Sunday, 23 December 2012

Four legged Stool

Just a simple stool knocked together for sitting on when carving.
Should come in handy for popping up the feet in front of the fire. I think that officially makes me old. : )
Black Pine for the top which was hewed and planed flat and square, with Elm for the legs with Oak wedges.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Identifying and eating Wood Blewits

Finally scored some of these locally on the last walk growing under Holly, so I made sure I had a positive ID using 3 separate books including Rodger Phillips Mushrooms, checked the gill type which were crowded and sinuate, and the colours, shape and size of the other parts.

Just to make sure I did a spore print which turned out to be rather impressive. Younger specimens were lilac coloured and the older larger ones were starting to become beige, so no rusty brown spores which could have made them Cortinarius fungi.

Last of the Autumn colour before the recent storms.

Spore Prints

After all the hard work Identifying them, I thought it only proper to eat them. 
They smelt and tasted gorgeous, simply sautéed in the pan with some Butter, Oil, garlic, salt, pepper and served on buttered toast. Yummy : ) 

John Wrights Book on Mushrooms in the River Cottage handbook series was great for additional information on ID, background information and recipes. Very funny too in places.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Fungus Identification

I've been practising fungal ID recently, some I'm much more familiar with such as tree decay fungal brackets, but less so with the rest. I always try to learn several more each year as I come across them.
Here are some pictures of a few I'm quite sure about, I wanted to be positive on at least one, particularly as I wanted to eat a new one, so I did some further work on the Wood Blewit, which I'll post about next time.

Ganoderma adspersum
Great for making Amadou. Forget about horses hoof fungus if you find this fellow. Much more trauma layer and easier to process. It goes up a treat.

Grifola frondosa
This had been kicked off the buttress root sby a previous passer by. Its an Oak stump which this fungus likes. It's supposed to be a very popular and expensive herbal medicine. I often find this on other Oaks during my inspection work with trees.

Mycena sps - Wax caps 
Still unsure about the species on this one but i think its a common type associated with hardwood dead stumps.

Russula ochroleuca - CommanYellow Brittlegill 
I really like coming across these. The badgers and dogs normally knock them over in the local woods. There weren't many about this year but now I know where they are I'll be back next year when hopefully there will be a few more.

Lepista nuda -Wood Blewit
First time I've found these on my own and they love a secluded spot. They like to pop up later in the season and have done well since the first two frosts this year. They smell and look really nice. Looking forward to cooking some larger ones I found this week.

Clitocype nebularis - Clouded funnel 
Not as many around this year and they really like the old railway embankments. Shame there not recommended for eating in most of the books.

Anyway, I hope that was of interest to folks. Feel free to comment, correct, or chat about your finds this year.

Paul : )

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

An Autumnal walk, badger watching and sign

During another recent walk, I took along a camera and snapped away at some of the sights along the way. Some are from the phone so please excuse the quality. I got so carried away on one occasion that it started to drop dark, so I phoned home for a pass out, as it was the perfect time to settle down and watch the badgers come out to play.

Mature Sweet Chestnut stems twisting away.

Badger Hair on one of many trails leading to several sets.

The log they duck under on the trail. The flattened newly fallen leaves are a give away to activity.

Young Fly Agaric. This was also on the badger trail, and when I revisited a week later to see how it was developing, it had been pushed over. There were several other interesting species of fungi which I will post on soon, now I'm close to the Identification of them.

Just a few Sloes on the bushes, but plenty of Rose Hips and Hawthorn Berries.

The Emerdale Farm shot. "Should I stay, or should I go"

I stayed, and watched the badgers. There were 5 of them who snuffled about in the new leaf litter close to their set entrances for around 30 mins, then one by one in single file they emerged right in front of me as they went out on patrol into the rest of the wood.

The full  moon came up shortly after so I headed back home but just before I did, I heard a noise of approching footsteps. I stayed very still and quiet and they grew louder heading staright to the tree I was leaning against. As the badger (I hope!) reached the tree he must of had a wiff of woodsman and took off like a shot. Then a while later he did exactly the same again. Strange when you cant see them but probably more exciting. I love staying out like this and it was far more entertaining on a Saturday night than most things going off in the area.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Fungal Foray

I recently took my daughter on a local foray with a guide around a nature reserve. There were far fewer mushrooms than other years, but after much searching the group managed a good haul, and we found some that I dont normally see.

The finds are used to monitor species on the site and for education.

Puff balls, various wax caps, and weeping widows were some found here.

Honey fungus, these were left after ID, so that we didn't spread it back home.

Turkey Tail found on dead tree stumps.

I've also been going out locally to find other species, and found some interesting ones in a very nice woodland, which I'll post about when I've sorted the Identification. There were various species, but not in profusion again this year.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Autumn Navigation Practice in the woods

I recently went off for a wander to take in some of the colours of the season, get some fresh air and practice my Navigation work. I had some fun in this wonderful local woodland seeking out features on the map, using catching features, and practising pace counts and timings on various terrain. 

The problem was I was rather distracted by the trees. Bit of a busman's day out this one 

A few pictures for you on a misty day.

 Things slowly get better the further you venture into this varied woodland.

The Beech in fine form.

Soup, bread and a brew over the pocket stove, using a homemade shoe polish tin meths burner. When the meths runs out, just switch over to sticks. Great for simple boiling/heating.

Hazel, a very nice thing

Oaks form the backbone of the woodland structure, and there are some lovely specimens, with all the birch, holly and hazel to complement.

Looking out from inside the cliff. I ended up on top of this cliff and found a hole in the ground. After scaling down the edge I found the entrance at the base.

and the outside

A feature on the map worth heading for.

Plenty of mushrooms about in the damp warm weather we have had recently.

 A grand time out, and a nice change from driving about the county. I've also been gathering some native leaves for a display as a learning tool for my daughter, so this walk came in handy, and I didn't get lost so something is going right for me at the mo. :)

Gathered some Rosehips on the way too, and made up some syrup for my porridge back at home.
I've found a recipe to make up some jelly from the rest of the hips along with the windfalls from the apple in the garden.

The sloe gin is looking good and gets a turn over now and then. Cant wait till Christmas for a taste, its been a couple of years since I was regularly making it. The previous batches I've matured over a year have been particularly nice.

I'll try and cram in as many walks as possible over the next few weeks, there's a local Fungal foray my daughter and I will be going along to on Sun, so all in all Autumn is being well and truly enjoyed.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Svord peasant knife rebuild - Yew handle

After reading Stewart Lights Blog entries about his project, I thought I'd give this rebuild a go as I've always liked these type of knives. I've made friction folding knives in the past, but I fancied using the Svord blade as I like the shape and its a nice simple project to do in-between other jobs.

Hopefully you get the idea of the process from the pictures I took during the build. I make my own scales most of the time as it costs me nothing other than time, and its been good doing a spot of knife work again as I've been busy with other projects of late. I prefer to be out and about these days when I get some spare time, particularly in the Autumn season, and I think this knife will be the perfect bushcrafting companion.

Designing the new handle in the open and closed positions

Splitting out the Yew logs for the scales

Axed and planed flat and to rough thickness

Shaped the scales by knife, pins drilled, knife in position and leather spacer for the rear attached

A spot of carving, sanding and a dunk in Raw linseed oil, and there she is!

I re-ground the edge to get rid of most of the horrible secondary bevel so it will work better in wood.

The handle is very comfortable, I just need to make a leather dangler pouch for it now, and we're off to the woods! Hope you like and fancy giving this a go. It's easy and you get a UK legal carry knife with a bit of character.