Sunday, 5 July 2009

Making kindling, and some other odds and ends

On Friday we visited our friend Fiona at her wood, and she told me a neat way to make kindling (or in this case, fuel for our woodgas stove and kelly kettle). As soon as we were in our wood, I tried it out.

You start by tying something round the log you intend to split up. I used a piece of rope with a slip-knot in it, but Fiona suggested a piece of bike inner tube - next time I get a puncture I'll try this.Then, use your froe and wooden mallet to put a split down the middle:
Turn it 90 degrees and repeat:
Then carry on making parallel splits, according to the thickness of kindling you want:
Turn 90 degrees again and repeat:and finally, take the rope off:
Neat eh?

We used some immediately to cook lunch, and I also discovered that the kelly kettle fits neatly on top of the woodgas stove, allowing you to make a hot drink after cooking without lighting another fire:
Also, because the kettle creates a good updraught, you can even unplug the fan in the woodgas stove, producing an interesting effect when you look down from the top:
We rearranged our little camp yesterday to benefit from more of the shade from the oaks, and also make it easier to get things in and out of the shelter. We took the opportunity to rebuild the fireplace and make a table beside it with a spare concrete slab I'd picked up near home recently:
While we were sat there having lunch, look what slithered by:
We'd better keep an eye out, this is the first time we've seen an adder this close to our camp - I guess they like the hot ground there on sunny days!

The heat had also brought out a huge range of insects, such as crickets and dragonflies:
and butterflies too - here's my first photo of a White Admiral this summer, and one of a Speckled Wood too:
We took a walk up into Sweep Wood (my parents' patch), and clipped back branches that were reaching into the public footpath. Along the way we saw a fungus which I'd happened to take a photo of nine days earlier. Here's the first photo:
and here's the later one, after just nine days!
We also noticed that there's a lot of honeysuckle out in Sweep Wood, it'll be nice in a year or two when the butterflies can get to it, after we've coppiced there...
Finally, we found a tree that was very interesting, mainly because it has fruit on it! I think they're plums, but we'll see how they develop over the coming weeks:


Anonymous said...

That's a really neat way to make kindling. And if I get back to find a slab missing from my patio, I'll know who to blame...

Mike Pepler said...

Don't worry, it came from the car park opposite when they were clearing it! :-)