any aphids you may have lurking, the least i can do, is provide a bit of "social housing" for them.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Binoculars

One of the most over looked pieces of equipment in my view is a good pair of light weight binoculars, there is nothing more annoying than being out and about and spotting something, even just a hundred yards away, let alone on the other side of the valley or field and then not being able to see it properly because, if like me you have poor long range eyesight or the thing you want to see is  too well camouflaged or just too far away to be seen properly, so i carry, not always i hasten to add, but often carry a small pair of binoculars with me.

I gave up on the small pocket sized folding binoculars a long while ago, i tried a few different brands and to be honest, i hated them, they never did what they were supposed to do, the objective lens was never big enough to collect enough light to give even a hint of a bright clear image, well, i just didn't get on with them, I'm not saying they are bad, because i know a lot of people who swear by them, but they are just not for me I'm afraid,  then i found these 8x40 binoculars, they are light weight, have crystal clear and incredibly bright optics, are rubber coated throughout, thereby offering a good grip if it's raining and a bit of resistance to knocks and bangs and well, lets put it this way, they are on a par with my £100.00+ Bushnells, now comes the good part, i paid, wait for it, £12.99, including shipping, they are so good in fact that i bought another pair as a spare and then added  a pair of 10x50 and 12x50's for good measure, again both of these are equally as good as my Bushnells but for a fraction of the cost.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Elder Flower Champagne - Sambucus nigra

I make no apologies for another Elder Flower post, you have to make the most of the harvest while it's available, so yep, today we made a start to a few litres of Elder Flower Champagne, incredibly simple to do and it's tastes absolutely divine, especially served ice cold on a hot summers day, be aware though, that this brew is alcoholic, so best not to drink any if you intend driving later in the day.

We use a very simple recipe and make little alterations to it as we go along, like today, we didn't have any whole lemons, so i substituted the Lemon slices for Orange instead, still works, it just gives a slightly different taste as you would expect.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Elder Flower Pancakes - Sambucus nigra

Further to my post from yesterday about Elder Flowers, we decided in the end to make pancakes instead of the fritters, we made plain and simple pancakes using, well basically a bannock recipe, with extra water added to make it into a batter, to which we added a couple of handfuls of Elder flowers and two special pancakes that were Elder & Strawberry - delicious.  We collected a good bucket full of blooms this afternoon, what we didn't use for the pancakes is going to get turned into Elder Flower  Champagne, Cordial or wine.

We made a video on making the pancakes which is on my You Tube channel here

Monday, 9 May 2011

Elder Flowers - Sambucus nigra

Love it or hate it the Elderberry is here to stay, personally i love it, the second year growth provides perfect hand drills for friction fire lighting, the tree is host to the jelly ear fungus which is of course edible (of sorts), the fruit can be eaten raw or cooked and can be used to make the most delicious jams and preserves, not to mention home made wine, but those are not the topic of this post, here we are going to concentrate on the early season harvest the Elderberry gives us in the form of it's flowers.

The flowers again can be eaten raw or cooked and i have to admit to being a bit partial to just biting a mouthful of flowers straight off the tree, it's like eating champagne with a bit of protein thrown in if you don't shake the flowers first to dislodge any hidden insects, still the insects add protein i guess?.

The flowers are used to add flavour to jams and preserves and the dried flowers can be used to make a refreshing tea, the most common use though is to make Elderflower wine, get it right and it's delicious get it wrong and well, you have some vinegar for your fish & chips, the other use and one that I'm going to do tomorrow is to make Elderflower Fritters, a truly delicious seasonal delicacy and incredibly easy to make, more on that tomorrow though when i have been back up the hill and collected some flowers.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Target Practice

Bi-pod used for photo only, Scope now replaced by a 50mm
I decided to have some fun with one of my air rifles this afternoon (HW97K), i shot it in the week and the scope was a little off, so it gave me an excuse to have some target practice in the garden, it didn't take long to get things back on track, i must have knocked the scope at some point and not realised. 

