Yesterday I mentioned going walking stick hunting (but at least I don't have to be on horseback or shoot them). I was after a specific type of wood and a few weeks ago found just the place, a lane with loads of blackthorn hedging. The sloe provider for those who like to soak the fruit in gin for Christmas, but I was after straight lengths.
Not as easy to find as one might first think having looked at a potential length from all angles only to find what seemed suitable actually has an odd kink or an unkindly bend in it, though the pale one on the left looks promising. On the right of that one is believe it or not, a large bramble (not good stick material).
But over the last weeks I have managed to add some other new woods to my potential stick curing collection, including apple and wigelia and this evening was given three lengths of beautiful rosewood to take home, where I have rowan, hazel, oak and holly curing, so ... an interesting year ahead.
As someone who started their life in the metallic world of aircraft engineering I started working with wood later in life and just love the different scents that come from various species of trees. I am also fascinated by the way wood deteriorates, forming interesting shapes as it rots away to return to the earth >>>
Over the years I have gathered all sorts of strange shapes, some of which are destined for heads of my sticks. I am not a traditionalist and don't want to do rams-horn heads or carved animals, I like my sticks to be natural, even with the odd curve or bend that makes the stick unique in a natural way.
But some man made finds on a walk amuse me like these two ...
They were in an area that had been partially burnt out and were wrapped in by now, charred newspaper. Call me soft if you like but I rescued them and they are travelling back home with me tomorrow, when they will be cleaned up and put somewhere ... where? I'm not quite sure yet, but they will find a better home than being dumped in some old fen dyke!.They'll appear here again!
Meanwhile ... farewell to the fenland flats ...
and watch out for Welsh lambs appearing in Dafad's days ahead!