directionless, without a map

guess where i was today? i’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.*

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every time i walk in the woods out back, i try to take a different path. today i veered off to what i thought was a short cut to the next road over. turns out there was no road over there, just trees and water and valley and stream. in amongst the fir and cedar there was one solitary spruce. it snuck up on me. not until i saw it did i realize i hadn’t seen any yet on my walks. no giants at least. this one was stunning. and oh oh oh! the first new green in the forest: skunk cabbages swirling out of the tannic streams. jewelled beauty.

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i went out today to see if i could find the maple/alder grove dharma and i found on the last walk. it was a balmy 12 degrees celsius out, and sunny! and i wanted to go sit in it and read and do some filming (more on that in a bit). i wasn’t totally sure i would find it as we had a bit of a scramble through second growth forest that was full of tangled underbrush and salal, not many landmarks to go by. but regardless, i thought my sense of direction was pretty good. nope. i headed east, angling a little northeast at times, but the first time around we had no compass, and i wasn’t in the lead, which generally means i am not paying as much attention to where i am going as i should be. after the last walk i mapped it out as best i could on google satellite imagery, so when i got home today i realized i probably should have been going more directly east with a tiny southward slant. instead of the grove, i stumbled upon an elk skeleton! at least i am pretty sure it was elk, too small for moose and too large for deer. its head shape seems right. not fresh, but not completely decomposed yet either. all that was left was it’s head and torso, carnivores must have wandered off with the legs. i wonder how it died, if it was hunted or it was old or it was an accident. continuing on i thought i was roughly going back the way i had come, but i ended up on the clearcut again, from a different angle this time. i didn’t linger there, but headed back through the forest and down the steep bank that we had come upon in the clearcut. here i discovered a grass and moss nest on the ground. the earth had started coming up around it and reclaiming it, needles gathering inside sprouting and taking root. at the bottom of the bank it opened up beautyfully back into old-growth and was perfect to film in. i am working on a new project idea inspired by marlee (i love her!), of filming dance snippets in various beauteous locales. the end goal is a bit more nebulous, but there will be some sort of stitching together into a larger film, most likely not just dance-based. and even if it doesn’t manifest into an end product, the process is lovely for so many reasons! today i was barefoot in the moss.

clearly my sense of direction in the woods needs work. i am great on the water with landmarks and maps, but i haven’t had much experience navigating overland. i guess i should get some maps of these parts and start practicing. especially if i want to be able to navigate long trail-less portages over the tundra up north one day soon.

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in other news i made myself the sweetest wee bookshelf this weekend (this wood is from you don!). it’s currently holding the giant stack of library books i need to work my way through. i must say, one thing i am not too happy about with the vancouver island regional library is the renewal system. in winnipeg you are allowed 5 renewals per item, and if you still want them after that you can bring them in and return them and take them out again, starting the whole renewal time limit over. here you are only allowed two renewals on items, and then if you bring them in to return/re-take-out, i was recently told they don’t like you to do that! they will give you one more renewal, but then they want you to return the books! what!? a paltry 3 months in total!? harumph. (i know. i am ridiculous.)

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*not my joke, but a good one hey? makes me giggle every time.

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