Wicker time, grab your herding staff

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Guising, bonfires, apple bobbing is here! Let the feast commence under the harvest moon: All Hallows’ Eve is coming up!

But in this month you can also pretend to be the local shepherd, holding your very own herding staff, your shillelagh, having a wicker basket at one end, in which you carry your harvest collection, fruit from the fields, carrying your very own special lunch. Time for walks, picking the last autumn fruit on the windy field roads, as darker times lay ahead!

The Irish shepherd’s herding staffs used to be called a “shillelagh”. You can fashion your own like in the old days, from tree limbs and with the typical large knob on the top end. Then you can use it as a walking aid, collecting your autumn fruit. It’ll help you to traverse rocky, rain-soaked and muddy hillsides as it did in the old times. If you’re lucky enough to have a little farm, it’ll help you to move your flock from pasture to meadow.

The time it was used as weapon, when protecting herds from common predators such as wolves, is long gone. Nice to know is that shepherds had to scoop sheep droppings of excrement out of their way, when following paths leading to water. Flicking them away with their knob-ends resulted in today’s golf sport, so I’ve been told.

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The tops for walking sticks, we have, are made of brass, representing animal’s heads, bought at a fair once. My husband likes to make walking sticks. All you need is strong, hard wood, like boxwood for example. The one, with the duck head, was made out of a Brussels’ sprouts stalk, dried and varnished!

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Hope you enjoy harvesting, whilst walking, just like me?  Or maybe you love to walk through your village and watch people’s gardens and their upcoming decorations for Halloween? How do you plan to decorate?

Walking in the foothills of the Pyrennees with my shillelagh

Love from a wandering

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