This is an illustration from the Winter Issue of Woolgathering. I wrote about the harmful effects of the invasive honeysuckle to cardinals.
This year, we are trying to make a more concerted effort to reduce the honeysuckle population in our woods in order to save the trees and the birds. We are also looking to plant some trees in the voids of fallen oaks and cleared weed trees. It is an overwhelming task to eliminate the honeysuckle and buckthorn, but we feel like we have to try our best. We have heard from a friend who advises using a small amount of poison to prevent regeneration. We have also thought about goats who will surely reduce the unwanted plants but will likely eat the wanted ones. Any suggestions on the best approach to invasive species like honeysuckle and buckthorn?
Today is the first full moon of the year and of the decade. It’s the Wolf Moon! Ahhoooooooo!
According to Jamie Sams’ Medicine Cards, Wolf is the “Teacher Archetype.”
Sams writes, “Wolf is the pathfinder, the forerunner of new ideas who returns to the cland to teach and share medicine. Wolf takes one mate for life and is loyal like Dog. If you were to keep company with Wolves, you would find an enormous sense of family within the pack, as well as a strong individualistic urge. These qualities make Wolf very much like the human race. As humans we also have an ability to be a part of society and yet still embody our individual dreams and ideas.”
What new ideas do you bring to your pack or your community this month?
Something that sparks my interest, is how we as people implement cultural traditions to honor the seasons. What do we choose to do each season - even when we are busy or don’t feel inspired to do so? What traditions remain and why?
Those are big questions to continue to explore in upcoming issues of Woolgathering, but in this latest Winter Issue of Woolgathering, JoAnne Pavin explored the traditions around the holiday meal. JoAnne Pavin, founder of “The Meal” Movement and creator of “The Meal” Magazine, wrote about her family traditions surrounding the dinner table. So much important ceremony happens when we gather around a holiday meal - from recreating family recipes, retelling stories, and creating new memories - which are often based on funny mishaps.
Learn more about JoAnne and “The Meal” here: https://www.themeal.net/
And learn more about “Woolgathering” here.
PS if you are still looking for a holiday gift for your nature lover, check out Spring Bird’s shop.
This image is from the recent Winter Issue of Woolgathering!
I wrote about what it’s like to experience a rush of sandhill cranes fly overhead.
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The first half of November was so cold and wintery that I think it launched the animals into a “winter is coming” frenzy.
Have a delicious December!
This is what happened in October! The letting go has been so beautiful. I just walk around with my jaw on the ground. Also, October had several animal encounters including snakes, deer, and migrating flocks of birds!!!
Recently, I was fortunate to meet my Mom’s cousin Patti, and spend time learning about her childhood and her love of the river and living off of the land. Their home on the island was surrounded by shallow waters that offered fish, muskrat, and plenty of good stories remembered well by Patti.
By the time Patti was four, a dam upriver was destroyed, which caused their island to be flooded, house and farm destroyed. The Smith family was forced to move to the mainland, but chose to stay close to the river that fed them so well. They made their home in a small fisherman’s shack, which Patti’s son still owns today.
At age 83, Patti has decided to write her memoirs of growing up there for her grandchildren to know of her life. Despite growing up in poverty, she reports a life well-lived and rich in stories and experiences. She says she wouldn’t trade it for anything, and wishes her grandchildren had some of her skills - like poling a boat, and strength - like climbing a rope to her bedroom loft, and endurance - like surviving cold winters.
Some of her stories tell of her experience going to school in a one room country schoolhouse. Patti gave me permission to share her writing and also gave me permission to illustrate it. So, the following graphic essay is just that. I hope you enjoy it as I do. Patti’s spirit and memory is as crystal clear as the waters of the Fox River from her youth, and I am grateful for her generosity in sharing these stories.
Above is an excerpt from an excerpt from the Fall Issue of Woolgathering. Enjoy!
Learn more about Woolgathering and get your free sample issue here!
Fox teaches us about camouflage. When we blend into our surroundings we can become keen observers. This is particularly necessary in nature when we want to observe wildlife without disturbing it, but I also like to blend in at parties. #introvert
This illustration is from the cover of the Fall Issue of Woolgathering.
Are you good at blending into your surroundings?
Learn more about Woolgathering, here.
The Seasons are changing, and so must your desktop/laptop Wallpaper image!
Save the above image to your desktop and have Fall invade your digital space!!!
Last week, we lost another large oak. Its trunk snapped about 15 feet up and fell taking small trees and branches with it. The insides look like pulverized dust.
I was, of course, filled with tremendous sadness. I always take it personally. Was there something that I could have done to help it live a longer life?
Then, I am usually relieved that no one was hurt - other than the plants and trees in its falling wake.
And, I noticed the sunlight pouring through - into the void. It was beautiful.
What has fallen has made space for other things to grow and thrive.
I sat in the sun smelling the oak’s dust, thanking the tree for being here, and wondering what will grow next.
Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.