Rick's Journal

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Willow Spring Pics and the Promised Natural Dye Pics too!

Okay, so I checked my trail camera today and it was a good thing I did. I set it down by a little wetland area I call Willow Spring, near a bunch of overgrown apple trees and overgrown pasture land. This place is thick with brush, grasses, shrubbery and dead trees. There is a lot of browse and food around, and lots of cover for all sorts of animals. My camera caught pics of red squirrels, eastern cottontails and chipmunks but no birds this time around. I also got a pic of the resident porcupine, a skunk and a ton of raccoons! There are tons of them, mostly a pair that seem to be brother and sister, and once in a while, there are three of them running around.

They all seem very healthy, and it is nice to see them around, because the raccoon population got hit really hard about 10 years ago when the rabies epidemic moved through the area. We had a few rabid raccoons move through camp at that time, and we had to make sure none of the campers got anywhere near them. Then, after the wave of disease passed, we saw hardly any raccoons around our camp for many years.

So, it is good to see them back! I am also sure that they are hitting our compost pile hard during the summer season, and searching the bushes for crusts of sandwich and apple cores.

The skunk and porcupine didn't stick around long as they passed through the area, so I am thinking they are finding a lot of food and aren't all that hungry to sample the fallen apples.

The deer stayed for a long time, and I had about fifteen pictures in different stages of eating, sniffing, scratching and looking around. I was surprised that there weren't more deer running around in the area than just this one, but I guess they aren't using this trail.

Next week I will post more pics and I am moving my camera to another spot, so we will see if I can get a picture of a coyote, or a fisher or maybe the bobcats rolling through. I will probably pick up a road kill of some kind to see if that will attract some different animals. Meat, especially decomposing meat, will bring in crows, hawks, opossums and other scavengers. We might even see a bear!

Right now, the forest and swamps are chock full of berries, hawthorne apples, wild apples, acorns, hickory nuts, beech nuts and lots of other seeds and foods. It hasn't been that cold yet, so the need to pack on the calories hasn't kicked in just yet, but it will happen.

Getting good pictures starts with scouting the trails, to see which ones are being used by game and finding food sources, too. I have a lot of timberframing to do for the next few months, but I will try to get out for a mid morning walk and see what I can see.

I am also adding some pics of Trista's wool, which she dyed last week. The colors came out beautiful, and she is going to make a sweater with it! More pics of that as she gets it started...

She used elderberries, goldenrod, onion, black walnut and purple asters, I think. They came out pretty nice, don't you think?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall Update and Thoughts...

Just wanted to let you know that Trista and I are putting together some photos about her natural wool dyes, as well as some Juniper pics, on her blog, Nature's Hearth, and I should have some nice pics from my game camera soon to post on this blog in a few days. Willow Spring seems to have two very active raccoons, who look healthy and well fed, as well as the usual deer and rabbits moving through on the trails. I think you will like the pics!

We also have three workshops coming up this fall, in October. The first is the Sacred Hunt, October 1-3, which shares skills, philosophy and awareness of the sacred art of hunting, (pretty obvious!) The second is the Unearthing the Soul Retreat, with Trista, October 8-10, which is about preparing for the coming year's growth, vision and changes as well as celebrating the past year's learning and manifestations.... good stuff and very effective and powerful, too.

Last but not least is the Wolverine Survival Intensive, October 22-24, which covers the skills of survival and earth philosophy that will change how you see and experience the woods and nature forever... Chock full of learning and crafts and skills, it won't let you down!

I know we are just a few weeks away from a big election and all the blather about the economy and stuff the media wants us to obsess about, but if you take a moment and think, most of what is important to us in life doesn't have to do with that stuff. It has to do with the people we love, with the connections we make as friends and family, and our ability to enjoy our lives, work for a greater purpose and feel good about ourselves. I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't be a pawn in the media/political arena, and get outside, feel good, and work on things you can change and grow with, rather than stress about fear, hate and worry. In the wild, you can't change a thunderstorm. You just ride through it. It will pass, eventually, as it always does. The sun comes out, and there is another day. Don't let yourself be caught up in things that waste your time and don't really help build towards your personal vision and family and community.

We all make choices in our lives, as to what we want to focus on. What we choose to listen to, and thus create our own reality. This isn't an opinion, it is a practice, one that must occur every day. We hear what we want to hear, what's important to us, or what we value.

Have a great fall, and hope to see you soon!