“An yll wynde that blowth no man to good, men say.” John Heywood’s A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue, 1546

The best thing about being on holiday is that you can do a bit of work for relaxation from holidaying.  On Christmas’ Day Even a high wind blew and brought down an old ash tree that has been a creaking gate for some years (I remember a bough falling off it when I was a child about 50 years ago).

SAMSUNG CSCIt fell rather inconveniently partly into The Leeds Liverpool Canal, almost blocking the way:

SAMSUNG CSCIt looked much worse before we started clearing it out with a handy winch, all my straps and a couple of chain saws.  It was a wonder, really that the tree had managed to stand up so long, the root-ball was almost entirely rotten.

SAMSUNG CSCI’m not an expert on tree fungi, but this one has been at work on the tree for a long time, and I’m expecting the stem to be at least partly hollow.

SAMSUNG CSCMost of the wood will end up in my log store, but there maybe a chance of getting out a couple of planks with the BIG SAW and Alaskan mill.  The thinning chain saw is certainly going to need a good sharpening, even though the muddy logs that had embedded in the bottom of the canal were avoided.

 

SAMSUNG CSCI’ve brushed off the worst of the mud and the wind and rain now falling should help out a lot finishing the job.  We’re certainly going to have plenty of good ash logs for some time.

SAMSUNG CSCAnd then fortuitously our neighbour’s fence blew down too, so that’s the kindling sorted out for this Winter too.  Just a bit short of newspaper now …

 

 

That chair again, and that time of year.

 

SAMSUNG CSCThis looks like a step backwards.  Well it is.  This chair is taking over my life.  In the last update it had taken on a vile Victorian upright habit to its back.  It was difficult to spt as the chair sat in the bodgery with that very uncertain floor, consisting of 18 inches of shavings.  Only when sat in the trailer again did the error become obvious.

Now, a comfortable chair has a relaxed back.  And a shepherd’s chair, which in theory was a chair where a shepherd could fall asleep at lambing time, should be so relaxed.  Straight backs to chairs do not induce, nor allow sleep.  Mind you, following the Law tradition I can fall asleep anywhere – sitting on two bricks (father-style), standing up, playing the clarinet (that’s me), whilst driving … (steady on – Ed).

Turns out that the straight back was a result of chopping the mortices in the back legs at  the mirror-image angle to what they ought to have been chopped. Doh!

Now it looks likes this:

SAMSUNG CSCThe back is relaxed.  Phew!  Dig those trailer side fastenings.

So apart from making an almost impossible (for me) chair, this is what’s been happening (omitting mundane things like: two swans with three cygnets on t’canal; Canadian canoe shooting The (very dangerous) Strid (twice); making animal courses (less internal organs); vegetable growing (especially that vertical pumpkin); scything (sorry Steve, a vast topic); and so on, (this has been happening) int’wood.

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LOADS of fungi.  These are Black Bulgari.  They grow on dead oak, I keep on telling myself, “This is why we remove the bark and sapwood.”

Almost edible (but goes soggy when cooked):

SAMSUNG CSCRed cracking bolete.

Didn’t identify this one, but grows on oak roots:

SAMSUNG CSCLooks boleteous to moi.

Then, these guys appeared in the outfall of the lathe:

SAMSUNG CSCThis is Deer Shield “Edible. but not worthwhile.” It says here.  It’s a bit odd sharing your work space with flora and fauna. They shrews were suddenly very active a couple of days ago, rushing about every couple of minutes or so. I thought it was just me rushing about at this time of year – see you at The National Forest Wood Festival next Monday (if you don’t happen to be on one of my next three courses).

 

This is m’fungus.

A stinkhorn (phallus impudicus).  It only takes about an hour to expand once it breaks through the veil, but I had to wait a week for the breakthrough.


Somewhat unfortunately I was unable to take the final photograph in the series as Jane came home before me, and as the stinkhorn truly does stink (rotting flesh) she put it outdoor, opened the windows, burnt two papiers d’Armenie and made a curry.

Here it is in its full stinking glory:

They normally expand vertically, but it must have been hampered by sitting in the glass.

The great destroyers

A couple of weekends ago I went on a fungi foray in St Ives Estate at Bingley.  It’s good to have an expert, in this case Bob Taylor, to guide and explain. I took a walk around my workshop in Strid Wood and found quite a range of fungi.

For identification it’s good to split between fungi with gills (like mushrooms from the store), fungi without gills (mostly with tubes or pores but also where the spores are in slime).  Those that grow on trees, and those that grow on the ground (but the actual plant may be living in association with trees roots, or buried rotting wood).  It is also helpful to note what trees are nearby.