I normally shoot Field Target Trophy, H&N Hollow Points and Accupels through the HW as it is in my experience a pellet fussy gun and these  pellet types seem to suit it, the FTT is the better pellet i feel and the one i use for all of my rabbit shooting, the Accupels being used for Pigeons where they seem to offer better penetration through the feathers than the FFT,  the H&N Hollow Points are used for Ratting.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Possibles Pouch / Survival Kit

I was talking to a good friend of mine the other evening about Possibles Pouches / Survival Kits, now I'm not one of these chaps who holds a great deal of faith in stuff like survival tins, although i did buy one years ago and have used a few items from it over the years.

Where i do 99.9% of my shrafting though, I'm probably not more than a couple of miles at most from civilisation, and if i go on a trip other than something local, then i will carry appropriate equipment with me, regardless of where i am though, i always carry at least one emergency whistle, a First Aid Kit and a means to make a fire, not to mention a mobile phone, because again where i do 99.9% of my shrafting, i can always get a signal, always have done and i dare say i always will be able to.

Stupid things we do.

Man, I've done some stupid things in my time, but when challenged to a run of about a mile by my nephew today, well it had to be done, so off we went for a run of approx a mile and a bit down the lane and back home via the sheep field, so yep, I'm in training now, for a heart attack, secretly, i quite enjoyed it to be honest, first time I've run anywhere since i left school, ahem years ago, great fun though, well that's what i keep telling myself.

Woodlore Clone - JLT Knives

Time for a small review on the JLT Knives Woodlore clone that i received a little while back, this knife has been used on a daily basis since i first received it back in early March, in fact this knife has seen more use in the past month or so than my Woodsman which, by my own admission is my favourite blade, i wont go into too much detail about the Woodlore here other than a brief synopsis, as i intend to do a full review of it on video and indeed a couple of others,  for my YouTube channel in the near future, although looking at pictures is nice, a video enables you to convey so much more information, so specs for the knife

The specs of the knife are :
  • Overall Length   : 8 1/2 Inches
  • Blade Length     : 4" 1/4Inches
  • Blade Depth       : 1" 1/8 inch at widest point
  • Grind                  : Scandi
  • Blade Material  : O1 Steel, Full Tang
  • Handle Scales   : Ivory Micarta, red fibre liners and brass pins and lanyard tube

Friday, 6 May 2011

The Lakes

Spent an afternoon up the lakes today as i had a meeting with a local Tree Surgeon, we have a couple of dead Oaks that need to come down and a few dead overhanging branches that need to be cut down on safety grounds, oh yes and a couple of Oaks where we are going to do a crown reduction. 

Not many people fishing, today which is unusual for such a lovely day, but those that were, did catch some Tench, Roach, Bream and Perch, the picture shows a small section of Canada Lake (named after the Geese that nest here every year) and one of six lakes and ponds at the venue, the Flag Iris is in full bloom, the Marsh Marigold are just starting to appear and the Lilly's have the wonderful deep red leaves, that only appears when they are young, i might even wander back up there next week and have a fish instead of working up there for a change.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

House Sparrow - Passer domesticus

One of my all time favourite birds is the lowly House Sparrow, sure i curse them because they poo on my just washed and polished car and i curse them even more, when i have to get a ladder out and evict them from the roof. 

They may be a LBJ (Little Brown Job) in the bird world and they are quite often overlooked, but the ones we have around here are fearless and great fun to watch, quite often you can be sitting on the patio and the Sparrows will land three feet away from you or as they are doing at the moment, some superb aerobatics as they collect flying insects on the wing, they are incredible birds to watch and not as common as they used to be, in fact according to the RSPB, the House Sparrow population has declined by 62% in the last 25 years, putting them firmly on the Red List for conservation concern.

Source Material : RSPB

Clouds

We awoke this morning to a light rain, it wasn't forecast, but, it was here anyway, and god only knows the garden and surrounding countryside needed the drink, it was only when we looked at the cloud that we were amazed to see a superb cloud formation, i think it's a form of Pillow cloud (happy to be corrected), i thought at first it was  Mammatus clouds, but the shape was wrong, pretty magnificent sight nevertheless

The Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden

I picked this book up yesterday in a Charity shop down town for the grand price of £1.50, although i saw on Amazon this morning that a second hand copy is selling for £29.99, since i got the book I've not been able to put it down, the best way to describe the book is to quote the text from inside the dust cover.

