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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All action for the good of all.
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