Saturday, December 6, 2014

Return to the Boneyard Camp

Had a few hours to spend in the woods at the in-laws last weekend. So I set up camp and brewed some tea, relaxed, and made a little movie. Enjoy

Available in 720 HD

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Quaking Aspen

Aspen in the Fall of Summer's wane
Turn their leaves like the pages of life
Through seasons of comedy and tragedy in vain
As chapters fill with harmony and strife

But, beauty permeates their words none the less
As the wind rustles through their fires of gold
Bringing the song of the easing stress
And tides of peace roll in to take hold

Their heartwood easily with time grows soft
As their eyes gently age with each passing year
Their gaze ever fixed skyward aloft
Reveling in their journey of faith without fear

These golden haired children of the West well abide
With growth from the roots of one single seed
Together they shine like crowns upon a hillside
And commune as one in their time of need

If there is one lesson that the aspen teach well
It's don't hesitate to fall humbly to the ground
Don't cling to treetops, come down for a spell
And let your soul be nourished with Love all around

Let your quaking be still for a while and wait
Rest your worries beneath warm blankets of snow
What happens to you is not up for debate
For His Springs shall allow your new leaves to grow

                                                                                                                            Available in HD 720p

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Giant Sequoia

What grandeur splendid views avail
What aspirations humble and ease
Where time and space begin to fail
Where the wills of men cannot please

There are giants among us who dwell in the land
From thickets and brambles and unshackled chains
His spirit pours forth from vessels at hand
Cobbled together in their glacier-side remains

I imagine the Lord in all His divine
Pounding and beating within their mass
Resounding deep rumblings through roots intertwine
Which lace these hills and hold steadfast

Beaming essence of life throughout their ways
Saying "Thrive and here ye shall stand for ages!"
And they respond in awe with their grace
Adhering as to the words written on pages

Their hearts of blood deep purple never grey
Surrounded by the gold under furrowed pelts
Shining as the first rays of the day
That glows and burns bright through snow that melts

To emanate the golden rose of heaven bound dreams
Held captured above the forest floor
The faithful devout in their humble means
Of millenniums among the wilderness of yore

Oh the gift upon them bestowed
Of hot irons forged in spirit's helm
Their protected groves not worn nor exposed
As crosses necklaced across their realm

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tracker Shanty

(Best sung in your salty sea vocals.......Just having some fun here folks)

I wandered along the shore one day
In a haze from the night that past
Me money was spent and none for rent
Thought I was not sure to last
Was then I saw stuck in the sand
The glory that was to be
I plucked it out and held it about
The look unknown to me

So stow me away this jolly lock blade
Until further along the shore
I then happened upon a salty sea spawn
Weathered as the cliffs of lore
He looked at me and gave a grin
Said he knew of this here knife
Said look to the ones who don't tally and run
For they'll surely to change your life

With truth and light and all that's just
They ride tall upon the tide
Above the schools in shallow pools
Where none can run and hide
Among the craggy rocks gather
The barnacles and bedlam
They make for land with guided hand
Black flags flying above them

They sail along lost coasts of fate
Where ghost ships roll with dread
Be not ye caught where ye be naught
Lest the Kraken do drown your head
Oh they'll tell you about that blade of theirs
To put rest any a doubt
How it split a brick and a curled toothpick
Nary a job was left without

Oh there is one blade in all the land
They say to rule them all
Yet some say nay and keep at bay
Content to see it fall
'Till when they see the three edged tool
Play tricks upon the mind
With the trimmings unfurled and the shavings curled
Sight is blessed upon the blind

With sawback stouts upon its spine
Like dark waves upon the sea
Draped in black along its back
Expand the possibility
And when others believe the harm it will do
With all of its coatings and armor
They will see the proof or trampled under hoof
To be fertilize for the farmer

Oh Go with peace and Do with soul
And lead fool hearty not temptation
With the spirit to call above the fall
And the will for contemplation
Let it be known and let it be stated
On that day whatever may be'ith
Be ye of proper wit and let it be writ
That upon your head bequea'th

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer 2014 Bushcraft Meet - Big Meadows

The fellas got together in Big Meadows in the Sequoia National Forest for this summer's get together. And once again, I was blown away with the hospitality and camaraderie of everyone there, old friends and new. Simply amazing! And we have BCUSA to thank for the venue of the gathering of knowledge and skills and pathways for getting together to share those things.

This was a six day event from the 3rd to the 8th. I was only able to go for one night on Tuesday. Some stayed the whole time, and some for only a few days. Wish I could have stayed longer.

Special thanks goes out to Bart from Kaweah River Forge for setting up a killer campsite for us to gather. And man! Bart and the guys sure know how to cook!

Before I got to camp, the fellas rendered some pine sap glue, and used it to jute wrap a wooden knife for KRF's nephew Lil Zeke. It worked out perfectly and was very strong glue. This was a two piece knife with a hidden tang held in tight with the glue.

Tinker&Make's knife creations. Beautiful handle work. Very comfortable.

Bart from Kaweah River Forge not only provided the camp and food, but did a very gracious knife giveaway which I was able to win one of them! Greatly humbled and overall stoked to be able to win the woodlore style knife on the left. Thanks again Bart!. I'll have to make a stop by his shop to learn and play with sheaths and various sharps.

