Sunday, May 13, 2012

Grab a bucket.

For those of you in the Norman area, the blackberries are in, and right on schedule!  Apparently a good year for crane flies, butterflies, and moths means a good year for berries as well.  By my estimation, the season will be over by next Saturday or so, but the good news is that the weather is forecast to be mild for the coming week.  Last year the crop quickly dehydrated on the vine.

The four of us picked enough in a few hours for a decent cobbler.  I am hoping to pick enough in the evenings this coming week to make some jelly.

I am sure that I don't need to remind you that poison ivy enjoys the same habitat as the blackberries, but there it is. 

Oven is preheated.  Back to cobblerization.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My First Flint and Steel Fire.

It's all in the the char-cloth, folks.

I had many things fall into place today:  A pile of embers from a burning brush pile, a tin-box, an old tee-shirt, twine, and an old C clamp from my Pap Mays.  After making the cloth, I fashioned a "tinder-taco" out of birch-bark, twine fibers, and oak leaves.

My first attempt ended in failure for 2 reasons:  The tinder was not packed tight enough, and I skimped on the char-cloth.  After about 3 minutes of hyperventilating I had had enough.  The second try I packed the taco much tighter, and used 5 pieces of the cloth. 

After about 5 smacks on the flint, I saw small orange rings appear on the cloth.  Several lung-fulls later the whole mass of char-cloth was bright orange, and thick with smoke was billowing out.  Seconds later, a bright yellow flame popped out.  \

I did it a second time to make sure that it wasn't a fluke.

I can cross this one off my list.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Snake Brakes.

The kids and I were out enjoying the cooler weather this evening.  Fletch was riding his scooter down the hill when he suddenly ground to a halt and ran toward me screaming at the top of his lungs.  It turns out that he had not braked to a stop, but the western pygmy rattlesnake under his rear wheel had done the job.

He was wearing a helmet, if that makes you feel any better.

A close look at some other photos revealed 5 rattles.  We released it on some state land nearby.  Except for being extremely pissed, the snake seemed otherwise unharmed.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Protein Conversion - the final step.

Rabbit-Barley Stew with homemade bread and a few other accouterments

What made me post this process is that I have managed to reach 45 years of age without ever having dressed and prepared anything more ambitious than the occasional trout. 

I imagine that my friends reading the last few posts have reactions that fall within this range: 

Those that are repulsed at my barbarism.


Those that think that I must have some sort of learning disability not to have done this in my teens or earlier.

While I consider the butchering and preparing of this rabbit to be personal milestone for me, I did not take it's life.  It was a gift from my dog.  The hunt is for another day.