|Nothing like archery on a foggy, Autumn day
|A close call
|My best effort of the day
One activity that surfaced during our many discussions was archery. I mentioned my life-long fascination and love of the sport while my other friend, Laura, offered her knowledge of the English longbowmen (she has a great love for British history). I went online, looking for directions on how to make a longbow, and before long we were ready to take the first step in becoming serious archers.
Laura, my other friend Niño, and I spent some time doing research, learning that yew wood worked the best for longbows and that it had to be cut and carved in a specific way. We searched the local lumber yards but no one had yew available in our area. Finally, we went into a local rural supply store and visited the archery section, hoping someone might have some information. To our great surprise and delight, it turned out their archery expert gave workshops on the weekends, instructing people on how to make their own longbows. We signed up right away.
|Creating your own longbow is a thoughtful process
The next few weeks consisted of my friends and I finding some hay bales and painting some targets to go with them. I even designed a few flags to fly while we were out in my back yard to signal we were shooting that day.
Recently, we haven't found the time to practice our skills as often as we'd like (and when I say skills, I mean it very lightly . . .) and we still haven't taken any classes on arrow making, but perhaps someday we'll get around to it. I'm by no means an expert archer and if I had the chance to shoot with Robin Hood, I'm positive I'd soon be put to shame. But there is always room for growth and I don't plan on giving up this new (or should I say resurrected) hobby of mine any time soon. In fact, a few months ago Laura, Niño and I visited a local range that invited archers from our area to come and test their skills. Of course, we didn't participate this first time around since we are very much out of practice, but the appearance of my hand-made longbow caused a delightful stir among the other participants. I have a feeling we'd be welcomed back, even if one of us might be prone to missing the target more often than not . . .
|Time to call it quits for the day! Hey, I got
one arrow kind of close to the bull's eye . . .
When the three of us started out on this venture of ours, we had great dreams of making our very own, genuine yew wood longbows from scratch and becoming expert marksmen and women. Of course, our bows aren't made of yew and we had some help in creating them, and we are far from being confident enough in our skills to display them in public. But we came out of the experience with the knowledge of how to make longbows and the bowstrings to go with them (I actually snapped my string several months ago and had to put those skills to the test when I fashioned another string).
Hopefully someday we'll stumble upon some favorable pieces of yew wood, and perhaps we'll get a chance to make some more bows and host our very own archery competition. And maybe, just maybe, I'll be shooting like Robin Hood by then ;).