Jan 13 2007

Traps and Willow

Published by at 4:20 pm under Plant Materials

Today I have been catching up on a few things I really should have done over the last days. First, my daughter and I was just up the road here to cut some willow, coppiced by the people maintaining the road, for baskets. There is quite a lot of them there, but my daughter got impatient, so I only got to collect a little before we had to go.

I used the no tools technique for gathering them.

A few points on willow for baskets:

  • The red ones seems better than the ones that have gone green.
  • Cut them in winter, when the sap is down.
  • Don’t scrape off the bark, that is where the strenght lies.
  • Dry them before using them, otherwise your baskets will become loose.

This knot shows how well willow can take bending.

After having left my daughter at home, I went into the woods. I fished out the elm bark from the stream it has been laying for several days. It is now drying inside.

I also checked my trap, the one on the ground I haven’t bothered to set again, so it’s the one in the tree I am talking about. The trap had collapsed, there was obvious signs that something had been chewing or pecking on the almond which was the bait. I didn’t want to touch the bait with my hand to avoid contamination of my scent. So I left it as it was, since the trigger needed repair. What had released the trap I don’t know, but there were lots of tracks from birds and squirrels around in the new snow. I obviously need to make the trigger even more nimble.

It is no coincidence that the first snow gives “results” right away. The snow covers the ground, making food scarce and taking risks to aquire easy food becomes more attractive.

And by the way, I have also taken in my bow-blank to make it dry properly before final tillering. Hopefully this wasn’t to soon.


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