Baptism In the Forest

Yesterday, after our hike with Sam's Cub Scout pack, I got out to the woods on my own. This is the place where I'm going to start working on a wild food forest. I think what i'm wanting is along the lines of wildcrafting, but I haven't looked into what all that entails yet. It's less than a half mile from the house, so it's easy to walk to.
I didn't go to the place I'll be gardening, but to the creek directly below it. I wanted some water time, I guess. The journey starts with a short short walk along the road outside our front door. It's a busy road for our small town of like six thousand people. My entry is through a pouroff inside a small pecan grove. Nuts aren't ready for harvest yet. The trees are dropping nuts, but they're in the phase where they're aborting less desirable fruits. Did you know trees do that? They don't waste their energy on infected, infested, deformed, or infertile fruits, so they just abort them. I've learned through Melissa's incessant curiosity around human reproduction that human female bodies do the same thing. How beautiful and natural.
creek woods entry point.jpg
That bit was an experience itself. I used some fun muscles in the sides of my lower legs that I haven't used since high school eleven years ago. The jump from the unstable brush pile in the upper right of that pic to the ridge in the middle of the draw was intense. The soil there is soft and did not allow for much traction for 215 pounds of inertia moving forward and downward. I jammed my leg in a stick to stop, and it worked. Scratched up my leg a bit, but it was a good experience. I'm not averse to bleeding.
I took a couple pictures along the creek because I liked the contrast in the scenery. The light and dark areas were fun to experience. I did get to notice some growth pattern changes in those areas, though they're hard for me to explain yet.
creek sun shade.jpg
creek sun shade 2.jpg
I didn't get my feet wet by sticking to the banks and rocks in the creek. Didn't want to get into the situations caused by wet socks. My handy dandy walking stick was very useful here. It gave me a whole other limb (lol punny) to have contact on the ground. I also used it a few times as an anchor to roots in the bank so i could have a tree to grab onto. I'll have to get some water shedding socks at some point. That hydrophobic travel method is laborious and time consuming. Along the way, I trimmed off dead branches, chopped down poison ivy and branches, and picked up trash. No trash allowed in my creek.
creek bank trash.jpg
That was the pile of trash at the bend where I ended up spending some time. It filled my pack that I use to carry water, socks, undies (never ever ever go to the woods without undies), a book, and my tomahawk.
creek foot bath whole.jpg
This is where I settled. That small pool of clear water Is a small eddy kind of a vortex pool filling in, swirling around, and draining into a much larger pool that turned out to be lovely for a quick dip. There's a ledge over the small foot pool that makes an absolutely perfect situation to sit on. The green mosses on the rocks were a bit slick, but manageable in bare feet, which are biologically made for traction in places like this. You can see the trash still on the bank in the top of this picture. That's the same trash from the previous photo. I cleaned it up before spending much time relaxing. Maybe I wanted to earn the enjoyment of the landscape.
creek foot bath feed.jpg
Creek bank.jpg
Directly across from the place where I sat at the foot pool is this large flat spot on a big rock in the ground. It'll be a place where I set up a picnic table or sitting spot later. I'll use logs from the woods and creek and I'll make a little ladder/stair platform to make access easier. That's all part of the future vision. I'm certainly not there yet, that'll be a year off or more. I need to get started tending the woods first.
creek foot bath.jpg
The cool water was amazing in the hot 100 degree day. So glad to find this place again so easily. The first time i saw it was a more difficult path.
creek swimming hole.jpg
That's the swimming hole. I measured it with my walking stick and figured it at about five feet deep directly at pouroff. It's deeper a little ways out though, maybe five and a half feet (almost 2m). There's fish in it, and it looks like there's a hollow behind the falls. I'll have to get some cheap swimming goggles and maybe a snorkel to explore down there a bit. That might make for some fun amateur spearfishing at some point too. I do intend to fish the creek and try to dam up and develop some deep spots to support larger growths of fish. Crafting and influencing the wild landscape. There's plenty of places to do that out of sight. It's awesome that this landscape won't just supply plant foods and leisure time, but animal foods too.
This is all part of my recent adventure into rewilding and wildcrafting. I'm going feral and breaking away from my own domesticated situation. I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm highly adapted to my sedentary lifestyle and very fit for it. I've changed my diet and found positive health benefits from that, but I haven't changed my activities or my habitat. This project will help with both of those areas. Movement in a natural space is very different than movement on pavement and carpet.
My overall vision here is for a wild living space. I don't know who, if anyone, I'll physically share it with. This may just be a place of solitude and meditation. A place for me to be intimate with nature, spirit, and self. I think I got really lucky finding this place so near my home and so well provisioned. I liked this refreshing quiet time before I start any heavy work. I feel like it sets the tone of refreshing enjoyment and retreat that I'm going for.
I'm becoming the feral human I was as a child. When I was younger, I spent every day outside. We explored every field, wood, and creek within three miles of our home. By "we," I mean my best friend and I. We mapped it, made shelters, trapped, built, and to a degree lived on that land for years. To me, i don't train to get out of the woods. That's not survival to me. I want to train to get into the woods. This is the start of rediscovering that path. This is my baptism into this landscape.
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Comments 17

