Monday, September 30, 2013

Herring Creek Fall Rendezvous Part I

Cool in the glowing shade
Of the sun blessed trembling aspen groves
Most still green sleeved
But soon to turn

Slight breeze blows
Across recently fallen snow drifts
Lingering and hanging on
Against the fading summer
In rimrock ledges of ancient volcanoes
With greetings of joy
And the good tidings to soon come

Low sun and long shadows
Hang around longer these days
Creating atmospheres and longings to join them


Asking quietly to gather together
From near and far
To enjoy harvests
And build blazes against the oncoming cold
And relish in the relaxation of the night
As the long awaited preparations are done

Let the hours of play
Wash away the toils
As the long shadows welcome you in

Northern and Southern California Bushcrafters gathered together at Herring Creek below Sonora Pass this weekend. 17 or something like that members of Bushcraft USA showed up. It was a pleasure to see familiar faces again and to meet new ones. Thanks to everyone for the good times.

Who needs figure four deadfall when you've got Barbie booby trap quicksand?


Herring Creek Fall Rendezvous Part II

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Finished a Few Sheaths

Finished these sheaths today.

Jersey mask, Connecticut mask, and MP Bowie sheath.

Thanks to J from J Leather on Bushcraft USA and all the other leather crafters on there for the ideas.

Got to hand it to you guys who make flawless sheaths. This stuff is much harder than it looks.

Monday, September 23, 2013

For a Moment Far Above

The glint of light in the eye
That flashes eagle's mind
Soon as he crests the mountain ridge
Granite spired and jumbled blocked

The wind that fans
Through eagle's feathers
Cool thrust driving throughout
As he wheels and banks towards Tamarack Lake

Gliding low over the marsh land meadow
Now muted but still green with life
From the new autumn melding
With summer's fading grace

Small ribbon of a stream
Meandering its way through the marsh
Now directly under eagle
His reflection keen on the glassy surface

When sudden burst of wing
As the stream abruptly falls
Sending thousands of crystal sun reflections
Tinkling softly ringing towards the ripples upon the lake

Over the mistings and splashings
Rejoicing in the glory of far falling waters
Eagle crests the cliff
With a swift sweep of tail feathers
Climbs sharply as the lake now lies below
Higher up then stalls far above

And time stands still
For in that stalled moment he judges
Wind, trajectory, depth, health
Reading the instantaneous signs

Electric flashes in his mind
Connect and bursts consciousness
Of the nourishing rainbow under lake's surface
He lives for this moment
And he thrives

Today the world welcomes Liam
My sister's boy
May your spirit soar with eagle
And may the moment spark within

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Stiff breeze today
Good, clean, all day long wind of change
Brings good tidings on the air
News of substance and worth

Lovesongs upon the windsong
Rhythmic claps of helping hands
To rattle the ridges
And whistle the pines
Harmony to purify the mind

Kind prescriptions for good health
To chase away the cough and congestion
That settles in over time
Across the land and open pores of lungs
In stagnant air left to clog at will

Finally not gonna hit the nineties
Except when caught outside the shade
Found exposed between the oaks
Not seen that in nearly 3 months

Fiery heat beaming from above
With direct intentions of life giving warmth
And life taking dryness permeating through
Smiles and eases gently turning away

Offering a slight repose
By leaning against the wall
And shrugging with indifference
Basking in this summer's trophy hall

This breeze brings new renewals
Autumnal waftings of the not far off
Fresh rain on the dust and dirt
Baked apples and cinnamon
Coffee upon the campfire smoke among the damp leaves
A little sugar to stir the soul

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Misty Mountain Hop

There is a hill in this land
Where I am sure that spirits dwell

For whenever I approach it
On a chilly, cloudy winter's day
When the surrounding countryside
And nearby hills and mountains
Are shrouded in misty fog
So that this hill is the only one
That is within view
While standing at its base
Looking around before and during
The meandering ascent

It's grasses gold and green as ever from the rains
It's moss covered granite boulders and oak trees
Spark something in the back of my mind
That I am no longer in California
But some ancient land in the English countryside
Some shire of wooded glades

I do not strive or reach out to pretend this
It just happens
Must be the ancestral blood coursing through from long ago
Some oak woodlands have this effect on me

Standing on lawns between the granite boulder outcroppings
As their humble formations combine
Into one solid hill of rock
Rumbling and humming below me in vibrant undertones
As the cold bite of the frosty air
Tumbles around and down slopes
Chattering then leaving nothing but vast silence

