Saturday, 15 November 2014

Visit from a Fellow Bowyer

My friend Matt from Cambridge popped down to collect his share of a batch of bamboo slats I'd bought. It saves shipping costs when we buy a £50 batch. His lad Will came down too, he was very bright, observant an enthusiastic. It was great, I mentioned to Matt that I'd stuck the billets onto my tapering sled with double sided tape and Will piped up...
"You can get double sided tape?" He asked with obvious excitement. This was a revelation to him and I found it great that he could obviously envision 101 applications for the stuff!
I demonstrated the tape and told him it was from Poundland. He's obviously got engineering and bow making coursing through his veins, a great kid.
Matt had brought me a nice length of Lemonwood and a slat of Purpleheart and one of Hickory too, great. I gave him a bottle of my home brew cider. He was stopping off on his way South to buy timber so couldn't stop long. Always great to have interesting and/or interested visitors.

We've been pruning back some of the trees in the garden too, Hazel and Buddleia (often called the butterfly bush as it attract plenty of 'em with its long flower heads). The Hazel is all very small stuff some of which will do for garden stick, but I got one decent length of Buddleia about 5' long and 2.5" diameter, I painted the end and stored it in the garage. I think I read that it's a decent bow wood, but some of the smaller branches seemed very brittle, mind Elder is a bit like that, actually they are pretty similar with a large central core of pith.

Talking of Butterflies I get 'em over-wintering in the garage, Red Admirals, Peacocks too I think. When we first moved into the house I found a load in the garage up in the corner of wall and ceiling, looking for all the world like a load of dead leaves. The problem is, when I'm working the fluorescent lights sometimes wake them up, the other thing is I tend to shut the door more these days and so they can't necessarily get out. They are dormant rather than actually hibernated. I'll have to put some open slats above the door so that they can come and go, the draught will be good for my seasoning wood too.
More strange behaviour from creatures. Walking back from the town I saw a crow pecking at something on the ground about 30 yards away, the thing on the ground flapped a bit! What's it got? I though, maybe the crows had mobbed a Magpie one was finishing it off? I approached at a slow steady walk. When I got about 10 yards away the crow hopped off and the thing on the ground sprang up and hopped away, it was a crow that had been flat on it's back! Never seen anything like it in my life... dunno what they were doing, fighting, playing, doing some weird grooming thing or maybe a little S&M?

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