Two Days of Wildwood Wandering

Beaked hazelnut, a delicacy in these parts. Elusive, but only if you don't know where to look.

Beaked hazelnut, a delicacy in these parts. Elusive, but only if you don’t know where to look.

I’ve made two extensive hikes into the Old Wood east of Twa Corbies Hollow in the last two days. I’ve probably covered about 20 miles of ground. Some amazing finds include hazelnut groves about 2 weeks from ripening, heaps of wild and sweet raspberries, acres and acres of wild blueberries about 3 weeks from harvest, same for elderberries, and it’s a high population year for grouse so I’ll be hunting them soon.

It was also a chance for Daphne to learn why she needs a compass as we were in deep woods and several times I asked her to guide us to the next point on our trip or point the way back home and at no time did she get it right. She is a bit stubborn about this but I think I finally illustrated to her why she needs to learn to use a compass and she finally complied. So, I’ll get her a compass next month and start teaching her how to navigate by shooting bearings. She’s used to BC where one could always see a mountain and navigate by that and this notion of travelling in thick bush without directional reference is new to her. But it takes most people by surprise.

The down side is it’s been a very dry summer since mid-June. We did not encounter one wild mushroom except bracket, so dry it was only fit for poultices and tinder.

I got some great pics of two abandoned homesteads lost in the forest, one from the early pioneer days, another from the early 20th century. And I got some great shots of the Dead Forest and many wild herbs and plants. I even came across a grouse rooster strutting and fanning but (as has happened every time I try to photograph one) the moment I pulled my camera from my messenger bag, it darted into the thicket. I swear, if I pointed the 12 gauge at one, it would pose for me, declaring, “Hey! When you cook me, make sure I look this cool!”. But point a camera at one and they run away and vanish.

All in all a good couple days, though. But I think I’m going to park my rear for the rest of the day, enjoy a nice dinner and put off starting to build the new horse pasture til tomorrow. So here I sit with a pint of ice cold scrumpy, relaxing, writing and reading . . .

(The image below is beaked hazelnut, almost ready for harvest.)

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