I haven’t posted in quite some time, as many of you have noticed. Captain Paul has inspired me to begin writing again. For this, I thank him.

Part of my long hiatus is due to the fact that my job this summer is the position of Councilor for a resident Boy Scout Camp – something that severely limits my internet access. And while much of my time is spent out-of-doors, it is rarely spent on the type of pursuits I enjoy greatly. Even less does it concern something I can write about with any flair.

Anyways, I plan to try to throw a post out every week, if possible. Please keep checking back, as I may update unexpectedly.

I went out to check for fiddleheads (Ostrich Ferns, Pteretis pensylvanica) today. They aren’t up nearly far enough yet. I suppose the fact that they were underwater last week has something to do with it.

I did find some Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) recently. I wrote an article for the Wilderness Wiki. You can find it here

I also found some Clintonia (Clintonia borealis) shoots that will be ready in a few days.

Yes, spring is certainly here, and its bounty will be available for the harvesting from now on. I can’t wait.

I took a stroll today, going nowhere in particular. Obviously, I took my nasty little camera with me, and so I took plenty of photos. I gave special focus to woodpecker holes, and here are a few that really impressed me.

One of these days, I’ll go a different way and snap a picture of an old beech trunk that a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus) have decimated so badly it is in danger of falling. It is really impressive, the work these birds can do when they set their mind to it (groan).

No, really, they sure put their nose to the… nevermind. That one was worse.

I snapped some quick pictures of a sunset over my lake today. These are the ones that came out best. The second was taken about thirty-five minutes after the first.

I hope you like these pictures. I’m still using a small, cheap digital camera. Hopefully, at the end of the summer I’ll be purchasing a nicer camera. I’m currently looking at the Canon Rebel XT, but I don’t know what lenses yet.

I found something awesome today. A website like this has only existed in my dreams before this moment. I had never really hoped that someone might have come up with the idea, and even less that they would have implemented it successfully!

Anyways, this is Ecocho. What it is – basically – is a search engine, powered by Yahoo! that plants trees every time people use it to search the web.
How? Ads. Nice, little, unobtrusive ads.

I have found that it performs very nicely – on par with Google, in my opinion. Besides, it’s planting trees.
If you don’t believe me, there is a nice little FAQ, along with other information pages on the site.

I find it ironic that a Google fan such as myself would switch to a Yahoo! program so quickly. But I look at it this way: While Google is cool, the environment is cooler. Although it won’t be for very long if we don’t do something about it.
I think Ecocho is a good place to start. Please, check it out. I like it.

Tracking and the Art of Seeing, by Paul Rezendes.
Second Edition.
HarperCollins Publishers, New York. 1999.

Tracking and the Art of Seeing is a wonderfully detailed guide to the tracker’s art. Paul Rezendes takes the reader deep into the territory of dozens of creatures, using many vibrant, clear photos to show various signs of animal activity. However, this book is not merely a guidebook for identifying animal tracks. Instead, it is an insightful portal into the lives of animals, and carries a spiritual essence about it that convinces the reader to become closer to nature, and her wondrous creatures.
Rezendes’ photos show not only the footprint of the animals, but also their droppings, habitat, and other unique signs, from buck rubs to otter mudslides. He takes the reader into the life of the animal, describing the normal activities, diet, location and best times for viewing. He presents a clear portrait of nature’s complex structure, and explains how humans can interact with these awe-inspiring creatures.

This book makes a wonderful read, not only to help hone your tracking skills, but to learn how to become closer to nature, and make time spent outdoors far more meaningful.

4.5/5

I spent some time today with my little buddy, the chipmunk. I have decided to call him Jack, because it fits his personality. He is becoming quite tame, and runs over to me whenever I walk by him, to see if I have any treats. I have kept my pockets full of raisins just for him – although I eat plenty myself.
I also gave him a cracker with peanut butter on it. He enjoyed it – too much, in fact. He licked off all the peanut butter, and proceeded to gag for about thirty seconds.
I was just bracing myself to perform small-critter choking relief (and to receive the inevitable bites associated with picking up a semi-wild chipmunk) when he spit a bit out and ran off. Little pig…

I took a picture of him coming out from under the woodshed. He is in the hollow space of a palate, preparing to come down for a raisin.

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