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Of flowers and spoons

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This almost a direct continuation of my Midsummer Night's Dreich post.

On Sunday I met up with well-known bushcrafting celebrity Elen Sentier :rolleyes: so I could show her the orchids that I had seen the day before. A very pleasant time was spent first at Newgrove Meadows Gwent Wildlife Trust reserve, admiring common spotted orchids, twayblade, and green-winged orchids. I took a few more photos.


From there we retired to Pentwyn Farm reserve, to see the Greater Butterfly orchids, and a general wander ensued, taking a variety of plant pictures in the main.


The other objective of the day was a spot of spoon carving. Elen produced a picnic blanket, and I produced a bushbuddy stove, and after cup of hot chocolate and a bite to eat (Elen gnawing on a bit of pancetta is a sight to strike terror into the hearts of vegetarians everwhere :eek:), Elen produced a spoon blank that she had roughed out. This turned out to be seasoned ash, and pretty tough, so I took a saw to a bit of coppiced hazel nearby (I have permission from the site manager to cut wood, and that bit wasn't SSSI either). This was duly split, and turned out to be partly rotten and spalted. but we set about our respective halves with axe, knife and spoon knife.

In a display of carving expertise, I put the rotten punky end of the wood at the bowl end, thereby making it horrendous to carve out a bowl. Elen more wisely put the clean green end at the bowl end. From a fragment I also roughed out a tiny spoon, which annoyingly split right at the end. Elen's spoon is on the left.


We packed up when we had made as much progress as we thought likely, and Elen departed after a pleasant afternoon. I finished my two spoons off at home.


Thanks for the day Elen, it was excellent fun. Looking forward to seeing your spoon. :)

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  1. Elen Sentier's Avatar
    Yere 'tis ... well no, yere tisn't as this darn thing requires a B----y URL !!! Arrrggghhh ! I do uploads from my computer as I rarely have time to be fiddling with Flickr. I'll post it on the forum ...

    It was a marvellous day and the orchids were wonderful, it's so good to see meadows coming back to life after years of being "improved". What was it you said had been found at Penwyn Farm when they began returning the meadows? Rye grass, dock, thistle and dandelion ... wow! That's diversity !!! Now there are masses of different species in the meadows and lots more wildlife as a result too. Good on yer guys