Archive for December, 2011
Christmas is almost upon us, the maelstrom of human activity is reaching its pre-festivity crescendo. Now is the perfect moment to step aside from the hurl and burl of shopping to sit by a campfire and reflect upon the natural world. Today was the shortest day of the year, despite our calendars prediction of the years start, tomorrow the Northern Hemisphere will begin its inexorable tilt back towards the sun and our days will grow longer. Already underground plants are readying themselves to burst forth in the early spring, while inside the bellies of our deer new life has started to grow.
Together with the creatures of the wild we may still have to face the storms and cold of January and February, but there is potential in the air. Christmas falls perfectly in mid winter, a time for family, a time to celebrate and a time for community. Nothing nature can throw at us will withstand the cheer and spirit of Christmas.
I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
- Ray Mears, December 2011
Still have Christmas shopping to do but are worried about receiving it in time for the big day? Well, as of now, Woodlore will be sending all UK orders over £10.00 via Special Delivery - Royal Mail’s guaranteed next working day delivery service – at no extra cost, to arrive in time for Christmas.
If you have any concerns about ordering in time for Christmas, please give us a call on 01580 819668 and we will be more than happy to help.
2011 has provided us with some odd weather here in the UK, with dry, mild days continuing all the way into December. However, anyone getting up early for work this past week could tell you that the cold weather is definitely creeping in - icy windscreens, gritters on the roads, and the sight of a postman in trousers instead of shorts are all tell-tale signs!
Ray Mears and the Woodlore Team have hand-picked a list of Recommended Kit and Clothing for Winter, to help keep you safe and warm this festive season. With the last few years bringing a healthy dusting of snow across the land (often followed by abandoned cars, closed shops and twisted ankles galore), now is a better time than any to get yourself prepared.
So don’t let the weather get the better of you – get out there and make the most of it.
(…if you can beat the squirrels of course!)
The following post was kindly provided by Woodlore Aspirant Instructor Sarah Day
During a walk around a local wood, I noticed the ground was littered with thousands of ripe chestnuts – while I picked some of those (extricating them from their spikey cases with the toe of my boot) more were falling out of the trees; luckily none hit me – I imagine it would have hurt! It makes me wonder how people would have extracted the nuts thousands of years ago when most folk would presumably have been barefoot or wearing soft moccasins – maybe they just squashed the cases with a log then picked out the nuts?
It was interesting trying to notice clues as to which husks held the best nuts. Obviously some of them were bigger, but I found the best way to tell was to look at the back. Where the nuts had grown to a fairly good size there was a cross of un-spikey husk showing – some of these held 2 or 3 good sized nuts. The other clue was to avoid husks that were browner in colour, as these had mostly fallen before the nuts were ripe or had already been raided (and rejected) by squirrels; I concentrated instead on husks that were still light green.
Struggling to decide what clothing to take on a winter expedition? Can’t choose what to buy your brother who loves fishing? Here at Woodlore we’ve tried to make things a little easier this year, with our new Shop by Activity area:
Ray Mears and the Woodlore team have scoured our ever-growing online shop and hand-picked the very best items for a number of outdoor activities. Whether you’re looking for Arctic clothing or equipment, new gear for your next fishing trip, kit for a hunting or tracking excursion, or simply some vital products for this coming winter, click on the above photo for some helpful hints.
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