So I may have forgotten that I started this blog last Oct to document this year as a Caretaker with Coyote Trails School of Nature. So here’s a link to CT’s blog that I did some entries on: http://www.coyotetrails.org/fieldnotes/?cat=5 <– anything entered by Caretakers is what I’ve been doing w my life since Oct 2011, and the program will end Oct 1, 2012, however my life as a caretaker will never cease.
So some highlights that I recall right now:
- Amanda, Sam, Dirk, Steve, Kaitlin, Joe, Eirik, Molly… everyone!
- Tracking bobcats & coyotes a lot in the snow (with little tracking knowledge– I had taken Deer Trail only 3 months prior, and that was my first real exposure to the world of tracking)
- Building huuuge earthen shelters: Root Chair Lodge, Deep Purple (which I stayed in for the majority of my time here), OR-7 (named after the lone male wolf that you can also read about on CT’s blog, traveling far distances, past our region of Oregon), & also a shelter 4 is in the works.
- Practicing traps, which I had never done before: some figure-4 & paiute deadfalls, & rolling snares.
- Exploring the land, rain or shine… some of the most beautiful that I’ve ever seen!
- Making snowshoes out of Douglas Fir branches & practiced those knots/weaving w paracord
- Building the CT Dining Hall in main camp! This was a huge process. Collecting over 90 trees, de-barking them, cutting to size, hoisting up (luckily we had scaffolding and Roger’s help), beaming 1×4’s across the length, putting huge sheets of green metal roofing up, putting braces inside, installing a pull-up bar.
- Making applesauce! and sour-kraut! and rendered pig fat! and salve (for anyone who doesn’t live on the west coast, it’s like a natural skin-saver/moisturizer/lotion, the base is beeswax / oil. So I made some and it’s for sale — holler at me if you want some, I call it “Salve Me, Butters!” ..either unscented, cinnamon, lavender & chamomile, or wintergreen)
- Helping to plan summer camps, & getting to instruct w friends & play with the students (“THIS IS CRAZY FUN. I SAY CRAZY FUN!”)
- Taking Bear Trail, a Skills Eval, & Weasel Trail…!
- Visiting Ohio for the winter holidays & at the end of May
- My family (Mom, aunt Linda, Emily, Dickie) visiting in early May. (This also should have been documented under my “More Butter, More Better” blog). Crater Lake, McMinamin’s in Bend. false Glass Butte. Emily’s travel-buddy Steven joined us too. Hanging out / dancing @ Best Western Windsor gym.
- Nawnee, Cali & Bill visiting in March :)
- Fixing up the Coyote Trail’s Jefferson Nature Center
- Acid Castles
- Fairy Ponds
- *Umpqua River* …Diving into clear perfect-temperature water from a boulder. Huge salamanders.
- Rogue River aura-shockingly cold!
- Lithia Park hangouts
- Busking in town
- Making my first snap-bow
- The day the ground finally didn’t attach 3-5 inches of itself to each of my boots
- Working at Willow-Witt Farm & Ranch, getting to play with baby goats & watch baby pigs.
- Learning some more banjo
- Reading a lot of really awesome books like “Seven Bamboo Tablets of the Cloudy Satchel”
- did I mention Dirk, Steve, Sam, Kaitlin & Amanda? …my partners in crime!
Enough for now. If you’re a facebook friend, checkout out my photo albums “Warriors for the Earth” 1-4 at this point