Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A walk in the woods...

Got out early this morning with my (almost) 4 year old son for a little walk.  We have a place not far from the house that is a couple hundred acres owned by the San Antonio River Authority.  They claim it will be turned into a park someday...for now its a great place for a morning of tramping through the woods.  I was hoping to harvest some prickly pear cactus fruit and a stalk from a sotol cactus.  I have heard the dry stalk from the sotol is great for making fire with friction so I want to give it a try for myself.  A few pictures from our walk...

Leaving the open trails we head into the thick cedars...long pants were a necessity for my little guy.  The tall grass is full of things with thorns, needles and stickers.

This area used to be ranch property long ago.  We stick to the animal trails that cut through the cedars and oaks.  If developed properly it should make for a nice park area.  Hopefully it takes the city another decade to get around to it.

And here was the find of the day.  Probably the largest shed I've ever found, especially for our little Texas hill country deer.  I've got a few special projects in mind for this one.

Generally for short day hikes I carry my Finnish gas mask bag.  I've added a shoulder strap pad from a Maxpediton pack and a loop on the side for a knife sheath.  Inside we have water bottles, a couple snacks, my usual PSK (which I'll detail in a later post) and of course my MP Woodsman.

My older son and I started clearing an area for a simple bush shelter last winter.  Most of it was still there including an area we spread strips of cedar bark over for my yellow lab (Mac) to lay on.  Much more comfortable then laying on a bed of rocks.

And finally the sotol cactus I had been in search of.  The stalk growing out of the center of this one was huge.  Close to two inches around toward the base, extending to about 10 feet in length.  Native people had many uses for this plant (commonly mistaken for a yucca).  The "heart" was dried, baked for up to 48 hours and made into an edible cake, apparently a good source of carbohydrates.  The sawtooth leaves are excellent for weaving and basket making.

Thanks for looking...

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