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Mittwoch, 24. April 2013

Spring is here!!!!

 These days I am outside whenever I can... which is not as much as I would like, but there´s little I can do about that. I have been doing a bit of foraging, too. For instance, the plant above is pulmonaria officinalis, i.e. lungwort (in German: Lungenkraut). Good against bronchitis, and will find its way into my cough syrup.
 This is Glechoma Hederacea, ground ivy (in German: Gundermann), a spicy herb, great as a spice, in salads and soups and even as a tea. I also put it in a herbal syrup and into my birch sap mead.
 Jack-by-the hedge or mustard garlic, rich with mustard oil, with a taste similar to wild garlic before blossom, and a taste like cresses afterwards. Good as a spice, on cheese sandwiches, and I put it in spiced oil. Recent studies also claim an anticarcinogenic effect of mustard oil, which also is summat;-) I daresay...;-) Of course, I like wild garlic better, but won´t shun it if I can´t have wild garlic*ggg*.
 Ranunculus ficaria, i.e. lesser celandine, a spicy, tasty herb before blossom. After blossom you should not take the leaves. Then you can harvest the roots which are rich with starch and make a saturating ingredient in wild soups and can be used for binding sauces and soups and even pudding,
 a sweet woodruff pudding, for instance? Just kidding, of course, for sweet woodruff should not be used in large quantities. Just take a handful of plants for about one litre of syrup. Sweet woodruff can induce headaches and impair blood clotting ability due to a high Cumarine content. If you take "blood-thinning" medicaments such as Marcumar or ACC, do not use it before consulting with your doctor.
 I could not resist posting this photo of an oak and a beech making love...
 Stinging nettle, great for soup and stews and spinache! Always pick them from bottom to top, to avoid burning...
 Sloe and wild plum are blossoming. The blossoms are tasty in a  herbal syrup and have a blood cleansing effect.
 I have no shop to date other than the smithy, so I took out my hadseax and the sgian achlais into the woods and worked on it sitting on a stump. It was a great experience, being out in the spring woods, with birds asinging wildly all around, sipping my tea and playing with my tools. The knife is the seax blade that did not want to be an elvish blade;-). Mokume Gane (silver, gold and nickel) bolster, reindeer antler and yew handle. The blade is a three layer laminate, wrought iron from an old villa in Bergisch Gladbach, and 1.2842. I have tested it severely, and bent it at nearly 90 degrees. Had to straighten it afterwards, but the blade came out unscathed other than that. It also chops antler and hardwood and takes a good and keen edge. And as I sat there, sitting at the root of an old oak, I thought that this knife deserved a name, but could not think of any that made sense. Silently the wind rustled in the dry leaves of the oak, left over from last autumn still. Then it was silent again. I sipped my tea and thought hard, when suddenly I started, for there was the stem of the oak I leant to creaking violently. I paused, and asked myself... what did that mean? And as if the tree wanted to make a statement, it creaked again, even louder and longer, and there was no wind then. I smiled. Then all was silent again, and no sound to be heard. And the windd began to blow again, singing a gentler song in the leaves around. And there it was - the name I wanted to find:

Eikinnsleikr.

(Oaken song)

 I admit I brought this socially abolutely inadequate knife with me;-), stashed away at the bottom of my rucksack, of course, and with a lock in the sheath. I could say I did it because I wanted to make a sheath and needed its length to baton through a suitable piece of wood. I could say I brought it with me to shoot photos, or for historical documentation purposes. But truth is, I just love to play with it. I forged it long ago, when Matthias Zwissler was still working at the Krenzer Hammer, together with Harald, from a piece of C 60 Harald gave to me, and it has a selective temper. And I still have to say it´s one of the best knives I have ever made. It´s about 250 mm long, with integral bolsters and a massive copper buttcap. The tang is some 20 mm thick, the handle is Sambar stag.
 It has a very good balance, and thusly it is suited for delicate work as well as hard chopping tasks. I have used it for brutally hard work, such as splitting, batoning, prying and all that fun stuff you should never do to a knife;-). I have to do some blade sports...;-)
 The wild pigs were enjoying the sun, and apparently quite fond of spring also... I like these animals very much. I can relate to them, if that makes any sense;-)...

 The wild sheep rams were out also, and cut a striking figure;-)

 More tree porn...;-)



A relaxing sunbath after the mudbath...

Spring is here! I love it... long was the winter, but nature finally awakens! Isn´t that great? To me, it´s the kindling of a new flame, of hope and of light.

Kommentare:

  1. ooff.. that's some hefty blade there! esthatically i think a dark brown, round and smooth handle wood be just right.
    So... treeporn, huh? You have a twisted mind, Mr! ;) but yes, spring is here... and I am struggling with it, once more..

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  2. It is my JOB to have a twisted mind;-)... hope you get along with spring... you semm to do quite well!

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  3. We've just had out spring too! Lasted 3 days! It was 20 today, will be 10 tomorrow, if we're lucky... I hate the weather man...:-)

    The knife? It's the one you've got with you, so it's the best one to have.

    So you csn relate to the wild boars....hum....I'll comment no further.. :-) For some reason this reminded me of Pumba, the warthog in the Lion king: could clear the savanna after every meal. Good trick to keep the townies at bay.

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    1. Hi, Joel, we have the same, but what can we do...;-)

      As for the knife, you certainly made me ambitious to show it´s not just a bold claim. In fact, I wasn´t so sure afterwards myself, so I slammed it into a piece of aged deer bone (no stag antler in sight I could spare), and suffered minor dents. Since the hardness of those materials is different from piece to piece, that might not be grievous... The blade is flexible enough, and cuts well enough, and I estimate its hardness in the edge area to about 59 - 60 ° Rockwell. I´ll do a test with a spring steeled knife hopefully soon to show I actually DO test my knives this way...:-)

      Long story about those boars... ;-)

      And they actually DO keep the townies at bay... I keep telling horror stories about what they do to you if you ar lying injured in the underbrush... nice trick indeed!;-) Less ghetto kids=less litter.

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  4. I missed that relating part!
    Why do you relate? Is it your totemanimal or are there more practical sides to it?

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    1. We share some characteristics...;-) I like a good mudbath myself (albeit on a bike;-)) and sunbaths and good food... depends on the point of view, though, I am not overly fond of insects and snails;-). And, kidding aside, they indeed played a somewhat spiritual role in my life... That has changed a bit, but is still important, for they took part in a very enlightening moment in nature. I´ll tell that story soon, hopefully.

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Now go on, discuss and rant and push my ego;-). As long as it´s a respectful message, every comment is welcome!

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