Above there’s the purple gill fungus I’ve seen before in Strid and I reckon it must be the amethyst deceiver.  The darker bracket is the many zoned polypore.  I think the red capped one may be a russula, but there are many!

What I like is the wide variety of colours and forms, look at this beauty:

The blusher, I believe.

The next one is smelt. more frequently than seen as it smells of rotting flesh!

This is the stink horn.  On the foray a stink horn ‘egg’ was found which does look like an egg but contains the above wrinkled up and ready to pop and distribute its spores via flies in a dark smelly jelly.

There are masses of these (I think they’re armillaria cepistipes, a member of the honey fungus family) bursting out of the felled beech tree that forms one leg of my lathe, I hope they are not too efficient  in disposing of it, or I’ll need a new leg.

These are the full-grown ones:

This beech, felled three years ago is gradually blending into the woodland litter, a bramble climbs over it:

Beetles eat away unseen under the bark, apart from the mounds of sawdust they produce.

Well it’s that time of year, and soon it will be time for getting the long johns out of their Summer recess!

The great destroyers

A couple of weekends ago I went on a fungi foray in St Ives Estate at Bingley.  It’s good to have an expert, in this case Bob Taylor, to guide and explain. I took a walk around my workshop in Strid Wood and found quite a range of fungi.

For identification it’s good to split between fungi with gills (like mushrooms from the store), fungi without gills (mostly with tubes or pores but also where the spores are in slime).  Those that grow on trees, and those that grow on the ground (but the actual plant may be living in association with trees roots, or buried rotting wood).  It is also helpful to note what trees are nearby.

Above there’s the purple gill fungus I’ve seen before in Strid and I reckon it must be the amethyst deceiver.  The darker bracket is the many zoned polypore.  I think the red capped one may be a russula, but there are many!

What I like is the wide variety of colours and forms, look at this beauty:

The blusher, I believe.

The next one is smelt. more frequently than seen as it smells of rotting flesh!

This is the stink horn.  On the foray a stink horn ‘egg’ was found which does look like an egg but contains the above wrinkled up and ready to pop and distribute its spores via flies in a dark smelly jelly.

There are masses of these (I think they’re armillaria cepistipes, a member of the honey fungus family) bursting out of the felled beech tree that forms one leg of my lathe, I hope they are not too efficient  in disposing of it, or I’ll need a new leg.

These are the full-grown ones:

This beech, felled three years ago is gradually blending into the woodland litter, a bramble climbs over it:

Beetles eat away unseen under the bark, apart from the mounds of sawdust they produce.

Well it’s that time of year, and soon it will be time for getting the long johns out of their Summer recess!

New year, new horse

Well, I’ll be blowed, now I can understand perfectly why so many people prefer the dumb head shaving horse.  I’d been getting a bit irritated at the way wet deer legs (OK hazel branches) were inclined to rotate while working a tenon up with a rounder plane so I thought I’d take the plunge and convert my donkey into a horse.  Here’s the old fellow:

This is an old photo, and I think all parts but the front leg and the bottom footrest in the frame were replaced by the time I converted it.

Here’s the new un:

I used the legs and bed from the old one.  The treadle is a little high on the dummy, but I was following plans.  I’d really like to add in about 6 inches to the middle of the lever/treadle, my Sunday apprentice Rich may find this one a bit cramped 😦

Anyway, I measured up the comparative leverages of the two horses and the old English frame version gives about 1:1 advantage (i.e. none) while the dumbhead gives about 4:1 mechanical advantage.  Now why would anyone use the frame one with such poor pressure?  Bit like using an axe without a handle!  I feel longer legs coming for the stock knife ‘bench’ ( AKA ‘stock’ – that’s presumably how the knife got its name, the favourite first task for an apprentice joiner was making his sawing stock).  Longer legs would mean less bending when using the knife.  Fortunately the stock knife I bought as a clogger’s knife seems to be a peg maker’s knife as the handle is hardly swept compared to a clogger’s which is severely bowed, and increases the back bending effect.  Poor old bones.

So I also managed today finally to ‘install’ the new extension stove-pipe that David gave me, well I say install, rammed it into the old pipe and wired it to a shelter member at the top to keep it away from the tarp:

Much healthier having that smoak outside the shelter.  You can see the 75 foot ‘leg’ of my pole lathe in the picture above.  It’s a felled beech tree that’s been down about three years now and is doing its job playing host to various fauna and flora and these (which seem to be neither):

And these:

These are on the stump:

And amazingly, there is a little regrowth from the stump too which I missed when it was in leaf:

I spy the buds ready for Spring