Friday, 18 January 2008

Water and Fire


When we arrived at the wood yesterday (Thursday) we were greeted by a new site: dew. I'm sure there's been plenty of dew on other days, but we tend to go up to the wood after lunch, so we miss it. The result was that all the spider webs we keep blindering through were suddenly visible:

We also came across some fungi we'd not seen before here:

including the well-known Fly Agaric (or Flying Eric, as I remember someone calling it years ago...)

When we went up again today, we decided it was time to have a fire to burn up some of the brush we'd created when felling silver birch over the summer. A certain amount of brush can be left as a wildlife refuge, but we were end up with quite a lot of it, and it'll be in the way when we come to do some coppicing this winter. So, the process of dragging it all to the fire site and building the fire began:

Fires for burning brush aren't built like a bonfire - the aim is to keep the fire relatively small and controlled, for obvious reasons! Once we had a small fire going, we then just kept feeding it for an hour or so:

...then scooped up some of the embers into the Kelly Kettle to make a hot drink:

As usual, we smoked out the wood:

Anyone who knew me as a teenager will not be surprised I like making fires so much....

While the embers were cooling, we went to collect food:

We'll be roasting some of the chestnuts, though we're keen to explore other ways of eating them too - we ate one raw while we were there, it was a bit like eating raw cabbage or cauliflower, and not unpleasant at all. The acorns are another matter.... they have to be dried for a week or more, then shelled, roasted and finally are ready to eat or grind into a powder to use in some way... that's the theory at least - I'll report back on how it turns out later!


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