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Tinder Fungus - Daldinia Concentrica

Discussion in 'Flora & Fauna' started by TheBrook, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. TheBrook

    TheBrook Member

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    Hi BUK friends,

    Daldinia Concentrica (also known as King Alfred's Cakes and Crampballs) is an excellent tinder fungus that will accept a spark very well and soon turn into a glowing ember. Perfect for starting a fire in conjunction with a 'bird's nest' or as a coal extender for friction fires.

    [video=youtube_share;YMqszFvrdB0]http://youtu.be/YMqszFvrdB0[/video]

    Do you have any more tips and tricks with this great slice (or should I say ball) of nature?

    Would love to hear them all :)

    Cheers,

    Brook
     
  2. Kathy

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    this is a lovely little gall...and used historically on this continent for transporting of fire before the days of matches and the like. as all continents have their means of transporting fire in history. glowing embers were very important as part of the kit when travelling. as indeed they still are today in some remote parts. This little gall was also used as a body warmer, when hollowed out it will contain a glowing ember for several hours, and when two placed together and bound, an ember within, would be tucked inside bodice and leg wrappings when walking long distances in cold weather. it is disappointing to find that children today are not told of the legend of king alfred and the cakes! it is one of our favourite stories to tell around the camp fire to our visiting children.
     
  3. Tony

    Tony White bear (Admin)
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    I don't usually jump on threads but I've got to point out that a burning ember is a hot thing, king Alfred cakes when soldering area really hot and there's little way to judge accurately how fast they're going to burn through, so anyone using them or playing with them beware that you can get burned and you're likely to get burned even if it's just your fingers while you mess about, having these deposited around your body without a true understanding of fire, the fuel and what it's like to be burned is daft.

    Other than that they're great and everyone should know how to harvest them, prepare them and use them...
     
  4. Goatboy

    Goatboy Full Member

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    Wise words there Tony, on a similar vein I had a small pocket fire years ago when one of the pocket warmers that burns a charcoal rod opened in a loose pocket in my jacket. Luckily it was a waxed Barbour type coat and it was only the pocket contents that got damaged, it it had been a nylon jobby I could've gone up or been badly burned.
     
  5. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    And it's not a gall, it's a fungus. Galls are swellings or mutations caused by insects.

    A handy fungus to know, we have thousands of them around here.
     
  6. cranmere

    cranmere Settler

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    I couldn't find any last autumn, even in an area where I have seen them in the past.
     
  7. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    Let me know if you'd like some, it was a good year down my way and I've got some spare :)
     

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