Sunday, 26 January 2014

Ten minutes getting back to nature.....

I happened to mention on my 52 Spoons blog a few weeks ago that I was short of wood and got a really nice email from Chris, who is a ranger on a local nature reserve, offering me some ash, hazel and birch. I haven't really had much chance or time to go and get some, but it just so happens that it is right next door to an Aldi superstore so, yesterday morning, when I was doing the shopping, I nipped next door to see what they had.

Sure enough, they had been coppicing and laying hedge and so I helped myself to a few pieces of straight ash, a bit of hawthorn and a couple of thin sections of birch.

Though I was only there for ten minutes or so, it was really nice to be out and about. It happens to be a favourite dog walking spot and I got some odd looks from the locals who must have wondered why I was carting an armful of wood to the boot of my car with a bow saw on my back. I did feel a bit conspicuous and furtive (especially after listening to a radio show last week about the increased numbers of people stealing wood from private and public woods in order to keep their wood burning stoves going) and it was one of those situations when I wished someone would actually ask me what I was up to so I could have said, "It's alright, I have permission from the wardens" and feel a little more 'legitimate'.

Anyway, I brought it home and tried to split the hazel first, but it was rotten inside - the texture of wet sand and full of grubs - which is a shame as it looked a nice colour.

So next I split out some of the ash and set about carving a spoon.
Thanks so much to Chris for his kindness - may I never run short of a bit of wood to carve again, amen.

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