Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I've been making hats from recycled wool garments for years because I love wool clothing for the wet climate of the Pacific NW. Now that we live on some land in the country, we decided it would be nice to get some sheep to raise for their wool, their company and for their ability to fertilize the land. So we purchased two Shetland sheep, a wether and a ewe. The ewe is the black which was recently shorn and the wether is the brown with fleece still on. My wife, Kirsten, has learned how to spin and knit and so is even more excited about this than I am. Perhaps some custom Deller caps knit or felted from their wool in the future. First I need to learn how to shear them! I hear it's not easy.
We have also been interested in getting some goats to raise for milk and meat and to clear blackberry brambles. So yesterday I bought a goat as well. Her name is Geveirah (I think that's how it's spelled. She was named by the previous owner) She is pregnant and due sometime in the next month. She is of the French Alpine variety.
It rains all day and then just before sunset it gets sunny and we have these amazing rainbows. Here is a double rainbow over our yurt. This was by far the most brilliant rainbow I've ever seen!
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
On a hike in the Sonoran Desert outside Maricopa, AZ. It was eye opening to see all of the refuse left behind by Central American immigrants who made the dangerous journey across the border bound for Phoenix and elsewhere. It was common to find the arroyos (small dried up washes) littered with old water bottles, clothing, bloody bandages, and food containers. The lack of water, extreme temperatures, lack of wild food on such a journey, are proof that these folks are risking their lives to make it to America out of desperation.
A short visit to Sedona proved to be cold and wet. We get enough of that in Oregon so we headed south for Joshua Tree.
Joshua Tree National Park was pretty unique. Days were warm and nights were in the high 20's!
Northern Elephant Seals on the beach north of San Luis Obispo. These seals come here to give birth every Jan.- Feb. We noticed a few while driving up Route 1. They were really funny to watch. The males are enormous!
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Trackers Earth was featured in an article in the Oregonian this February. We seem to be getting a lot of press lately. Survival skills is a hot topic. I just returned from 3 weeks of traveling around the Southwest with my wife, Kirsten. We attended Wintercount, a primitive living skills rendezvous that happens every Feb. near Maricopa, AZ. It was a great opportunity to learn some new skills from folks who come from all over the country. The camp lasts for one week and participants can choose from upwards of 30 different workshops each day on subjects like wild edible and medicinal plant study, hide tanning, black smithing, bow making, basketry, etc. There are also talks on less hand skill oriented subjects like hunter/gatherer nutrition, storytelling, song and dance and kids activities. For me this week functioned as a sort of continuing education for the survival skills workshops I teach through the Portland based, Trackers Earth. I will post some photos from our trip this week.