Tuesday 23 October 2012

Digital mandalas and a trapper from Hay River

In a nutshell..nothing lasts 

(image credit keri smith)

An elaborate and beautiful time consuming artistic construction is created only to be scattered to the wind...
I witnessed this ceremony once in northern India durning an event that lasted days. Slowly a massive artwork was created, by a goup of Tibetan Monks, only to be swept away once done!

Robert Frost the Famous American poet wrote...

“Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”
― Robert Frost


Yesterday I was not thinking about impermanence.
Mostly I was thinking about draining Coleman Lanterns for winter storage.
Later in the day I thought I would check in on a YouTube channel I follow...

The site is a collection of video logs created by a young trapper who lives off the land on his own near Hay River in the Canadian Yukon.
I have been meaning to share this site with my readers. 
The videos are honest, sometimes graphic depictions of life on the trapline and living in the woods.
I can speak for its truth because I have lived it myself.
Not only do I find the content interesting because of the unscripted reality but the way these videos are put together is fascinating to me in that nobody ever sent this fellow to journalism or film school...its apparent that he just figured it out on his own...
I don't know much about the sites creator Andrew so I thought I would do some research and see what I could find...
After a little looking around I found an interesting article that CBC radio did on him

The YouTube Trapper and The Idea of Digital Impermanence
Aside from learning a bit more about Andrews background from listening to this podcast
it was interesting to hear that his intention behind making his videos is to pass on knowledge about what he does...about living off the land and some of his traditions...
Jason Scott, archivist, technology historian and filmmaker comments in the 
interview about Andrews intentions but also about the medium being used to archive it.
What came out surprised me! 
Worth a listen I encourage you to enjoy Andrews posts now in the present (as well as mine) because the future of our visual and verbal accounts remains uncertain...
Very much like a sand mandala.... Impermanent...


Friday 19 October 2012

A perfect moment in time

Life can be a challenge at times...
Making a living...fixing the house...relationships and more...
We all have personal strategies to deal with the stress of these challenges.
For me a warm cup of tea, or a walk in the woods can be a tonic to my soul...

Here are some photos of a perfect moment in time earlier this week...
A walk in the woods with my daughter and our dogs!

Joy and inner peace can often be found...unscripted...spontaneous and in the most simple acts
Like in an afternoon walk...


Thursday 18 October 2012

The Bush Archeologist

There's lots to do in the bush before the snow falls...but today it was too windy so I found something else to do...

Todays project was an archaeological one...
I decided to excavate the remains of four beaver heads that I buried two years ago in the front garden.  I buried these skulls to let the bugs clean the flesh from their bones so I can prepare them for mounting.
Skulls have such an interesting aesthetic and these beaver heads were ones that I trapped giving them added meaning...

The first order of business was to actually find my buried beaver cache.
I remember having placed them under a rock...but there were a lot of rocks in the garden...
I was starting to feel a bit like a squirrel that misplaced their nuts 45 minutes into my dig when the shovel hit the edge of a skull.

With a little care most of the skulls, jawbones and teeth were located.

Not much to look at initially...

But a scrub in a pail of water and some tooth brushes did a nice job taking off the detritus.

Beautiful natural specimens...
evocative and talismanic


Thursday 11 October 2012

Feeling Fall

Fall is here...
It's getting cold outside and the leaves on many of my trees have turned bright firey red and deep saturated yellow. Many of these leaves have started to fall, and are littering the forest floor.   My daily bush walks with the dogs now have an unreal feeling in this new colourful landscape.
As the days get shorter the light in the forest is changing too and suddenly there seems to be more noticable depth to the bush as I scan it.
Thoughts of hunting excite the blood,  triggered in part by these seasonal changes. 

People that have experienced the hunt will know what I mean...
The hunt can be many things...
Visceral, Vital...beautiful....

It did me!


Sunday 7 October 2012

Still Here!

It's been a long time since I posted but I'm still here !

Why the silence?
I guess I have read a lot of blogs that post continually just for the sake of generating more content even if they are too busy to put some thought into their writing or just have nothing to say.
I have thought about this and would like to be as mindful and true as I possibly can to my readership.


....Yes I have been busy...

Whats been going on?
The pile of wood I have been working on that you have seen in past posts has gone from huge to something that you can see from space!
 Now most of the cut and split wood is stacked and seasoning.

There is still tons of wood to cut in the bush from trees that fell in the storm but finally I am starting to make some noticable headway on my clean up project and have made a few years worth of wood to burn as well.

Moose hunting has come and gone. 

My effort to shoot a moose with traditional archery equipment still continues...
There were two close calls with a moose this year within 30 yards of me in thick cover but no shot opportunities. 
I am still eager to take a moose with a wood bow...
A quote by Dr. Saxton Pope made in 1923 on the subject of fair chase encapsulates my feelings...
"The true hunter counts his achievement in proportion to the effort involved and the fairness of the sport"

And finally something I have not spoken much about so far in my blog...Trapping.
I have been reluctant in the past to post about trapping because of the great stigma that this heritage practice suffers from do to misunderstanding and prejudice.
I am a trapper and yes I have been out trapping.

Some friends called me after I got home from Moose hunting with a beaver problem that needed some attention.
It's been a full week of cuting trails, setting traps, and pelting beavers...
I see this blog as an ongoing doccumentary of my life...

Life is about the hunt in so many ways!