Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Ready for the Great Lakes.

The weather forecast told of snow on high ground last night, and although they often get such things wrong, they didn't this time.

We awoke this morning to around an inch or so of the white stuff, which has increased to around four inches over the day. Not much for this part of the world, admittedly, but after the hardest winter in thirty years,(and some say longer) last year, everyone is wondering, just what nature has in store for us between now and Easter.

Perhaps the animals have the correct approach, as the dogs lie sleeping in front of the fire, and the horses are rugged up in the shelter of the trees, eating haylage. Clearly, what will be will be!

On the upside, the carved house sign destined for Lake Michigan is now finished, and will be shipped out to the Great Lakes, some time over the next week or so.

See what you think.

Carved house sign ready for the Great Lakes.

Snow driving in from the NE.

Stay warm,


Monday, 22 November 2010

Lake Michigan house sign.

Here's the Lake Michigan house sign, on its way to completion. Amazing to think that something hand carved on top of this hill here at Ballintomb, is to spend its days facing the rolling breakers of the Great Lakes. Isn't life strange!



Weeks flying by!

The weeks are flying by, and before we know it we'll be entering December, and facing Christmas! The weather over the least few days has been mild and wet, and certainly isn't helping the ground dry out. However, snow is forecast for tonight and the rest of the week, and we can only hope that it will confine itself to the hill tops, and not lower levels.

Myself and Emma have been packing in the beating recently, and the dogs are really starting to get fit! Most of the shoot days have been under the 100 head mark, but on Saturday we were working the dogs on a 250 bird day, which combined with steep ground, to make for hard going.

The present full moon and NE wind ought to bring the winter's first fall of woodcock, and whilst driving early this morning, a woodcock jumped up off the grass verge where it had been feeding, as my car headlights approached.
Of course, I can't be sure that this bird was a recent migrant, but I rather suspect that it was.

On the work front things are fairly busy, with a carving of a Black faced ram in spalted beech, recently finished, and a house sign in sycamore, bound for a property on the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, USA, very need completed.

See what you think!


Ram drawn out, and the carving begins.

After! Carved ram's head complete.

The girls out beating!

Steep, wet ground. Hard going for man or beast.



Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Arab & Cocker.

Featured below are two recent carvings; one of an Arab horse in Cedar of Lebanon, and the other example a working Cocker spaniel in Beech.

The Cedar is so soft and carves like butter. The Beech, although much harder, has a short and even grain, and so yields to the chisel well.

I hope that these two give as much pleasure in the viewing, as they gave to me in the carving!



November storms.

Geese have been piling over high all week, along with small groups of Whooper swans. In fact, I even saw a skein of Greylags going over last on Thursday, with a Whooper as part of the 'V' formation! Perhaps it had become separated from its family group, and decided on 'Any port in a storm?'

Threats of snow have come to nought,(except for the high hills) although we have been battered by savage autumn storms lately. As a result, the trees are now stripped of leaves, and looking very stark and bare. I hate to admit it, but it is going to be a very long time before we see them wearing their green livery again!

With all the stormy weather, the dogs have been making full use of the sofa and wood burning stove,(one has to!) but will be out again this coming Saturday, beating and picking up on a local shoot.
The two young lab bitches are really coming into their own this season, and have combined knowledge gained last season, with further training this Summer, to become a real asset.
Last time out, Rowan picked several runners from dense willow scrub, which would other wise have gone undetected, and been lost. The sisters are steady, biddable, and putting birds in the bag. Who could ask for more?

Stay warm.

Regards to all.