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About Rjohn7

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  • Birthday January 1

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    don't fish.
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    the twilight zone

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  1. ok, I admit it, I am anal. You were warned. If a hide is oily first thing I do is figure out why. if the answer is it wasn't well scraped (often the case when buying something unusual that was part of an aviary etc) I scrape it down to skin. then I wash it, with the gentlest stuff that will do the job. Frequently this is a bit of simple green and water- especially with poorly scraped hides. once it is washed I blot it (not rub like you would hair- just press down with dry cloths and lift) then dry the feathers with a hair drier so they go back to looking like feathers should. once this is done, I peg the skin out on a board hide side up using thumb tacks, and use either Borax (heavy oil from very poor scraping) salt (just a bit of scraping needed pretty well done mostly- this is the case with some whiting I purchased in the past.) or corn meal (very light oiliness left skin was properly scraped but perhaps not soon enough) Borax I find is much more likely to cause a very dry paper like skin that will potentially tear, so I do not use that on a previously treated hide unless it really soaked up a good deal of oil. salt is a mid point, it does dry the hide and draws a good deal of oil out and a few days under a good layer of salt is sometimes just what a hide needs. Corn meal is good for when there doesn't seem to be a good reason for where the oil is coming from. I can tell you from experience that if you slaughter more today than you can clean, scrape, wash, treat, peg out and borax, that after a nice hot July evening when you get to them tomorrow a great deal of the fat that needs to be scraped from the skin has melted and seemingly coated the skin, chances are that a good deal of it is in the skin and will slowly come out making your feathers oily without there being a good reason that's obvious. No one ever plans on having to process a hide the next day, but too often odd things happen like ones son falling out of a tree and breaking his arm resulting in being at the hospital from 3pm till after 11pm. Honey do's are often another issue. I also find a few of these in 'commercial' hides, and I assume that they for one reason or another just sat longer than is good. (should be noted that when I am slaughtering and processing the hides, I slaughter, process the hide, slaughter the next and so on so I never have to deal with more than one of these.) There is a fascinating paper titled "Feather mites play a role in cleaning host feathers: New insights from DNA metabarcoding and microscopy" by Jorge Dona, et al That looks at the gut contents of feather mites and identifies what they eat. it most appears to be bacteria that live on feathers and in the oils of feathers. it also appears that the mites are not what damages the feathers (quote: " in spite of using primers suitable for amplifying degraded bird DNA. We observed no obvious feather filaments in our microscopy analysis, but this and our molecular study would not have been able to identify tiny (non-DNA-bearing) fragments of feathers, which have been occasionally reported in microscopy studies. The chelicerae of vane-dwelling feather mites do not seem capable of cutting or tearing intact feathers, so if the tiny fragments we observed in the guts are indeed feather fragments, they would likely be ingested along with other loose material. In addition, we found a high prevalence of both keratinophilic and pathogenic fungal taxa") Now what this means in a nutshell is that even if a feather collection is mite free, it can still be damaged by bacteria that can live in the oils. This of course requires that they somehow are introduced (or perhaps survive processing?) If there is a 'rancid' smell then there is likely some sort of bacterial action, is it a harmful taxa? I couldn't say, but decided fairly quickly I dislike the idea and do try to keep my collection as free from possible food sources of bacteria as possible which does mean removing any excessive oils. you were warned... Added: be aware you can not, should not and must not remove all oil from feathers or they will be damaged. Only try to do more than simply wash them if there is for some reason excessive oil in the attached skin that is leeching out onto the feathers. The oil present in a properly cleaned and processed hide is not enough to host an invading colony of destructive bacteria, its not a reason for concern, the process in effect preserves the hide to a large degree, proving that bacterial action is not a major concern. the only time to be concerned is when there is excessive oil present, unpleasant odor or visual confirmation of bacterial/fungal infestation of the hide. so a tiny bit of oil- if it bothers you, wash them and blow dry them.
  2. go to the Collins web site, look over whats offered, then call Charlie, tell him what you need, write down the amount, what the order is, and mail him a check with a nicely written list of what he said he had for you that you wanted. There is no need to try to find him at shows, which as I understand he does not like doing anyway. if you call him and he has what you want in the size you want, he will tell you. if he doesn't catching him at a show isn't going to make the size and color you want suddenly appear. His site also lists the dealers that carry his hackle. http://www.collinshacklefarm.com/
  3. all great points if you have that option I do not. I tend to buy hides, and there is no standard grading for them, and each feather type must be examined carefully by its own standard. I would love to be able to go into a shop and find full hides or hard to find types. Its just not an option I have. If I was buying capes that I could just go to a shop and examine that is what I would do. Do not forget I do have the option after I examine them of sending anything that does not meet my standards back. I have done that on a melanistic pheasant hide that was not the quality I was looking for.
  4. if I followed that rule I'd never buy anything. I don't even think there is a shop close enough for me to shop in person. there used to be one about an hour away and its now closed. I tend to buy from people that if it doesn't meet my requirements for quality I can send it back. I also tend to only buy the high end stuff (grey peacock pheasant hides, blue eared pheasant hides or anything over $500) from people who will take very very good photos for me until I am satisfied. even over $250 I expect a couple of good photos at the minimum of the specific hide. This shouldn't be too unusual.
  5. I will *never* add up what I've spent on fly tying! I'd have to kick my own butt if I did!
  6. I placed an order by phone 2 days ago for $645.50 It arrived today, all intact, the skins were the ones I saw and picked out via photos. I ordered a grade 1 full jungle cock skin, a grade 1 jungle cock saddle, several silver grade spey- a couple of white, a red, and another color, forget which. and last a peacock neck-head-back. Really the quality on them all is excellent, and they arrived in two days. I had a nightmare time with the website cart and just ended up calling.
  7. Everything was packed up and put into storage so my addition could be built. the sheet rocking is being done now- hope it will all be done soon. Its been ages. Once thatsdone and everything unpacked I will be sending out stuff again.
  8. Rjohn7

