Ditzy Druid Doings: Adventures in the Adirondacks and Antique Stores

My husband and I are on vacation this week.  This time last year, we went to Ireland and I wish we could return this year.  Instead, we’re doing what responsible adults do and are saving money for a home and land.  Despite that, we did want to go on a trip.  We decided to stay close to home and go on a day trip to the Adirondacks*.  My sister and brother-in-law visited and we took them to Tupper Lake, NY to see The Wild Center, a natural history museum dedicated to the Adirondacks and conservation.  This was my third or fourth time to The Wild Center, and I always enjoy it.  It’s fun to see the otters and other animals (this time we got to visit with a kestrel as well!), and I always learn something new.  For example, I was really excited to learn that there are specific fungi that only grow on decaying pine cones!  I also learned that quaking aspens have chlorophyl in their bark and can continue to carry out some photosynthesis in the winter!  Nature never fails to impress!

We took a little hike in Tupper Lake.  Despite our lack of snow only two hours away, it still looks like winter in the Adirondacks!  The locals, on the other hand, know better and lament the poor season.  Many ski slopes, for example, have experienced terrible business.

From Tupper Lake, we made the short drive to Lake Placid.  We only had time to poke around the village, but we did enjoy seeing the lake (frozen over, complete with a sled dog team!) and the snowcapped mountains on the horizon.  Here are some of the photos I took:

Ice sculpture outside the Wild Center.
Probably my favorite photo from the day – lichen growing on a tree.  Look at how large it is!  If you squint, you could almost imagine it’s a Green Man or Horned God because of the branches.  Imagination aside, it was such a welcomed sight of green.
A cairn on the nature trail.
A view of the back of The Wild Center.  You can just make out the solar panels on one of the buildings.  In the center is the pond which is frozen over.  It’s quite the sight in the spring and summer!  Was nice to see it in a different season.
This was inside The Wild Center.    Whether or not reincarnation as imagined by various spiritualities exists, there is still this truth.  I’ve grown to take comfort in this simple reality.  This, to me, is  at the heart of Druidism.   This is certainly something to meditate on!  I just love  the imagery here – the spiral, the stream…  and of course, the question – what did you used to be?  What will you be?
There are many animals in The Wild Center.  Many were rescued and rehabilitated, or, like the kestrel I mentioned, they were born to rehabilitated parents and “behaviorally handicapped” in that they trust humans too much to return to the wild.  I’m not sure what the painted turtles’ stories were, but I loved how relaxed they looked sunbathing on this rock.  It’s hard to see, but there’s a sign near them that reads, “Turtles be warned: human hand may be dangerous.”
Here’s a view from Lake Placid.    I believe that’s Mount Marcy in the distance – the tallest mountain in NY State!  Isn’t it beautiful?

Today we went to my favorite local antique shop. The last time I was there, I saw an old herb cutter and it really caught my fancy.  Since then, I’ve seen other antique herb cutters in magazines and I decided that, if it was still there, I would buy it!

It’s older and needs some cleaning up, but it’s just the thing for chopping up large quantities of herbs!  It has a really earthy energy to it as well and I can’t ignore its very lunar appearance**.  I have a fondness and fascination for older tools.  They are often sturdier than most things you can find in big box stores these days, and reusing something is very sustainable thus very Druidic in my opinion!  Even if I decide it’s too rusty to use with food, it will be a great tool for other herbal workings.

It’s Wednesday now.  My vacation is half over but I’ve already had a great adventure!

 * Day trips aren't just good for the wallet - they are arguably better for the environment than taking a plane to a faraway destination!  I keep reminding myself that so I feel even better.  ;)
** On a very practical level, its shape allows it to fit in a bowl.

Published by M. A. Phillips

An author and Druid living in Northern NY.

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