Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring Wild Edibles

The forest has come alive again here in SE Michigan. With record high temperatures in March and with relatively sunny weather there has been quite a bit of spring growth the last few weeks.

Here are some pics and notes on some of the wild edibles I've observed and gathered recently:

Leeks - a strong onion odor and taste, the bulbs are delicious

Dandelion -the greens are very bitter (and over rated)

Garlic Mustard - strong garlicy odor and somewhat bitter greens

Trout Lily- the greens are very bitter and have a terrible aftertaste, the bulbs are small and bland

Fiddleheads - ostrich fern fiddleheads: pleasant taste similar to asparagus

Birch sap - slightly sweet and refreshing

And there are still some "winter" edible that can be found:

Partridgeberry - berry and leaves have a very mild taste

Of course you should always be certain of what you are eating and consult a quality field guide.Gather and consume wild edibles at your own risk. Etc., etc. etc....

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Michigan Field Guides

Most every bushcrafter (or outdoors man, primitive skills practitioner, or whatever one chooses to call himself) has a collection of field guides. Most field guides are generic or cover a very wide section of the country and therefore have a lot of information that isn't pertinent to one's particular location. While that makes business sense for the authors and publishers, it also make for large and unwieldy books for the end user. In order to lighten my load and simplify my life I have sought out smaller regional field guides that are pertinent to Michigan. I have found these guides to actually be more useful in many cases than the larger, more comprehensive guides.

Listed here are three field guides that I carry, use and highly recommend to my fellow Michiganders as well as those living in nearby Great Lakes states. The links will take you to the publisher's book page.

Trees of Michigan Field Guide
By Stan Tekiela
ISBN: 978-1-59193-000-6
234 Pages
4 3/8" x 6"

Wild Berries and Fruits Field Guide of MN, WI and MI
By Teresa Monroe
ISBN: 978-1-59193-224-6
280 Pages
4 3/8" x 6"

Scats and Tracks of the Great Lakes
By James C. Halfpenny
ISBN: 978-0-7627-4231-8
192 Pages
4 1/4" x 7"

Green River Dadley

It's been a while since I've done anything with a knife so I figured I'd handle a GR Dadley I had sitting around and do a sheath. This one has curly maple scales, brass pins and a few coats of boiled linseed oil. The sheath is 10oz veg tanned leather hand tooled and stitched, dyed saddle brown with brown Edge Kote. The fit is just a tad snug.

I got the final coat of linseed oil on the handle yesterday. It was good practice and a pleasant project.