Giant ant hill

Giant ant hill

The bane of bushcraft in my local forest – giant ant hills teeming with millions of large wood ants. Each time I kneel to photograph fungi or some other photogenic flora and fauna, massive ants crawl over my legs. You’d be amazed at where they can bite… and they bite hard. A hammock would be ideal.

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Great Egret

Great Egret

I had a bit of a surprise when I saw this immense white bird standing in the stream. Looking like a giant white heron, the Great Egret (Ardea alba) was obviously lost and far from its native territory hundreds of miles to the south west in Hungary. Sadly, it moved before I could get the camera out and capture its face but its clean white wings in flight make it look angelic.

It’s good to be home

It’s good to be home

After the trip to Croatia and then the UK this summer, I was glad to have a little time back in the village in Slovakia to go off to the hills and forest and reconnect. The weather’s been awful so I had to time my walks between heavy rainstorms. This is the view from the hill directly behind my house. I’m very lucky to have such a wide expanse of bush to play in…

From ‘Consolations of the Forest’…

“In What Am I Doing Here? Bruce Chatwin quotes Jünger quoting Stendhal: ‘The art of civilization consists in combining the most delicate pleasures with the constant presence of danger.’ An observation that echoes Élysée’s injunction.

The essential thing is to live one’s life with a brave hand on the tiller, swinging boldly between contrasting worlds. Balancing between danger and pleasure, the frigid Russian winter and the warmth of the stove.

Never settling, always oscillating from one to the other extremity on the spectrum of sensations.”

Sylvain Tesson

 

Thanks, Steve, for the book. I needed this right now.

Moel Famau

Moel Famau

During our trip to the UK we stayed over at a friend’s house in Mold in North Wales. He and his family took me and mine up the mountain Moel Famau.

Despite it being the middle of August, the weather was horrific. The rain lashed horizontally in sheets, the wind roared and a thick fog blurred the view. This was a very good example for my children as to why to tackle hillwalking well prepared as the weather can be both unpredictable and dangerous, even if it looks sunny when you set off.