Felling Trees is Hard, Poo, Birch Tapping & Ruin Advice needed!
Been coppicing and chopping down Trees this weekend. Not properly, but in our own small way which is last minute & messy but with clean cuts and great reverence for the Trees! This might sound a bit soft to some of you but I can assure you I'm not as fluffy as you might think :)
Coppicing doesn't pose a problem to me but felling a Tree does. I spent some time sitting with how I feel about it and trying to understand why my needs were important enough to take down the Tree. Truth is they aren't really. However, in order for us to be able to afford the land we have to make a living. Leo makes incredibly beautiful things from wood that, if sold, could enable us to continue to care for the land. We also need fire wood for next winter and we need wood for building. [EDIT: Thanks Coyopa! I should have mentioned how, by felling these trees, we're enhancing the life of the coppice & the health of the standard trees we've elected to leave.]
Since humans began we have had this relationship with Trees. Treating them almost like a parent, taking them for granted until it's almost too late. Well, I think we're in the 'almost too late' part of our relationship with Trees.
My sense of this gives me the motivation to share as much of what we do on the land and with Trees with others. That way, I'm hopefully giving something back to the Trees, helping to fight their corner and showing them how grateful I am for what they give me.
Which is why I'm planting 6000 trees on the land! Exmoor 6000 Trees Project
I have to say that I wasn't sorry to see this giant Laurel go. It was dangerous to fell as it's very snappy & we didn't take the top heavyness off of the branches before felling. However... it's mostly down now and I'm excited to see what pops out of the ground now the Sun can get to it!
Leo found this little noggin in an Ash tree branch, where a small mammal sat and tested these nuts for nutty goodness. I don't know what little mammal made these holes... hopefully one of you can tell me! Click the picture to see it bigger.
I went for an explore along the river to see what I could see. I didn't see any sign of Otter sadly but it was very beautiful down there and there's a lot going on!
I found this poo amongst the Hazel trees next to the river. What did it come out of? Click the picture to see it bigger.
I also love trying to spot the female flowers of the Hazel tree ( I do like other, exciting, things too!)! You can just see it bursting out of the bud in the middle of the picture below. I remember the first time I saw one I couldn't believe I'd never noticed them before! Click the picture to see it bigger.
I tried Birch tapping for the first time this weekend and unfortunately my tap was pants. Luckily though we were felling some Birch so when we made a cut into one and the sap started to gush out I ran for my cup. That first spurt slowed down by the time I got back with my cup but it was still flowing!
I did drink some straight from the tree and it was very beautiful. Hard to describe but like very pure, subtly sweet, water with a hint of the smell you get when you cut green wood. I felt amazing after drinking it too, totally energised. I could get addicted to that!
That evening I collected some nettle tops & gentle warmed the Birch sap (I didn't boil it) and made some Birch sap and nettle top tea. It was beautiful and had the same effect on me as it did when I drank it straight from the Tree. I was energised!
The Laurel that was felled is growing on the bank opposite the old linnhe. So lots more light is getting to it now. It got me thinking about how to care for the ruin as I've got no idea about looking after old buildings. So I thought I'd post this photie and see if I could get some advice from you! Help!