Saturday, 23 January 2010

A damp visit to the wood

It's been pretty murky weather for days now, but as we were both feeling a bit better, we decided to drive up the wood and take a walk around anyway. It was worth it to get this photo!
It only lasted for 10 seconds, then 5 or 6 Coal Tits came down to chase the Robin, although they ended sharing the food we'd put out amicably after that. I'm not sure what's up with the Coal Tit's eye, it looks like it has something stuck there, or else a growth of some kind - poor thing! We've put up a new bird feeder there now, which is more squirrel proof:
although the birds that can get in have to do some contortions:
Some of them prefer to perch on the nearby pile of sticks, hopping down to the ground to get the food we spilled.
We walked around the wood a bit, and found large areas up the hill where the boar have been rustling through the leaves looking for food. It may not look like much in the picture below, but there is actually quite a lot of disturbance:
Not sure if we'll go up tomorrow, we'll have to see what the weather's like...

Mike

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Flu

I've had flu, and Tracy seems to be developing it, hence the lack of news on our blog... Especially frustrating as there's only a few trees left to deal with in Sweep Wood before we can well and truly say we're done for this winter. I've even just had a length of steel rope delivered to use with a winch for felling some of them, but it'll have to sit waiting in the garage for now...

Mike

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Monday, 11 January 2010

Woodgas Outdoor Fireplace review

Some time ago I posted a review of the Woodgas Campstove we use for cooking in the wood. Well, now I've got another video - this time of its big brother, the Woodgas Outdoor Fireplace:The fireplace works on exactly the same principle as the campstove, with a fan drawing air in through the holes round the outside of the base, and injecting a small amount through holes in the base of the combustion chamber:The limited amount of air, combined with the heat of the fire, results in the wood being gasified, to produce a mixture of carbon monoxide, methane and hydrogen (known as woodgas), which is then ignited when it reaches the much larger airflow coming in through the holes in the top (don't worry, all the CO is burned, no risk from the woodgas):There are a few small differences between the fireplace and the campstove. The campstove had two power sockets - high and low - and ran from a pair of AA batteries. The fireplace can take a 9-12V supply, so can run directly from a lead-acid battery, or eight smaller batteries in a pack. However, it is supplied with a mains adaptor, as many people will be using it in the garden, hopefully to replace one of the nasty fossil-fuel burning patio heaters! The fan in the stove only uses 2W of power, while the heat from the stove can reach 16kW! The fireplace also has a knob to vary the airflow, although you'll normally only use anything less than maximum while lighting it.
The fireplace also has handles added to the side. These stayed cool even after an hour of operation, allowing you to move the stove (carefully!) after you've unplugged it without waiting for it to cool down.
Anyway, here it is full of fuel and ready to go. A full load of fuel should burn for an hour and a half, and you can top it up (gradually) while it is burning.Just before we get to the video, here's a few photos of it in action:
nice, eh? Well, without further ado, here's the video on how to use one:


If you want to buy one, go to woodgasstove.co.uk

Mike

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Woodland snow scenes

With all the snow there's been over the past week, there's been some great opportunities to get pictures in the wood, so here they are.

The wayleave:
The footpath, running along the border of Smock and Sail Wood:
Various views in Chestnut Coppice:
And over in Sweep Wood, we got pictures of the sign on Friday and Sunday - look at the difference!
The tracks are deep with snow - up to six inches in places:
We did a lot of bird feeding:
We waited around one of the feeding stations, and were quickly rewarded by ravenous birds - I got pictures of a Great Tit, a female Blackbird and a Nuthatch:
The snow is slowly thawing now, but we'll keep feeding the birds until its gone.

Mike

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Sledging in Udimore

As I said before, there are no hills in Camber, and bike sledging is hard work, so we picked up four friends and went off in search of a better place to sledge. It was snowing quite hard, and the wind was blowing too, so the vehicle of choice was obviously the Defender.


The first place we stopped involved a walk through some beautiful woodland:
but once we got out to our intended hill, we found it wasn't much good, and we moved on further up the road.
Once we got to the other side of Udimore, we found the perfect location, with some people already sledging there:
The snow was pretty deep, for our part of the world at least:
Here's a video of us all sledging, and most of us falling off as well!

After we'd all got cold and tired we went and sat in the Defender and had soup. Very cosy!
The Defender did very well - definitely the car to be out in when conditions are bad!

Mike

p.s. All the photos and the sledging video were taken with a mobile phone.

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Sunday, 10 January 2010

Bike sledging!

There's no hills in Camber, so what do you do when it snows?


Tracy says her voice is squeaky because of the cold weather... ;-)

Mike

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Snow at Camber Sands

OK, I have a lot of pictures (and videos) related to snow... So, to start with, here's the ones taken in Camber and Rye.

Early on in the period of snow it was also sunny, making for some great shots on the beach:
Then more snow came...
leaving the beach more thoroughly covered:
I got a couple of pictures while the snow was coming down, but with my mobile phone rather than the SLR:
Yes, that really is snow on the sand over 100m out from the shore! It didn't stay for long though out there.

Meanwhile, in Rye, everyone was panic buying bread and milk...
The roads got pretty icy as well, here's ours early one morning:
Fortunately the Defender is well able to cope with this :-)

Coming up later - some pics of snow in the wood, and videos of sledging and towing a sledge with a bike!

Mike

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