Tinker&Make won the first draw and choose the "Tribute" knife for himself. These knives are very nice and we tested making some feather sticks which came out amazing in my opinion! I have not been able to make such nice curls with a knife until I tried this one. Both of these have a continuous curvature to the blade which really excels the curling and slicing. Excellent work Bart!

Tinker&Make on the right.

Superslow's bannock on the left and mine on the right. His smaller batch came out better than my usual too thick stuff ;)  Drenching in molasses didn't hurt either.

Since Tinker was so humbled by winning the giveaway, he decided to do one of his own and Lil Zeke won a file knife. Nice job all around!

Gransfors Mini chopping some fatwood for everyone. This little biter is the real deal!

Thanks again to everyone! This was a blast!

And another special thanks to Loogaroo for gifting me a Condor Nessmuk knife! I just wanted to take a look at it and he ended up giving it to me. I can't express the graciousness that went on in camp there. Thanks Mick. I'll get ya back for it ;)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Howie's 6 Strikes Tracker Challange

A year ago, Howie or bigskytrapper on Youtube posted this Tracker Challenge. Knee high flames with only Tracker Knife curly cues, and you only get 6 strikes with a firesteel to light it.

Here's my fail video. Took more than 6 strikes, but it was fun to do. And I get to try again!

Available in 720.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Family Campout at Big Meadows

Had a little family campout with mine and my sister's crew a couple weekends ago. We went up to Big Meadows in the Sequoia National Forest. Here's a video from that. Available to watch in 720.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Confluence of Waters

Heat runs rampant across the hillsides
Low and fast with reckless abandon
As Stamey strums along free and easy
To the roses on the roadside

Reminding us of better times
When the rains drenched our skins
Breathing effervescence through our pores
And suffusing through everything
Like a confluence of waters

But back in the here and now
Where whirlwind rattles the fallen leaves
Of the live oaks along the sides of our path
Chattering beats to the flute player's lament

The connective tissue tendrils of fate
Stretch and tear down to the core
Like an old hat discarded on the roadside
Or an old log laying amongst dry grasses

This subject has well worn its welcome here
We have grown weary of its presence
Our patience wears thin as the fragments linger
On the edge of reality and all that matters

Enough has been spent here in this furnace
It is pounding home too close for comfort
This well is drying up once more
Still waiting to be flush with waters again

Here's part of an email that I sent this morning to the Water Authority's weather guy in residence. Thought it was appropriate to include it here.

Sounds good ______. I’ll keep that in mind. I’m on vacation all next week, but we can get together after that. I would like to hear your take on the upcoming season. I often look for patterns of historical records to be able to predict the future. It is not so easy as you well know. Here are some observations I’ve seen….. Of course I could be wrong ;)

2013 and 2014 look similar to 1976 and 1977. 1978 was a whopper of a year at 198% water year runoff on the Kaweah.
However, the El Nino charts I’ve been looking at are the most similar to next year being like the 2002/2003 El Nino event which was 99% on the Kaweah.
How’s that for a some waffling?

An average of 14 years to have a high percentage of a wet year:

1916 – 178% water year runoff on Kaweah River
1932 – 121% - 16 years later
1943 – 157% - 11 years later
1956 – 169% - 13 years later
1969 – 292% - 13 years later
1983 – 317% - 14 years later
1998 – 217% - 15 years later
2011 – 201% - 13 years later
2025 - ?

Also, I believe we are in the 16th year of a dry stretch. Yes we had 2005, 2006 and 2010, 2011, but overall, since 1999 it’s been pretty dry. Sort of coincides with the drought on the Colorado River and the Southwest US in general.

We have had some other dry periods of similar length, followed by some wetter periods.

1906 – 1917 – 12 year wet period with an average wy Kaweah runoff of 121%
1918 – 1934 – 17 year dry period with an average of 68%
1935 – 1945 – 11 year wet period with an average of 124%
1946 – 1961 – 16 year dry period with an average of 82%
1962 – 1986 – 25 year wet period with an average of 121%
1987 – 1992 – 6 year dry period with an average of 43%
1993 – 1998 – 6 year wet period with an average of 149%
1999 – 2014 – 16 year dry period with an average of 87%

Maybe we are headed for a good stretch of wetter years? I hope so because our situation is dire!

For your consumption.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Blood Reds, White, and Faded Blues

Dry be thy name
And Dry be thy manner
Life's fine balance tips slightly
On a thorn's brutal point

As the sun rides low on the horizon
It fills our eyes with brilliant fire
Before dipping to rest
Behind hills now standing in the way

This Heat
This oppression of flow
Rubs hearts and hands raw
Removing layers down to deep blood reds

Revealing runs of quartz in the veins
And ant catacombs within
Fissures deepening under pressure
Returning again to the cracks on the surface

We feel it in our bones
Brooding across the plains
Rising up to cleave rock from its hold
To remnants and discards left behind

We sit and wait
For shade and dusk
Bound up and tethered down
With a wrapped up frown upon it all

Then sunset drips into night
As the night drips into dew
Again and again and on
To bring a little hope each morn
For this season to turn anew

But we're shown this is just the beginning
As the dew dries whitewashed in the faded blues
Of mornings in June and denim worn through