Many books tell you that in the northern hemisphere you can find north by looking at trees on moist ground and the side of the tree on which the moss grows highest will indicate north because of the assumption that all mosses require cool, damp, shaded locations and this can often be true, but not always as you can see in the picture below. The picture was taken 1 hour after midday and the moss (on the south-easterly side of the tree) is growing about 1 metre up the tree (in this case an Ash tree).
Mosses have no roots but instead have tiny threads called rhizoids that serve to anchor the moss and to supply moisture and nutrients. Their leaves are thin and cannot retain water so instead they obtain water from rain
and dew and for this reason mosses tend to grow best in wetter places. You can learn more about mosses here.
So when using mosses on trees for navigation look at a number of trees and take an average to give a rough idea of north but not rely on it. I would also recommend getting a copy of this book “Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass” which teaches you how to recognise many natural signs and events to use for navigating.
I thought I had made my last post for a while but it seems not to be the case after speaking to Kevin last night.
He has just got back from his trip and is quite busy sorting everything out. He said he would post soon with all the details of his trip.
So in the meantime I would like to share some pictures with you of two leather bound journals that I had made for my wife Alison and myself.
They were both hand made by my friend Adam Cottrell (aka ’3please’ on the Woodlife forum).
The first one I got made up for Alison’s birthday.
Adam made up the design himself from a telephone chat.
It locks together with the pencil holder.
All nicely bound.
The next book was for myself and Adam gave this to me as a prize for a competition I entered on the Woodlife forum.
The wooden carving on the front is my bushie name and it is carved on Laburnum wood. The plants are Oak, Beech, Pine and Nettle.
To open it you need to open the wooden front.
Then you can pull the side out.
The main cover is cow leather. The pouch is Buffalo and the pencil holder is Goat leather.
the back all beautifully bound. The paper is a type of parchment.
I now use this to record all the courses I run or am involved in.
Cheers Adam for two fantastic journals.