Freitag, 29. April 2011
On a recent stroll to my mother´s I came across this blindworm (anguis fragilis, in German: Blindschleiche) in the rain. I know now why it´s also called slow worm.... I sat there and watched, but it would not do much...;-). Don´t know of its nutritional value ;-) but it seems to be cinch to catch...;-).
For, in Germany, for this sign, you get a deposit fee of 0,25 €. All the cans on the pile added up to a fiver. I usually take home the crap I can take back to get rid of it in the woods, making things from it, if I can. This time I didn´t, got me some quality food and enjoyed the evening!
from the deeper forests. They said in ancient times that the "Nibelungen" (Niflungar, Nevelungen) where on their way. Took some dandelion for dandelion honey with me, too.
Ribwort in blossom (plantago lanceolata, in German: Spitzwegerich). I use this as a medicinal against bronchitis. I use the leaves and the flower. The leaves may also be used in wound treatment.
In the middle of the woods I saw this totem pole made by someone with a chainsaw gone off his rocker. Getting a bit nosy, I followed the small footpath, and what did I come across?
This very sturdy earth shelter, complete with camouflage and all the kit.
Came across this fairie, and we had sort of a chat.;-)...Niflungar coming out in the sunshine, a rare sighting indeed...;-)
Does digging a cellar in while the house still stands by hand qualify;-)? In my book it certainly does... They are quite bushcrafty people, too, although the´d never admit it, living on herbs and edibles from the woods they planted in the garden. They have an area devoted entirely to wild plants, and they use them reularily. Carla taught me how to make dandelion honey in no time, and she is learning herblore by herself from ancient books, such as Hildegard von Bingen´s lore and Konrad von Megenberg´s herbarium. This is her kitchen herbs´spiral Hartwig set for her, with rosemary, thyme and many other herbs for the kitchen and for tea. I was quite amazed.
This is a piece of garden after Carolus Magnus, with three kinds of salad. Also there´s a garden for potatoes and carrots, quite the paradise. They both are very selfmade people, doing all this by themselves, and this I very much respect.
We had some very quality talk, and a drink of champagne, before making off to the site of the fire in the countryside. There were tents built up, and we had some curry sausage and french fries along with a beer or two or three...;-). The fire itself was built somewhat at a distance, for it had not rained for some weeks, and the authorities were taking care that no wildfires were set. After having our sausages and fries and beer and beer, and beer;-) we walked over to the fire. Met a strange crowd there, quite an interesting lot, the farmer himself whom the site belonged to, a guy from the Baltic Republic whom I talked for two hours with about bushlore, hunting and how it is in his home country. We heard some songs or at least some noise by the drunkards
around the place and kept silent;-) ourselves, looking into the flames, seeing things and talking about how great this was. Man, it was everything at once! Silent and noisy, cozy and loud, good friends and strangers, all peacefully united by looking into the flames. Life can be so great, and sometimes it is greatest when it´s simplest.
When the cinders burned down, we went back to Hartwig´s and Carla´s place, and had some real great food and some tea. Carla and Hartwig simply would not let us go without another meal.
After some very late night dinner, which was plainly delicious and consisted of two kinds of bread, cheese, butter, and cream with herbs from the garden, wild garlic and all;-), Anna and myself made for home.
We had some very deep talk, and I know she is a kind of sister to me, one person of those few closest to my heart. I am grateful she loves me that way, and I love her that way too.
It was a very healing experience for me, and I will dwell on that evening at least another year;-).
Donnerstag, 21. April 2011
That´s the start of the new hiking staff. It´s a length of good and dry maple I found along the trail.
Into the sunny underbrush I went, swift and silent and with an attitude of plainly and simply belonging there. One of those days, when noone is on the way, but me... great.
Through this ancient mine walked.
And found some wild garlic, delicious!!!!
Alongside this field some strange tracks led. I was quite submerged in thought, when I heard an even stranger barking, like a dog´s, but pitched somewhat higher. Looking closer and freezing in my tracks, I saw this fox´s den with some puppies before it. I stood still for a quarter of an hour, rarely breathing. It was quite funny to watch them, all thumbs and all, playing and barking at each other.
The den again. They went in and out.Iwas standing so still, a squirrell passed by me in some 50 cm distance, looked at me and went on its way, and this I am a bit proud of... it simply felt good.
Montag, 18. April 2011
Those are some works of Willi´s, two hatchets, a foraging sickle, a gouge for woodworking and some knives. I will do a better feature on his doings in the near future, but I wanted to give an impression.
He is a great craftsman, and very calm and maybe even wise. I have learned a lot from him.
The famed Krenzer bushcraft mini-hatchet.
Fine art by Ms. Krenzer.
My achievement for the day;-). Filed the integral part, edge quenched, and tempered.
Volker doing some straightening. That anvil´s one of my favourites. Viktor annealed and then ground it (!) from a piece of railroad section, drilled and filed a hardy hole in, and tempered it.... that guy is MAD!
The coming to birth of two blades, and what might become of the second?
This is a twining rod for the garden Volker forged. These are very popular with passers-by, a very popular gift! (How come?;-))
The birth of a dragon... I tried out another dragon head with spiralling horns, but it was quite the fragile task. I made this one from spring steel, and could have used five hands, and I was all thumbs. Tell me a tale of flying, burning steel!;-) Have a scar on the belly now, and one intact bike jersey less. (Ever heard Polyester burns excellently?;-))
That´s the finished one. I ground it with a new roto-grinder Viktor (again that madman!;-)) built from crap.