The deeper I climb around this hill's gullies and ravines
Around boulders and through crevices
Through emerald wooded glen
The more I expect to find a hidden thatched roof cottage
Or peel tower ruins
Some form of medieval habitation of man
Or some morning dew glistened fairy ring

What does dwell here are ancient cave paintings
Left by the conjuring shamans of long ago
Black and white and red colored images of cave dwelling creatures
Spiders and tarantulas, snakes and ticks,
Centipedes, lizards, and some local plants
Perhaps ingredients of healing potions or spells

Shamans and witches far removed
From Merlin and Nimue of the Arthurian woods
But similar in many realms

And when the conditions are right
In the clear light of a winter's full moon
After glowing muted orange
As it first rose above the mountain peaks
Showing itself suddenly without warning
A soft glowing orb in the pitch black of night
Now shining bright white above the fog layer
In heavy mist hiding the land stretching out below
The hill becomes an illuminated island in the clouds
In all it's glory

Truly this hill has mystical properties
And given a chance to explore the rocky shapes and forms
Is a mystical delight for the senses
And a renewal of the spirit within

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Waiting for the Deluge



Thumbing through old
Worn at the edge
Paper bag brown folders of records
Typed up or written down
On papers now soft as cloth
Between the fingertips
Looking for transactions and goings on
Of past happenings in the water business

These much too dry years
With not enough water to operate
Allow for catching up on the past
As the past catches up on you

Records and numbers boxed up
And left long forgotten until now
Footnotes and messages
Too boring but to the one's who care

Water here, water there
And water none at all
The never ending search
For plentiful irrigation
To feed the masses

Trying to piece together puzzles from the past
Numbers of droughts and floods
With no way I have found to find the next
And oh how I've tried

Flood control always
In the back of my mind
Thrown to the forefront
With each passing storm
And with each passing spring melt

How to spread water
Without causing damage
When it comes down hard on ya

A silly term when land is flooding
Anything but

Flood minimizing is a term better suited
For something unwanted
And prayed for at the same time
As the well's pumps trickle to a sputter and cough

One wishes for a well oiled machine
Gleaming silvery at the heart of work's engine

But when the rain is falling
And the chaos is pushing at you
Churning with limbs and matted leaves
Trees and tumbleweeds
All coming your way to plug up the works
The well oiled backhoe
Is off making other holes for waters to flow
And has left you low and wet
Instead of high and dry

This is what we've prayed for right?
For the mountain peaks
To send their deluges to our doorsteps?

Control the chaos the world cries out
But is that really the mountain's way?
No, mountain's got it's own way

Minimize the damage and move on to the next
For the mountains will always be there

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Lost Coast

The Lost Coast ghosts
Of shipwrecks and shanghai's
Old moorings and soundings
And cliffs of the wayfarer's lament

The vagabond and downtrodden
Washed up redwoods and whale bones
Thrashed souls like hulls upon the rocks
Coughed up from fathoms below

Down, down, down into the Sinkyone sinkhole
Through the dark forests and brush
A bright sunlit sea of whitethorns rolling
And undulating as the waves they meet

Down rain rutted roads
Best not travelled when wet
Past backwoods farmsteads in the depths
And fresh blown in scents

Down to the seaside prairie
With heathers and elk pastures
Where vistas of sentinels stand
Upright against the torrents

Great walls and spires of the Earth
As if a whole continent dared
Thrust itself bare-chested against the deluge
Of crashing waves from a relentless sea

Great white cliffs and black fin rocks
And black sand beaches washed down
Tell tales of the scattered shales
And the footprints of the long forgotten

Untold stories of discarded treasure chests
Of jade and agates and moonstone
That glow and shimmer underfoot
As the guardian seals watch silently in the breaks

And the elks watch quietly from above
In the afternoon shore pine shade
Counting the waves one by one
Grazing and lounging at their leisure

Where halved redwood trees
Get thrown upon the rocky shores
As if they were great battering rams
Against the Earth's castle gates

Through the mists it appears
That the land uplifts and rises away
Abruptly as if interrupted
From a deep slumber of endless hourglasses

Aggravated with furrowed brows
The land turns its back on the sea
Rises and slumps away slowly inland
To rest in the shade of giant groves

Where it can feel protected
In steppes and rolling prairies
Safe from the bothersome battering
Under sitkas and sea spray

Under blackberries and cypress
The land eases and rests
Under sword fern and salal
Moss wrapped alders and pampas

The land softens and rejoices
Weighted by rains and held down
Satisfied in its place
For it is lost no more

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Quick Getaway

Sometimes you just have to git in the car and go!
The fam wanted to head up to the giants to catch some of the magic hour.
Who am I to say no to that!