Getting out

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Do you have smoke and CO detectors and a fire extinguisher or two? If not that needs to be your next prep.

You need to get out every day. It gets you exercise. You get to see nature change day to day. You get to learn where the grapes, berries, nuts and edible plants are. In the spring when I see flowers blooming I mark the spot in my mind so I know where the berries will be later in the season. After a while you are able to spot the trails that wildlife uses. You get to learn the animal tracks. You learn how to spot where water is, or is likely to be. You learn the plants that live in wet areas and just by spotting the plant you know that water will be there. You can sense that animals are watching you. You need to listen to all six of your senses. I go out walking, riding and skiing in all kinds of weather. I’ll ski at night. I’ll go out in a blizzard or the pouring rain. You just dress appropriately. I may be sitting at home, looking out the window, thinking how cruddy, cold, gray and wet it looks outside, then I get dressed correctly for the weather and head out. The day and the weather always improve once you get out. The sun is always brighter from the outside looking in then the inside looking out.

Wild berries

Wild berries

Even in after a couple of heavy frosts you can still find a tasty berry or two.  More importantly, mark the lcoatuion of these canes in your head so next summer you can get the big pick.

I go to a big woddsie type area just about every day.  Near the trailhead of one of the places I regularly go to is an old, abandoned homestead.  It dates back to the 1730’s.  Here’s a couple pictures of the old stone foundation.  It looks like it’s just a stonewall, but it’s actually 5 feet deep.

Cellar Hole

Cellar Hole

Cellar Hole 2
Cellar Hole 2

Just maybe 15 feet away is another stone lined hole.   I think that it may have been their root cellar.  You can see a tree growing up through what used to be the floor.  Seeing how it’s 250+ years old, I’d venture to guess that it used to be 10 feet deeper.

Root Cellar

Root Cellar

This place that I walk is a little mountain.  Here’s a view from near the top.  Hiking up a steep hill is a great way to get the heart pumping. If you look closely, real closely, you can see the city in the distance.  That’s probably 20 miles away.

Da View

Da View

We saw a deer. I think it was a rather large buck for this part of the country. I’d say maybe 150-170 pounds. Although 170 is probably optimistic. All I really got to see was its right flank and white tailed bum as it ran from me. it always feels like a blessing when you see something like a deer running.  It was maybe 25 feet away, but real heavy brush. I think that I literally scared the pooh out of it.

Deer Pooh

Deer Pooh

The pooh was warm to my touch. Don’t be afraid of touching stuff when you are out in the woods. Touch that pooh. Pick it up. Crush it in your fingers. Is it warm or cold? Soft or hard? Wet or dry? All of these things will tell you how old it is. What’s it made of berries and seeds or is there fur in it?

Deer Pooh 2

Deer Pooh 2

If you look closely you can see some deer crap on the branch and a trail of crap leading away.  It was crapping as it was running from my dog and me.  My dog is usually really good, about coming back after he chases a deer.  Not yesterday.  I had to call for him for 15 minutes.  I went back to the car and there he was waiting for me.  He was like, “where ya been?”

Just get out.  Everything seems better after you get out.

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