Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Starting as I Mean to Continue

Well, welcome to 2008 everybody!
I made it out to the woods today for the first time in a few weeks after juggling various family responsibilities and it was well worth the effort.
The weather wasn't exactly great - misty and between +1 and -1 most of the day with a very light dusting of snow. The only problem was that it being New Year's Day there weren't a lot of buses and it took me over an hour to get there.
I had a nice walk around for an hour or so, looking for some recent tracks in the light snow but apart from people and dogs there wasn't much to see. I was rather excited by what looked to be a deer track but on closer inspection it was a dog track with a stick running though the middle! I'm enjoying looking at the moment and hope to keep this up whenever I can, I haven't had any breakthroughs yet but it is something else to bear in mind for the full complement of woods skills.
I took a couple of tools with me and had a go chopping through a couple of branches with the Leuku which really does make chips fly - it'll cut through birch as quick as you want to go.
I took the end of a small beech branch and had a go at carving a netting needle from it. Unfortunately the branch was rather narrow and I made a bit of a mess of the hole I drilled in - I should have thinned the branch more and cut a square rather than drilling a hole. I used the Mora for this and when used with a fist grip and a fair bit of arm effort it really does make wood slithers fly.
I also had a go at bashing some flint pebbles I raided from a car park a few weeks ago - I've little enough idea what I'm doing but I'll try to photograph and diagram what I'm doing in the near future. I did manage to produce one nice piece that could genuinely be termed a blade and a fair number of sharp bits and pieces.
All in all it was a really great start to the year and I'll try to follow it up soon.


Jon said...

Sam, just keep on looking at any and all tracks! Don't limit yourself just to the woods - look at parkland, track in town, track around the house. Look for indentations in the carpet where you have walked. It is all good experience.