Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On days like this, it is hard to pull myself out of the woods
and away from the beauty of nature.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In Preparation

In preparation for the upcoming holiday season, I have been printing up a storm. There are so many things to get ready! There was an opening the other night at the local holiday pop-up shop that I am in (Present located at 269 Main St., downtown Gloucester) and I have a fair each weekend for the next 2 weeks!

It seems lately, it has been all about trees... I have been working on printing and restocking the birch tree designs on hoodies and tees (one of my most popular designs). I also have a new Redwood design, featuring twin redwood trees with ferns surrounding the base. And I will be creating a single version of this design for printing on leggings, hopefully in time for the fair this weekend!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sunny After The Storm

We had our first snow last week!
It was wild and although I had heard in passing something about snow, I didn't think much of it because, well, let's be honest, I don't think those meteorologists really know what they are talking about. Also, this is New England and the saying goes: "If you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes...". So, needless to say, I didn't think anything would come to fruition or stick.
But it did and although it wasn't a ton of snow, everything was covered! And then the next day, the sun was shining and the white washed away.

It was a perfectly handsome day to head out into the woods for some fresh air with the dogs. The sun was high and bright and I took to heading into the forest from a different entrance. It was sublime! I went in right off the road, by Busywell's Pond (below a massive estate that has apparently just been purchased after sitting idle for quite some time).  It is a resplendent area that connects to one of the Greenbelt properties, but it is not as popularly traveled, which makes me giddy. Plus there is a little brook that leads down into the pond, grown over with moss and ferns and with pools and little waterfalls which were bubbling and gurgling happily since having all the rain and melting snow!

I have to point out, if you have never been to New England in the fall, that the colors this time of year are exactly perfect. It is a rainbow of warmth and the woods seem as though they have been lit ablaze! Even the fallen leaves are flashy and kaleidoscopic!

Bessie Mu and Margaret found a turkey that I assume was fairly young, since it didn't flush and just stayed hushed in the brush as they circled around. Can you find it in the plethora of photos above? It is the photo of the seemingly dead pile of piney branches- you can just barely make out an eye and beak...

For days after this find, I continued to enter the woods via this route. There is something about the pools and little waterfalls that just sooth my senses and render me calm and encourage stillness in my soul. And every day should consist of visiting places that encourage these feelings. In fact, it is a similarly beautiful day out today and I am feeling inspired to take a trip out there in between working.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Myco Medicine


I find it amazing the way that plants communicate with us.
Everyone will have a different way of hearing the lessons to be learned, but for me, I get a sense. A deep feeling in my chest, a yearning to explore my relationship with whatever plant pops into my mind.

Often times it might not have a specific use right away, but many times when doing further research into traditional uses, it (whatever plant has presented itself) will be a plant that is specific to whatever I have going on at the moment, either physically, emotionally or spiritually. And sometimes the plant will show itself, it will manifest in front of me on a hike or outdoor adventure and I will specifically notice this plant. Other times I feel guided to look in a certain direction, just to see a plant that sticks out in my line of vision.

Many times this is how I feel about the mycological world.
Every living thing in this world has a symbiosis with something that they are connected too, mushrooms are no different. They are intelligent, living off of or coexisting with either trees (dead or alive) or with the mycorrhizae that delicately spreads its threads throughout the earth beneath us, creating one global living system.

I noticed this Ganoderma mushroom on a hike the other day. I was exploring a new part of the woods that I visit almost every day, making connections from place to place, trail to trail. And as I followed a path (that didn't really look so much like one, at least not a well traveled one), I turned to see this beauty. I got the sense that it was showing me how to sit, patiently, and observe. To really look inward and to pay attention to what it is that truly makes me happy. And then to share that joy.

I love to be outside, in quiet and seemingly lonely places. Although, I never truly feel lonely there. I am outside pretty much every day of the year, most of the time exploring the environment that I call home. Nothing makes me happier than to find a new trail or new, secret spot to revel in. I love to listen to the sounds of the natural world as I am out exploring. The hum and whine of the earth vibrating beneath my feet. The shrill screech of the trees as they rub againsts one another in a dance of tempest. Or the rustle of leaves from a slight breeze. Birds, chipmunks and squirrels chirrup. Ocean waves crashing and their booming bass echoing and reverberating through the granite and hollows in the ground (this I can really feel at night when life is still). I feel comforted by the crackle and crepitate of branches and leaves under each footstep. And let's not forget the rain. The stillness, the mute tapping on roof and window, the air heavy and reticent...

It is nothing new, but I have been deeply noticing lately how much I really need to be someplace that is more wild nature than human development. I need the mountains. I need fresh air. And water is a necessity in my life, preferably the ocean or running water. I feel the most alive and most connected to myself and my surroundings when I have constant access to such energy. I can't feel complete with out it.