How did the Oakmoss (Evernia prunastri) get under the hazel?
And do lichen grow on specific trees?
I also discovered the mysterious plant shining in the light was a wall lettuce, which I always confuse with nipplewort and also sow thistle.
I reviewed some plant descriptions.
Sat a little after a nice wander exploring Me Kwa Mooks. It was pretty quiet. Just some sanding sounds from neighbors. Sanding wood? And some music. And some screechy sound from the cherry log. Juvenile crow? And some clicking. Most likely from the little hummer.
I talked with Hazel, my old friend. Left my scent next to the log. Put some branches on the new trail and downhill. Whoever has the guts to master the course can explore.
I smelled Hazel, the maple, the soil, the ivy. Most familiar and surprisingly not strong. Ivy leaves don't smell in September.
Right after, it rained and rained and I stayed happily inside.
Watched Nat Geo's 'Big Sur' and looked up Sea Otters.
Tried to find out about their order.
1.1 Feloidea - Felidae
1.2.1 Mustelidae family (weasel)
184.108.40.206 Lutrinae (Otter)
220.127.116.11 Melinae (Badger)
18.104.22.168 Mephitinae (Skunks)
22.214.171.124 Guloninae (Wolverine)
126.96.36.199.1 Mustela (Weasel and Stoats)
188.8.131.52.2 Mellivora (Ratels) Afria/Asia
184.108.40.206.3 Ictonychini (Zorillas and kin)
Also did a quiz on Mustelids:
and one on scat:
My Stellar's Jay feather might be a wing feather.
A wet day in the PNW. We needed it to have some relief from the smoke, but still. I was not super excited to get out when it got darker - it was already dark all day - and also colder, but I did it. I needed to figure out how many paces in each direction I need to draw my Master map.
I walked in, enjoyed that the trash pile was gone, walked up, sat down, noticed the rain hitting the leaves and with my Owl eyes I tried to react to every movement, but all the movements where just leaves bounces up and down after being hit by a raindrop.
When I took off the mask for a second, I could smell the smoke in the air, like a camp fire.
I then focused right in front of me where the Roly-Poly was hanging out yesterday, but couldn't see anything move. I looked to my left and there she was. Graciously blending in with the pretty stump. I was memorized for a bit by this beautiful sight. She looks like marble. Not all slugs are usually that pretty and elegantly glued to a stump.
I saw some fresh cut hazel twigs on the ground and tried to figure out what happened - and found a little trail going along the power line connecting to the power pole to one of my neighbors back yard fences. Now I wonder if they want to be connected to the Park, or just needed excess to the power pole where all the Internet cables are connected, but I couldn't see anything different about the hazel there. Very mysterious.
Walking back to my spot - counted steps - I noticed this plant beaming in age. So fragile. Delicate. Laced. Another master piece. And the light just hit it to make it shine. One more time.
This morning when I stepped outside for a second, I heard a very loud crunch on the right Douglas fir out front. I waited a bit and then the little fluffy tail came in site. I waited a bit more and my neighbor squirrel positioned itself on a little branch carrying a big nut or acorn in his mouth. The sound when he climbed head down the trunk to get to the branch was amplified, almost screaming at me. I do think he knows me. He rarely screams at me even if I pass under the tree. He nibbed a bit on his food before dashing off over his highway - from one Doug to the next over the cherry into the Cedar.
One of my goals is to earn his trust and be able to get closer. Also to find out if he is in fact a 'he'.
When I stepped out in the afternoon to go to my sit spot there were two of them in the tree. One climbing down a very brittle, dried up looking branch, I would avoid if I was a squirrel.
We will spend a lot of dirt time this year and sit.
My current relationship with my sit spot is somewhat torn as I see so many things and feel really connected but the space feels somewhat transient. Change is in the air. It's a City Park and neighbors on all edges interact with the space in different ways.
I did have the most impact on the space, restoring it to native plants, removing the intruders. It feels interesting as an intruder myself. But I might call myself 'introduced' and 'non-invasive', as I try to play along with the others in a respectful, harmless way. Am I really?
Stealing valuable resources: Light. Water. Air. Space. Smothering over the others. Just like the Himalayan Blackberry? I do use resources. Some are limited. Some raised in value because people like me moved here and made space more rare. Outpricing the locals/natives.
I will go now and introduce myself to my little nature patch, I feel to know for a while now, and try to reach out and find my 'Octopus teacher' (Jon Young just suggested his friends Craig Foster's new film). I will try to see everyone and everything with new eyes.
I really like the idea how external tracking and relating to a place also activates internal tracking. I will try to pay more attention to that.
But this time I will wear shoes as my spider limbo made me be a little less cautious and step in Himalayan blackberry which left an inch long gap on the bottom of my foot. Ouch.
We were given a story about 2 boys experiencing nature very differently.
How do you relate to the characters?
I relate to Sean experiencing endless curiosity about about basically everything and how all is related. I do feel like I had a 'Grandmother' (my Dad), in my life that modeled deep nature connection to me early on. We spent a lot of time outside, always barefoot, had a little garden, lived along our Sparrows, harvested berries and smelled hedges as we passed them on our walks. We walked a lot. We walked in a sit spot loop - always passing the same spots - keeping track of the natural world as it unfolded over the seasons, as well as the people.
I can also relate to Martin feeling I don't know as much about all my neighbors in my new home (for 15 years - compared to my home growing up for 18 years). I did lose a bit of that connection during college and career and slowly pulled on the threads of connection when I raised my kids. I tried to raise them a bit like I was raised, just with a lot more restrictions, as city life and crime rates seemed to be a little more threatening to let them free roam when they were little. Over those years we all got lazier and less comfortable with harsh weather, longer excursions, but still went on walks. Just more like Martin. Getting from point A to B without stopping, taking it in, smelling, observing, wondering.
I slowly get more comfortable with the uncomfortable now, having backpacked over 125 miles this summer and being out and about for the last winters, on tracking trips, camping, driving on ice and snow. And also going on evening walks passing the same yards, noticing changes in the seasons, 'for sale' signs, stickers on cars, birds in the highest trees on the route.
I visited my sit spot. I would think I come here since May. It definitely feels longer, but I think I switched around from my front porch to the opening to different spots in my little forest. After Kai, my mentee left, I started taking Tim to do sit spot - and started climbing up the little hill - and then left. It's close to the Junction in 4-5 directions.
Today I stepped into the forest with the intention of taking out some of the trash left behind as it distracts me from focusing. It was a lot and I could not understand where all the new trash came from. Did the wind expose it as there is a whole layer still there from a former camp. I was very happy to clean up the bits and pieces. One was a plastic Easter egg (apparently left behind from our last egg hunt - and then rolled in the open - who does that?) where someone clearly enjoyed the chocolate inside. The wrapper was torn in lots of little pieces. Squirrel?
I went and took note of the scat on the little hillside next to the beautifully rotting log, which could be cat or raccoon or anything that size. Will need to investigate. Looked up all the scat in this size and didn't find anything that fit it. It was too small for house cat or raccoon and the form too long for anything else in that shape. Close by are lots of empty hazel nuts and feeding debris. Probably from the Squirrels or rats? Will need to investigate.
On my way back I found 3 feathers about 3 feet apart. Two bright blue and one fluffy. I was looking around for more, expecting a kill site, but couldn't find any more.
Later, I looked up 'Fairmount Park' and my sit spot on Google Earth and the parcel finder and another page and did the same for my sit spot at Linne Doran.