February 18, 2017
Environmental Ed & Eco-Schools, Seasonal Discovery, Tracking, Wildlife
camera, critter, education, environmental, mutlrie, trail, Wildlife
The Critter Cam was setup by a group of middle-school age students during a Swamp Exploration-Wild About Wildlife program. The trail camera was positioned over the remains of a recently harvested and butchered white-tailed deer to catch the mix of scavengers that might take advantage of an easy winter treat and forest feast.
Within the first few days and nights the camera captured coyote, fox, red tail hawk, vulture, crow, red bellied woodpecker, blue jay and deer.
January 26, 2017
Environmental Ed & Eco-Schools, Primitive & Outdoor Living Skills
american, archaeological, delaware, dig, indian, lenape, native
If you ask kids today how we know what we know about a subject they often will answer “google” or the “internet”. Try it.
To get students to think of themselves as seekers of knowledge, I’m always trying to create lessons that allow them to comprehend information through their own discoveries. This makes lessons more personal, meaningful and memorable.
To help elementary age students learn about the Lenape or Delaware Native Americans I create a simulated artifact excavation activity. I’ll bury animal bones (mostly deer and bear), pottery shards, arrowheads, shells and stones. The students become archaeologists making exciting discoveries as they excavate, clean, record and organize findings.
When ready we circle around the findings and one at a time discuss what we think an item is, what it was used for and what the modern equivalent might be.
Can You Dig It!
Uncover and analyze artifacts in an
attempt to reconstruct aspects of
New Jersey Indian Life and Culture.
Participants approach excavation site to uncover artifacts of the Lenape people in a simulated archaeological dig.
- Job 1 Digging: This team works to take layer by layer the soil including artifacts from the site to provide to the sifters.
- Job 2 Sifting: at this station material from the dig is sorted through to remove the artifacts. The team works together to find everything they can. Encourage the group to be meticulous in the sorting process, small objects may be harder to find.
- Job 3 Sorting: This team is responsible for sorting the objects in similar piles. This can be done in containers of different sizes.
- Job 4 Recording: Using the grid view data sheet recorders document what quadrant and depth level items were discovered.
- Arrowhead Necklace: Allow participants to search in a simulated archeological dig to find arrowheads. The arrowheads can be tied up with cord to make a necklace. Explain that in a real dig the archaeologists would never take anything because they would go to a museum for everyone to study and enjoy.
- Ask participants to make a mystery box of artifacts from their life. Allow teams to try and reconstruct the persons life from the items brought in to share.
January 19, 2017
adirondack, axe, buck, bushcraft, camping, fishing, ice, saw, wild, wilderness, woodsman
I’ve been reading a lot about winter trekking and hot tenting this past year and finally had an opportunity to get out for a few nights to a place called Good Luck Lake. We did some ice fishing, snowshoeing, star gazing, a lot of fire wood processing and plenty of camp cookery. Now I’m back to day dreaming about the next one and hopefully will find the right place to hot tent and pull some trout through the ice!
We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks—anywhere that we may be placed—with the necessity always present of being on time and up to our work; of providing for the dependent ones; of keeping up, catching up, or getting left. “Alas for the life-long battle, whose bravest slogan is bread.”I am talking … to those of the world’s workers who go, or would like to go, every summer to the woods. And to these I would say, don’t rough it; make it as smooth, as restful and pleasurable as you can.” – Nessmuk -Woodcraft & Camping
January 18, 2017
adirondacks, camping, cedar river flow, hammock
Back in November, I had an opportunity to explore the Cedar River Flow. My friends and I had plans for Bog River Flow but due to construction on the dam we were unable to access the area. Good thing the Adirondacks are so full of great options for public open space to explore.
October 25, 2016
adirondacks, bushrcraft, camping, fish, hammock, Nature, rewild, trout, wilderness
My friend Ron and I had a great trip in early October to the St. Regis area of the Adirondacks. We hit the autumn colors at peak, portaged to hidden ponds, caught brook trout for dinner, had a crayfish boil, lounged in our hammocks and just enjoyed the incredible beauty and peacefulness the wilderness area offers.
It’s wonderful to return to an area you’ve been before but have a completely new experience based on hitting a few side ponds, staying at different campsites and going in the “off” season. We could have counted the people we saw and heard on one hand. The video sums up the trip nicely and shows a mix of it all including some bushcrafty skills mixed with modern gear.
Portage to the smaller ponds away from the roads
Brookie that leaped for my spinner
Beautiful Autumn Colors
My JRB Hammock
Mushrooms stashed by squirrel
Brook Trout Cooking in Cold Steel Pan
Camp Cookery Setup
Camp Cookery at Night
Korean Short Rib! Delicious after a long day.
View on the portage trail
Only site on the pond
View from our site
Camp tools for this trip.
fog lifting over autumn colors
view near long pond
final carry back to car.
September 27, 2016
Primitive & Outdoor Living Skills, Wild Edibles
backwoods gourmet, chicken of the woods, deer, fungus, hen of the woods, mushroom, venison
Autumn has arrived and so has the excitement of finding delicious mushrooms on forest walks.
Hen of the Woods & Chicken of the Woods
Together my wife and I made Anthony Bourdain’s Mushroom Soup Recipe.
The same day I managed to harvest a doe from the forest and it being Saturday, we finally had the time to try butchering it ourselves. The process was very time consuming having not done it before but very much rewarding. We took our time scavenging all the meat including the smallest scraps that would be put into a grinder with a mix of bacon fat.
Exhausted, I threw some in a pan with a few slices of mushrooms for a quick meal.
But later after all was packaged, placed in the freezer and wiped clean multiple times… my wife made the most delicious venison meatballs with home grown tomato sauce.
It was a rewarding day and felt like a culmination of skills recently learned put into the culture of our daily lives.
September 27, 2016
Primitive & Outdoor Living Skills, Wild Edibles
bushcraft, edible, forage, gather, pastry, pawpaw, wild
Took a drive out to a forest in Pennsylvania with a known spot for foraging wild PawPaw.
The broad leaves of the tree give a jungle like feel to the forest and produce a sweet sugary fruit full of large seeds.
My companions as botanists had a secondary goal beyond enjoying the fruit in the shade of the forest.
They plan to grow trees from the seed for their own backyards and to share through a native wild plant nursery.
We tasted and collected many fruits to find the most choice potential seeds.
I gathered them gently in a basket hoping to avoid bruising the highly delicate fruit.
Along the Way, I found some very large and abundant Spicebush berries.
and some Jewelweed seeds that have a taste very similar to walnut.
Afterwards, I wanted to make a pawpaw crescent roll.
To do so, I made a mini fire to have just enough coals to cook over. The goal is to gently bake the crescent but not the pawpaw in a tinfoil pouch. A flip after 3 minutes and about 2 more minutes provided a delicious fruit filled pastry treat..
PawPaw, Spicebush and Jewelweed
PawPaw Crescent ready to be rolled
Baked PawPaw Crescent Roll
PawPaw Crescent Roll with Spicebush berries and Jewelweed seeds