"A facsimile reproduction of a naturalists diary for the year 1906, Edith Holden recorded in words and paintings the flora and fauna of the British countryside through the changing seasons of the year.

Edith Holden's word, all carefully written by hand, include her favourite poems, personal thoughts and observations on the wildlife she saw surrounding her home in Warwickshire and on her travels through England & Scotland. The exquisitely beautiful paintings on every page of birds, butterflies, bees and flowers, reflect her deep love of nature; they have been executed with a naturalist's eye for detail, and the sensitivity of an artist."

It's a truly remarkable book, lots of anecdotes and traditional Mottoes and if you look for it, a remarkable amount of hidden detail, the illustrations though, are truly magnificent and capture a level of detail not often seen.

I would urge anyone with an interest in nature and in particular English flora and fauna to pick up a copy of this book, trust me, you wont regret it

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Got To Love The Spring Time

Especially when you have a woodland like this, on your door step to go and enjoy, unfortunately it's a public woodland, so not really a good place or idea to be running around the place with a knife in your hand, just in case the sheeple get upset, although i have instructed at one course here in the past that was run by the local Council, where we taught friction fire lighting and shelter building amongst other things, despite the people and dog walkers that get up here, it's a lovely place to be at anytime of the year, but Spring Time has to be one of the best, the ultimate time to be here is in the Autumn when all the leaves are turning, it's a mass display of reds, browns and golds and a truly magnificent sight.

Early Purple Orchid - Orchis mascula

I went for a quick walk round the back of the hill earlier and ended up in the woods to the east of where i live, where the Early Purple orchid is just about finishing it's display for this year.

They are a beautiful flower and quite common in these woods, although it was only a few years ago they really came back with a vengeance and each year sees them spread just that little bit further through the woods, these combined with the Bluebells give a great floral display each year and one that I'm glad to say only gets better and better as each year passes.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

What a mess!

Whilst out on a short bimble late this afternoon, i popped into the copse at the end of the road and was horrified to find the mess i did, empty beer cans and bottles, a massive fire scar, deodorant cans, cigarette packets and well, look at the photo.

Now a lot of people would go "into one" at this point and start a massive rant, but not me, i have a fair idea who was responsible for this as i saw them walk down the road late yesterday afternoon clutching a 24 pack of the "The best lager in the world", i also have more than a fair idea where a couple of the culprits live.

Hawthorn Flowers - Crataegus monogyna

Yep, Hawthorn Flowers aka the May Flower, not only are they a late spring time treat to look at and indeed smell, but they also offer a tasty trail side nibble with a distinct Almond flavour, which of course is provided by the Cyanide that's present in the flowers, don't worry though you would have to eat a  seriously massive amount to become poisoned by it, although it has  to be said that certain documents state that some people have suffered an allergic reaction to the Cyanide, despite the low levels.

Please get proper training from a local expert before eating wild foods

Leather Knife Strops

Made a couple of leather strops for sale this morning, both are 24 inches in length +/- 1", two inches wide and 3mm thick, hand dyed and hand finished on one side only in a rich Medium Brown, a leather thong at each end allows you to place one end of the strop over a fence post or branch, whilst the other keeps your hands safely away from the blade.
 
BOTH SOLD

Monday, 2 May 2011

Woodlore Sheaths

I decided to make a couple of new sheaths in a Woodlore style today for a couple of my knives, namely my Ray Mears Micarta Woodlore and one of my Woodlore clones (JLT Knives), sheaths are made from 3mm veg tan leather, stitched with linen thread and dyed in British Tan, one sheath has a slightly heavier dye to it to give a darker richer colour, both sheaths incorporate a dangler option, i didn't make specific dangler loops for these both  sheaths, basically as there is no need, i already had one attached to another sheath, so as per today, all i need do is transfer the one dangler to whatever sheath I'm using at the time, saves a bit of work and saves some leather for other projects.