Sunday, 25 November 2012

Tinder fungus, fomes fomentarius

1°C, Late November, cold, wet and windy.
Last walk before the snow fill the quiet bush whit the white cold curtain, I'm hunting since the past 3 days. A big, mature red fox. For maybe 6 hours at the time, I move slowly and silently, like a hungry predator whit my only good thrusty weapon a F1.2/ 300mm super zoom mounted on a Canon rebel Xtr. Waiting in the nasty cold for the red-haired animal, I was thinking about our ancestors who set foots here in north America.
without electricity and ours easy way of life. I was thinking how terrible it could be just by not having a simple 0.99$ "BIC Lighter".

Bushcrafting was a dominant and important way of living not so long ago even in the years 1800, people away from towns had no choice but to use the bush and the wild to survive. Also they most importantly had to know how to make and conserve fire.

After a couple hours, I had to get back to civilization before it get too dark. Then only 10 feets from where I was standing I came across whit this ...

fomes fomentarius ou tinder fungus. polypore.
This thing is a mushroom growing on a white birch. The tree will die eventually but before mother nature have a great gift for the person who will remove this hard shell mushroom off the tree. There is so many things to do just whit this.

First slice and cut pieces of it. Once dry I mean very dry it will catch a simple spark from any flint and steel and turn red like an amber and you can use it as the best of all fire starter you can imagine.

You can make big large cuts and hammer them flat before let the pieces dry. It will burn for a very long time Ideal for transporting your source of heat.

The white birch tree who had the hard mushroom growing on it will die for sure due to the parasitic infection it will be a great idea to take most of this precious white bark and make oil from it again its useful for many many others usage. Let dry the whole mushroom then make a tiny hole in the middle. insert a wick, drop some oil you made before in the hole, let the mushroom absorb the oil then you have a natural candle it burns 4 a very long time and very brightly too.

And most surprising is the medicinal usage from this hard mushroom. there is some of the usage and there is real science about this. Traditionally used as a styptic agent, this common mushroom has been demonstrated to have significant anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Blood-sugar moderator, immuno-boosting, liver tonic. well grind it to powder then drink it in a tea. 

and that knowledge hard learned by a huge number of humans among hundreds and hundreds of years is 
quickly forgotten. 

What if one of these days you have to bug out. Only the people whit knowledge and skills will survive.