Wednesday, November 19

Waterfowl Festival 2014

Bronze Statue Detail at Armory in Easton, MD

  The crisp Fall weather seems to arrive when the Waterfowl Festival is in Easton. Last Friday and Saturday were cool with abundant sunshine and the clouds rolled in on Sunday. The weather did not
dampen the spirit of the festival and town and the event locations were packed with locals and visitors.

Looking down Harrison Street toward the Tidewater Inn

  In the historic district, the armory was brimming with those admiring oil and watercolors, while the
Art Academy housed hyper realistic carved wildfowl. Incorporation of a “crab and a lab” in one frame generates added interest as it shows off those quintessential Eastern Shore icons. Add a goose or goose blind and you have the trifecta!

In watercolor, this would be a Show Stopper: Old Bay, Shells, Lure, Rod and Remington!

  Nearby at Easton High School, the air was filled with goose calls, as contestants vied for champion caller bragging rights (and a new Benelli). In the adjoining hall, there were historic displays of punt guns and sinkbox blinds. A buy/sell/trade swap area allowed for great buys for vintage decoys

Local Favorites

  An recent event addition is the Dock Dogs competition, where dogs simulate a duck retrieve, as they run and jump into a large pool. This is a crowd favorite and the kids love it, as they see dogs jump in excess of twenty feet into the cool water.

A Happy Lab!

A Focused Chesapeake Bay Lab

  This festival brings in much needed revenue into a rural area that has a high poverty rate. Staffed mainly by volunteers, the Waterfowl Festival showcases a true Eastern Shore maxim: celebrate the outdoors, while ensuring, that through conservation, it is available to future generations.

Tuesday, November 4

In My Own Backyard

A Gem of a Find: Willey Knives

  Along a popular route to the Delaware beaches and tucked away off Route 16 near Greenwood, Delaware is a Gem of a Find. Who knew that so close to home is a knife shop that boasts over 2,000 knives in stock, including Benchmade, Chris Reeve, ESEE, Cold Steel, as well as Buck, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox, and many other popular brands.

  Willey Knives is a family run business, set on a small farm in an unassuming brick house. Entering through the side door and walking down the stairs to the basement showroom, I stepped into a den of cutlery nirvana.

  With a very diversified selection, I was impressed kitchen cutlery was so well represented, and for good measure. These are the knives we use every day, and they take a pounding. With Henkel, Wustof, Shun and others, you will find that perfect paring or chef's knife.

  I was equally impressed with the customer service, who were knowledgeable, very friendly and had all the specs down on most of the inventory. With so much inventory, it is tough to keep grind, blade steel and knife designers straight, but they did a great job of it. Matt, in particular, provided some information gained from hunts using knives with S30V super steel. This was the blade steel on the object of my attention, the Benchmade Saddle Hunter fixed blade. With a full tang and a 4" modified clip point, this felt great in the hand and would excel as a bird and trout knife.

Benchmade Saddle Hunter: priced below MSRP and tax free!

   While I may save by buying from sites, like eBay or KnifeCenter, I feel a need to: 1) support a local business, and 2) be able to take the knife in hand and see how it handles. Like cars and firearms, edged tools also share the characteristic that they must feel as though an extension of your body.

  The Wildfowl Ninja found his "blademate" in an Ontario RAT 2, a folder priced far below its quality level. With a good fit to his hand, the knife is inherently safer.

Ontario RAT 2: great value folder!

  He was the only one to walk out with new steel. I guess I will have to go back and spend another hour in cutlery nirvana.

Contact Info:
14210 Sugar Hill Road
Greenwood, DE 19950
Ph. 302-349-4070