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Posts Tagged ‘nature walk’


I felt stressed the last couple of weeks. Work has been a major contributor to that, but I also credit the extreme cold. It meant a lot of time inside, shielded from the sun. When the temperatures rose to the 40s this weekend (yay, heatwave!), I heard the call of the forest and needed to get out. I knew it was time when my family was getting on my last nerve.  Thus, I retreated into the woods.  I walked down the trail, admiring the mingling deer and snowmobile tracks.  I delighted in the songbirds joyfully welcoming the sun through the clouds.

I felt that I could breathe.

True to my Sagittarian sign, I’m frequently beset by wanderlust.  I crave exploration and adventure, and simply trudging around the forest on my own can satisfy that.  I slipped off the trail and just stood, staring up at the canopy of the arboreal cathedral. I felt so free and rejuvenated.

With the forest fresh in my heart, I’m ready for another week.

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It’s the Spring Equinox and it’s snowing in the North Country.  Go figure.  Of course, if you look, you’ll find signs of spring all over.  Nature just doesn’t throw a switch and say, “Tada!  Spring now!”  The transition between seasons is a gradual process full of growth and decline.

I spent the last couple weekend nature walks seeking signs of spring.  I’ve already remarked about the buds on some of the trees.  There are also small patches in the forest where the snow has melted, leaving  lush puddles to sparkle in the sun (when she decides to show her face).  The sounds of winter – ice falling from branches, red squirrels chattering, morning doves cooing – are starting to find new accompaniment from migrating song birds.  I’ve heard their chant but not seen them yet!

Green! Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2014

Closer to home, now that the snow is starting to melt, there are patches of brown and green grass.  There are also patches of other plants, like what I believe are mallows*.  Oh, it makes my heart so happy to see the green…

The last time I left the forest, I stopped at a tree stump that always makes me think of An Cailleach.  I thanked her for the lessons of winter.  We’ve had a long, hard one but it teaches us patience, humility, and togetherness.  These sort of winters also force us to reflect on our level of disaster preparedness.  An Cailleach reminds us that we aren’t as in-control as we’d like to think, and it’s good to be reminded that.  Each season has a way of making the others all that much sweeter as the wheel turns…

May you have a very blessed Spring Equinox!  Go seek out the signs!

* If you’re an experienced forager and would like to chime in on whether or not those are, indeed, mallows that I photographed – I would appreciate your wisdom!

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A blessed Winter Solstice to my readers! The sun is reborn and we rejoice in the lengthening days!

Hoof prints guide me. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013

Yesterday was a hard day for us because of Potion’s passing.  But we persevered and, after a long day of work, delved into preparations for today.  There were gifts to finish, floors to clean, and evergreens to be collected.  Although an ice storm was on the way, and the ground was already starting to freeze, Potion’s death made me want to take a walk in the woods even more.  As I told my father, who offered to come with me, sometimes I like to go alone.  Getting away from other people and spending some silent time with the trees can be very meditative.  It also allowed me to get in touch with my spirit guide.  The snow was crusted over and hard, but I followed the deer tracks in and around the woods.  I made offerings to my spirit guide and the local Nature kin.  I collected the evergreens from the ground, considering them gifts from the deer who pull the branches down to feed.  I have no need to cut from the actual trees.

A basket full of green! Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013

I added the greenery to my altar and over my hutch where my Yule goat and wooden sun hang out. In the future, when I have more time, energy, and Bee is old enough to help, I would love to gather enough to make big garlands to drape over the dining room window and along the stairway.

Following Three Crane Grove’s Twelve Days of Yule, yesterday was for remembering mothers. I put some special mementos and photos on my altar to pay homage to my ancestral mothers and the spirit of motherhood. I also took some me-time and had a warm, relaxing shower. Offerings were poured and words were said.

My altar grows ever more festive! Photo by Weretoad, 2013.

I was very excited to stay up and keep vigil for the sun, but between the emotional exhaustion, all the prep for today, and general infant care, I found myself increasingly exhausted. I went to bed but set an alarm and was able to greet the sun in my own way – singing “Here Comes the Sun” by George Harrison with Bee grinning ear to ear!  This was followed by some more napping, a breakfast of waffles, our gift exchange, watching “Love Actually,” and our Winter Solstice feast!  My wonderful husband, who is an amazing baker, made me a pecan pie as a gift.  I made a spinach and mushroom quiche.  Not pictured are the roasted potatoes I made or the salad my father put together!

Our Winter Solstice Feast. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.

Now we’re relaxing and hoping not to lose power from the big ice storm. It gives me a lot of extra time to finish crafting gifts for family. Speaking of that, if you’re looking for some last minute gift ideas or activities to do with little ones, take a peek at these great suggestions:

Pagan Ozark Mama teaches you how to make a “Yule Heart.”  If you are influenced by a Heathen hearth culture, check out her delightful wooden Sleipnir tutorial!

8 Magical crafts to gift or adorn your Solstice tree from The Magic Onions.  Here’s 8 more that use natural materials found in the wild!

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I wanted to share some photos I took during my last nature walk.

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A bottle full of moss.
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My outdoor shrine.
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Bones.
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Part of a small rodent’s jawbone.
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Wildflower.
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A moss covered rock.
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Trees waking up!

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