Yesterday I went to my special woodland spot for the first time this year, as the snow has finally stopped and Spring is starting.
I walked through to my little hidden area that nobody else goes to and had the whole place to myself. Most of the time I spent doing some woodworking with wood I’d brought from home, a chunky piece of very wet Beech from a friend in the borders, and a length of Ash that had been chopped up during some hedge pruning in Edinburgh. Both pieces of wood carved really different, the Beech ripped a lot and because it was so wet was quite hard to split, the Ash was lovely, smooth and straight grained.
In terms of things I brought with me I had my small hatchet, a Mora utility knife, a spoon carving knife, a blanket and one of those big orange survival bags to sit on and be cozy.
In lieu of a real chopping block, which is something I think I will try to aquire over the coming weeks I found an old dried piece of hawthorn that was split down the middle, which I managed to nestle into the ground so it wouldn’t move.
The only thing I wish I had brought was a small foldable saw. I started two spoons which failed purely because I was too impatient to cut through the end separate them from the rest of the ash branch, and they snapped.
The other thing I’m trying to perfect at the moment and don’t know where to start is to get my carving as smooth as possible, like the professionals do it. I think part of it may be the style of knife and the sharpness of the blade. Maybe I need to invest in a little sharpening stone which I can hone things on when I’m out and about.
Apart from woodworking I spent some time watching a pair of buzzards harassing crows above my little patch of woodland, and on my way back to the bus in the evening I took advantage of the solitude to pick some Few-flowered leek and Ramsons. They are just about coming into leaf, meaning they are as sweet as they’ll ever be; I intend to cover them in olive oil and salt and pepper and have them as a salad next week.