I found this swans flight feather yesterday so decided to make a fishing float, using the feather, a piece of flint and a piece of Stinging Nettle stem.
Four Birch poles were lashed together and set up as a quadro-pod and then other poles were laid between.
On a trip to Lapland myself and my friend Heiko decided to make a Spruce tipi.
We began by finding an area of flat open ground in the forest
Using a stick we exposed Spruce roots
One of our reserves is fed by underground spring water. The water is of such good quality that we have fresh water sponges living in the ditches.
They come in many shapes and sizes and surprisingly they are actually animals. These sponges are a mass of cells within a porous protein skeleton which contains silica and calcium. They feed on tiny organisms by filtering them from the surrounding water.
You can find out more about sponges here; http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A839144
An nice surprise yesterday was a Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) feeding around one of the pools on the reserve. This is only the third record for the reserve.
Here’s a video grap from one I filmed previously
There is more information here; http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/l/littleegret/
For those interested in tracks, here is the print of a Grey Heron
You may recall in the past that I have made several items from Cherry wood. Unfortunately there is always a significant risk with Cherry and it’s not one I’m willing to take any more.
I roughed out four of these Cherry cups over the weekend (about 2 hours work for each)
During a cool cloudy spell the other day I managed to get some nice pictures of insects sitting around waiting for the sun to reappear.
This is a male Brimstone butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni). The females are much paler.
This orangey/red beetle is a Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis)
I have just added some new links.
The first two are the website and blogspot of Fergus Drennan AKA Fergus the forager.
Here you can find out about his wild food courses based near Canterbury and lots of useful information including; recipes, useful links, what he has been up to recently and lot’s of other useful information.
And then we have a link to my friend Marcus and his Wild Food School, based in Cornwall.
Harold Gatty has a unique knowledge of pathfinding by natural methods on both land and sea. Born in Tasmania, he was placed in charge of Air Navigation Research and Training for the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1931. During World War II his first book “The Raft Book” was part of the standard equipment in U.S. Airforce life rafts, written to help men who were adrift at sea.
This book covers the marine material from the previous book with the addition of pathfinding on land. Applying methods used by primitive peoples from around the world and early explorers he shows how to navigate by observing natural features, birds and other animals, weather patterns, vegetation, patterns of both snow and sand and positions of the sun, moon and stars, without having to rely on a map or compass. Much of the advice and information in this book is not available elsewhere.
I have found this book so fascinating that it really is difficult to put down. The reader is encouraged to look at paintings and photographs of landscapes and using skills learnt from the book look for natural indicators of time of day, orientation of the picture and the direction of certain natural features.
Also of interest to me was the observational use of migrating birds as a directional indicator by early explorers such as the Polynesians, as migrating birds travelling over sea were known to be heading for land. Some even carried large birds such as frigate birds on their boats and released individuals during a sea crossing (knowing they would fly to land) and observed the direction they flew in and headed in the same direction.
The book can be viewed here
or purchased here
I have been at Hardwick Wood near Cambridge today with other green woodworking friends.