The head in detail... not as bad as I thought, but not as good either.
We forged for some three hours, cleaned up and had some really great asparagus soup, Jochen, the cook made. That guy is another great craftsman I have the privilege to know. He teaches me to have respect for food, and even love it. To be grateful plants and animals gave their lives, not (only) out of some religious impulse, but simply because it makes sense. He treats the food he prepares with a deep love, and relishes in his work and the fruits of his work. He only uses materials of high quality, and the result tastes as great as they come. We had some great talk along the meal, had a cuppa coffee afterwards, and I rode home, again with the deep feeling of fullfilment I always have when hanging out with these folks. For this, I am grateful, too.
I find I relish in the silence of the woods ever more so the older I get. It is like lifeblood for me sometimes to get out and sit on a stump or do something simple, and just feel my breath go in and out. Everything is sprouting now like wildfire. But inside my heart I know, this will pass. It is nothing to be feared. This fact, plain and simple, is life. There is death, and there is life. There is winter, and there is spring. And spring bears the seed of winter, and winter the seed of spring, as long as there is something green to flourish. I love spring as much as I love the darkness and solitude and contemplation of winter. Without a winter, there would not be dreams, without spring, winter would convey not meaning, as would spring, as would life without death.
I find myself entangled in this net of life and death, and the more that is coming to be, the more I find I am lost for words, for he who talks, knows not, he who knows, talks not.;-) I believe that only poetry and mathematics are capable of a description, but what for? There is the sun. There is the snow. And that over there is coltsfoot ;-) (Tussilago farfara), in German "Huflattich". It´s good against a cough, if taken as tea. Tastes spicy in a salad, too.
Strawberry (Fragaria vesca, in German: (Wald- Erdbeere) in blossom. You can obviously eat the fruit, and from the leaves and flowers you can make a very sweet tea with a mildly calming effect. Good for brokers;-) may prevent them from nervously buying Yen like mad and thusly prevent them from being smashed in the face by a Fimbulmyrk fist, I am kidding!!!!!;-) I´d never hit a broker buying Yen like mad in the face. Because that wouldn´t change anything. Instead I´d counsil them to try some mildly calming tea.;-) Might render them less nervous, and thusly less greedy, rant over and out;-).
One of my favourites, sweet woodruff (galium odoratum, in German: Waldmeister). Collect them before blossom and dry or make syrup from them. Sweet woodruff can be used against cramps, against wound infections (inside and outside), as a wound desinfection, and has a vasodiletary effect. Sweet woodruff contains Cumarin, and you have to be a bit careful, because it is mildly toxic. When making spiced wine with sweet woodruff, you should not take more than 3 g per 1 litre white wine. If you take vasodiletary medications as Marcumar, ACC or else, you should consult your doctor beforehand or obstain from using it, for it can have a very serious effect up to a heart attack when used with those medications. Do not frequently use high doses of sweet woodruff, for it is supposed to be carcinogenic. Nevertheless, if you are careful, it makes for a very tasty and spicy drink. In ancient times it was either used by witches to fend off demons or to fend off witches with a mixture of woodruff,St.John´s wort, and mentha pulegium (pennyroyal, in German: Poleiminze). I will give you a recipe for "Maibowle" soon, just watch this space!
This is hederacea glechoma (in German: Gundermann, no clue what it´s called in English). While it is poisonous for many vertebrates, including horses, a toxic effect on man is not known, and it is used as a spice. Be a bit careful with the dose in the salad, it might get a bit bitter. It tastes a bit like mint, but with a sharper note. You can also use it as a tea against lung disease, headache and plain old cough. Cooked as a detergent it is antiseptic. In ancient times it was used in beer storage, to preserve milk and cheese, against Hepatitis, pain in the hip, as an aphrodisiacum, and as a protective charm against demons and witchcraft.
Buds from the European spruce (picea abies, in German: Fichte). They are rich with Vitamin C and etherical oils. I use them as a syrup against the cold, as an antiseptic, and I make a liquor from it. Take one handful of buds, five teaspoons of wood honey, add the juice of one lemon, cover with sugar and let rest for three days. Fill up with some pint of gin, schnapps or other clear, hard booze (min 35% alcohol). Let it rest for at least three weeks. Strain through and fill with some quality fruit schnapps (Obstler) until the colour is a light red. In ancient times they were used against bronchitis, to clean the blood circuit, against articular gout, rheumatism, chronical fatigue and stomach cramps. Taste a bit bitter, but are healthy to boot. Take them also as tea. No witches here, though, for a change;-).
Pine (pinus, in German: Kiefer) buds. You can treat them as fir buds, with similar results. Have to do some research on them, though, might do for the moment that they don´t do you any harm, are rich with Vitamin C, good against bronchitis, to clean the blood circuit, and that you can make an even better schnapps with them;-). Prosit! (Cheers!)
I rode for hours on end through the hills, fireroads, singletrails, long, long, arduous climbs and quite some funny downhills, with beautiful scenery all the while, and I met two other persons, a girl and a hunter, with both of whom I had some quality time chatting. Seems people tend to appreciate and respect each other more when they are not as abundant;-).
Got some blueberry leaves (vaccinium myrtillus).
Taste great as a tea and as spice in syrup and have sort of a blood-cleaning effect, too.
Along a hillside roadside I had to cross I found some steel, too. Perfect!!!!
The sun was already sinking as I rode home. On the map it said I did a circuit of some 110 km, and boy sid I feel it! But it was a greatgreatgreatgreatgreat day out in the not-so-wild with quite a loot to carry home.
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