Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 19 - Varmints and Fire and Figs - Oh My!

The weather today was fantastic - but a work day has kept me indoors.  I really want this week to end so I can get busy with a few things this weekend.  Looking forward to a 'learning' fishing trip tomorrow - bright and early.

While at work today, Debbie called me on the phone to tell me one of the traps was down.  Additionally, although there wasn't any animal inside, there appeared to be two large holes in the top of the trap.  I went home for lunch a short time later and after careful inspection I concluded that I had successfully captured a squirrel!  Finally.  It had somehow chewed it's way out from under the plastic bin.  There was a mess of tiny plastic shavings around the floor of the trap and a hole just big enough for a squirrel to escape.  There was also a bunch of squirrel hair in, and around the hole in the cage.  It was obvious that this squirrel had been in here for some time and had managed to escape after a lot of hard work.  Pretty cool.

I decided right then and there that I had proved a proficiency in a primitive skill - even though my animal was gone.  I granted myself the week 2 reward.  However, since my captive did not remain. . . well. captive - I was not going to allow myself rights to the "Small Animal Claus."  Not until I actually capture an animal will I allow myself to substitute a market small animal upon return of said captive animal to the wild.  I have a feeling that will be coming soon enough -especially with my new triggering mechanisms.  Very exciting!

Still dejected about my fire failures as of late, I thought I would get a head start on my fire making potential this week long before the end of the SDC week.  There were a few kids playing in the yard and I suppose they gave me some impetus to break out the fire bow.  Almost immediately, the bow string snapped.  Not a great start.  I made another string and get back to work on the ember.  I had a couple exhausting attempts with a lot of smoke but no flame.  Finally, drawing the bow with my left hand this time, I persevered and got my ember.  I was very patient to nurse this tiny ember into my tinder bundle until it started to grow and glow. After a few very careful minutes, I got my flame on!  We had been preparing with sticks and twigs in the fire pit and I made a quick transition of my flame into the kindling wood.  It didn't take long for me and the kids to toke up a big old fire in the pit and once again I have proven my proficiency at primitive fire making.  Week 3 reward had been earned - starting Monday.

We fed the fire and danced around it until dark and I celebrated my accomplishment and appreciated the effort it takes to make a fire from scratch.  Again - it's really something to be proud of and I think I took it a little too lightly after having made it after week 1.  I think my success this time was greatly attributed to adding significant downward pressure with my shin pushing on my hand holding the block on the non-working end of the spindle.  More pressure=more friction=more heat


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