    Song of the day

    a bit of fun, more I drink the more fun it is.
  9. Rjohn7

    Song of the day

    Freaky works, still like most of what I've heard from her, it seems to be relaxing even if disturbing.
  10. Rjohn7

    Song of the day

    Strange video. Strange song. Strange girl. Oddly relaxing though. Just not the sort of thing I'd normally listen too, but strangely relaxing and enjoyable.
  11. wth is wrong with those people? poor camel and dog had to deal with mean spirited arse hats that think abuse is amusing.
  12. Call and talk to him. I did and amazingly enough the grab bag was 3 of the four colors we had discussed that I hadn't ordered separately. If he says order the grab bag and whatever other cape because its not available in the grab bags, do it. he doesn't say that unless he knows he can get you the colors you want in that grab bag. If he doesn't specifically tell you to order the grab bag, you won't be getting the colors you are looking for. Every time he has told me to order the grab bag its arrived and at least three of the capes are colors I want. Its not a perfect world, so the grab bags are not top of the line quality, but they are great for the price, and will tie well. They're not bad materials by any means. and yeah I like whiting too, but I just can't seem to get then at great prices. Rjohn.
  13. Rjohn7

    Song of the day

    LOL. not sure they're sane but they certainly make interesting sounds.
  14. Rjohn7

    Song of the day

    found this interesting and some how compelling.
  15. Way back when dinosaurs were roaming the world, someone discovered that there was a better way to catch fish than just throwing rocks at them and My great grandfather somehow heard about it. Not only did he hear about it he learned to how to tie, and sometime after that he had children and one of them was my Grandfather and he also learned this new obsession. fast forward several billion years and I came along. At that point my grandfather was very ancient (I remember, I was six and knew what ancient looked like) The only way I got to spend time with him was if I was doing things with him he thought worth doing, which wasn't very much. That boiled down to his hobbies... which were; ruining the day of any fish he met, tieing flies, lapidary, silver smithing and keeping farm animals he could eat. Believe it or not I just wasn't into standing in freezing water to spoil some fishes day, and as soon as my Grandfather passed away (when I was 15) I never went fly fishing again. However as I've gotten older I've found I value tying more, it has some nostalgia for me, I like teaching the children and believe it or not its much easier to do now than how my grandfather did it. (he actually stuck his hook in a cork and tied that way) I've taken to teaching lapidary and silver smithing the past 20 years too.
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