Taking my normal shotgun approach to projects, I got my deer skull mounted up finally. I found the dead deer a few years back, cleaned up the skull and it's been sitting on top of my TIG welder ever since. It's now going to be hanging in the top of the new barn along with some other art work and photographs including this other skull I hung up a few years back.
I'm thinking this one's a raccoon. I found it out along the railroad tracks - probably hit by a train. Mother Earth News had an article a couple of issues back on how to tan hides, followed by an article on how to make a coon skin cap. As many coons we've got around here, might be fun to learn how to tan hides. I don't think I would have too much trouble sewing up the hat once the dirty work was done. Not like I need another hobby or something else to do. In fact, I've got a turtle shell I want to hang up as well. I'm not sure how I want to go about it yet.
The coon skull is on a sheet of copper inside a wrought iron frame I forged. It looks better hanging on the wall than it does in the photo. The deer skull looks fine on the wood but what do you do with a turtle shell? Hang it from a wire and make a mobile out of it? Maybe carve a head for it, drill the eyes out, put a small light inside it and set it on a shelf. I'll think of something and when it hits me I'll get it done. Might be five years, of course, but I'll get there.
I need to dig out my orange vest and start tramping around in the woods again. I used to run the old dog across the tracks in the woods and fields and we'd come across all kinds of things. Since the old girl died, I haven't done much of that. Of course now we've got snow on the ground, so I wouldn't be able to find much in the way of treasures but I've always enjoyed hiking around in the woods. Good for the soul and the body. I'd like to find some antler sheds some day. There was a real big buck around here a couple of years ago. Be cool to hang some antlers in the peak of the barn over the big doors.
It's going to have to warm up a bit before I do much of anything outside, however. It was 0.0 degrees when I checked the temp yesterday morning about 7:30 and -3.2 at 9:30 last evening. Not worth trying to heat up the shop, even with the new heater. Looks like the temps will remain frigid until next week. I've got some things going on in the basement shop, plus some general messing about around the shack to keep me busy until it warms up a bit.
2017 is just about over, so I should maybe make some plans for next year that I won't follow through on. I'll have my year in review post up in a couple of days, though. Easy enough to look back, not so much for the future.