That's a great spot you found there! Wish you all the best with the plans too😀

18.08.2019 17:36

Thanks so much! This will be a long term project while I work on the homestead as well. It will be a fun learning experience.

18.08.2019 17:41

It's crazy how being out in raw nature allows one to relax! For me, there is always a bit of lag time while I adapt to NOT being plugged into the rat race. But, then it's like all of the noise fades out, and the stress begins to melt away.

I found myself feeling that relaxation just from reading this. Very cool!

19.08.2019 01:41

I'd like to see what it'd be like to be out there for a couple days straight. I may actually try that sometime soon before it gets cold. Camp out there for a couple days and get some ideas.

Thanks for the inspiration. :)

19.08.2019 02:13

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19.08.2019 16:08

Great to see I really love the outdoor natural environment. What a fine hike for you, keep recording some more.

19.08.2019 18:10

Just wondering if you've yet traced it to the source?

19.08.2019 23:26

Nope. Google maps took me a couple miles. It's part of the trinity river green belt system that covers north Texas. Definitely not the cleanest river,

Part of the project will include making beaver dams to help filter and clean up the water, but that can only do so much. If I drink it, I'll definitely use a good filter.

20.08.2019 02:39

I love being feral in the outdoors. I feel at one there. You don't look like a fat guy with skinny arms like you think in your dysmorphia, you look fit and healthy. You can bet I'm never getting my semi naked body on youtube.

That swimming hole looks freaking awesome! nice and refreshing. I'm guessing it wasn't too cold as there were no girlish screams.

20.08.2019 01:36

Let's all be more feral!

The hole is about the size of a car I think. Not sure how far under it goes. Like I said, more to explore. :) So the water temp wasn't freezing, but it was super fresh. The air in the woods is a lot cooler than outside in the field, but still pretty toasty.

I'm learning that we're all individually adapted (physically and mentally) to our habitats. The places we live. So the base idea is to switch my habitat, and all else will follow. I'm fit to be a welding gardening dad in a domestic setting. Not that that's such a bad thing, but it's not all I want in life.

20.08.2019 06:07

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...” - Thoreau

20.08.2019 01:37

Too perfect. That guy was my hero when I was a kid.

20.08.2019 06:08

It is such a beautiful quote.

20.08.2019 06:21

OK that is just too awsome! Great write-up, great mood, your new look makes you seem much younger and you seem so calm, almost a zen-like state, I love that.

I also love the shapes hewn by the creek into bedrock. It must be a low volume creek as erosion does not seem too bad and the water seems clear of sediment at this time of year. The forest surely helps as well.

Making a small dam and planting some water hyacinth, water lilies and water chestnut seems like a great plan :) You can do what alongside the forest cultivation project! Just make sure the dam is not too large, so it'll be easier to make more stable and secure.

Overall, the best post I've seen in a long time! Where is @curie when you need her?! Resteemed with pride.

Now you're under the moral obligation to post more "Stories of the Creek"! ;)

20.08.2019 10:32

Yeah, I hadn't thought to add aquaculture! That's a cool idea!

More stories from the creek means more trips to the creek, so I'm down!

20.08.2019 11:57

It is a slow creek. Nice and easy, though I've not seen it in the rainy seasons. I had thought about a dam as a filter for the water, as some of it does come off the road. Not sure yet how to do that.

As for @curie, I don't know. She doesn't seem to love me like she used to lol

20.08.2019 12:00

Oh Nate! I' m so happy you've found your special spot -your refuge to regroup, reenergize and just plain relax!
A beautiful area and so close to your home - thanks for sharing and looking forward to seeing more of your rewilding, wildcrafting adventures!

22.08.2019 16:20