Sunday, August 21, 2011

Seredipity or Spiritual Guidance

Yesterday, I was wandering the house and grabbed Weed of The Northern US and Canada off of the shelf.  It sounds like a great read, right?  We have had this book on the shelf for years and not really used it much.  When we first got it, it did not seem like it was pertinent ... we were looking for books on edible plants, but it seemed helpful to be able to identify some of the "weeds" in our area.

The authors define weeds as "a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered".  As I leafed through, I could not help but chuckle at this.  The natives in my area, and I even with my limited skill and knowledge, knew of many practical uses for many of these plants.  Indeed, simply reading some of the common names for these plant suggested uses.  Arctinum minus Bernh., for instance, is known as both beggar's buttons and wild rhubarb, as well as the more common, Common Burdock.  So, if you knew this, how would you try to use this plant?

Enter serendipity.  I thumbed through until I found this ... Galeopsis Tetrahit L.  I have this plant growing wild in my yard ... as a matter of fact, I pulled a bunch of it last weekend and threw it in the compost pile.  The common name that caught my eye was wild hemp.  Al1 of you who know me well know that I like to make cordage.  And, I know that hemp is often used in textiles.

According to this site, the are several know virtues ... medicinal and utilitarian.  According to WikiPedia, it is a pioneer plant and helps to build poor soil for succession plants.  Wendy was particularly interested in its use a fodder for the rabbits.  Given the fact that this plant is native to Europe and Asia alone suggests that it must be useful enough for someone to introduce it here sometime in the early part of the European settling of North America.

So, next time you are wandering through your yard and see a "weed", you might want to try to see what it is.  It just might be the Universe providing something you didn't even know you needed.  As for me, my MooseBoots journey continues to surprise me in unexpected ways.  I am grateful for all of the guidance and abundance provided.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trail Camera Games

I'll admit ... as an engineer, I like technology.  It may seem very strange given my bent toward a simpler life using native skills.  In my defense, I started out very much a part of the dominant culture.  As I've said previously, I excel in this capacity, but feel drawn down my much more satisfying MooseBoots path.  Still, technology has its place ... and I am allowed to slip back every now and then.

A year or so, I had saved enough Cabela's points to purchase a game camera.  Of course, being sensitive to the environment (and not wanting to have to deal with batteries), I also purchased the solar panel charger.  I did not install batteries at all.  Life was busy and I really did not know how to use the camera, so I set it up in the yard to play with.  Needless to say, it never made it into the woods last year ... my job was too busy ... heck I only made it into the woods to hunt three times in Maine's three month long expanded archery season.  It sat in the house all Winter, Spring, and Summer, until ....

One of the house animals decided to start using the carpet to relieve itself.  The house tends to smell bad enough when we are brooding chicks and we really didn't need the added clean up or odor.  The camera, forgotten next to my desk, sat dormant.  Then, I remember and staggered out to position it in the offending NON-URINAL area.  Let's take a peak at the first three shots from that night.

 Well, it looks like we have a curious pup.  Yes, I see that the camera date and time have not been set.

He's thinking ... is there food here?!  Or, is this thing on?

Busted!  That sure looks like a beagle to me!  Where is that rotten dog?!

After retraining the beagle, I thought it would be fun to see what we could catch in the front yard.  We have caught, in addition to my amazingly beautiful wife and girls posing for the camera, squirrels, chipmunks, mourning doves, crows, dogs (not just ours), cats (again, not just ours), and (sniffing around and eating our offered pickled egg) ...

Of course, every good camera location needs some bait.  I, having a bent toward simplicity, stuck a sharpened stick into the ground and then smeared it with peanut butter.  This is one of my favorite pictures to date.

Ah ... Wendy ... there is more peanut butter in the cabinet.

Ah ... squirrel ... that is not a pogo stick.

During the course of my life, and my recent shamanic training, I have come to understand that a positive attitude is vital for health and happiness.  I seem to be moving toward some sort of healing work and I believe that laughter is the best medicine.  I hope I have helped you to heal in some small way.  If so, my MooseBoots journey has proven, again, to be beneficial for me and you, too.  I hope to be able to help you heal, through laughter, or otherwise, in the future.  I am also looking forward to learning new healing techniques in my upcoming graduate shamanic training or through storytelling (still working on it).

Thank you for sharing this path with me.  Feel free to leave a comment.