Sunday, September 20, 2020

botanizing a campsite

 i accidentally went camping. it happened like this: barb called me up and asked if i wanted to go paddleboarding and i was all like "oh, no. i would be sad if i was there but not camping" but the ranger was holding a site he said i could have so there was no reason NOT to be camping.

one night, right? yeah, ok. it turned out to be a week, but i had time to botanize.

so i drew a map of my campsite, and attempted to identify as many of the woody plants as i could.

1) white pine. these are not hard to identify. there were eleven of them in and around the campsite.
2) red maple. these are also not hard. (3)

but then we get to 


it's maybe a sand cherry? i spent most of a day going back and forth about it and sand cherry is the best fit. it looks cherry-like, but it lack the cherry smell and it's maybe too shrubby for sand cherry.  if you guys know what it is, i'll be delighted.

and then there are

4) THE APPLES. this whole area is ancient orchard. there are nine apple trees of at least two varieties in and around the site and dozens more up the outhouse trail and beyond the botanized area.

5) morrow's honeysuckle, one big patch of it, and more patches in a lot of places just outside the campsite.

6) staghorn sumac, young, a few of them, and only at the sandy border where the land drops into the lake.

7) MYSTERY II: belongs to the birch group. maybe musclewood? it doesn't really fit what i know. trunk has lenticels like black birch but is muscle-y. and no birch smell. the trunk shoudl either look more like a musclewood or it should have a birch smell. i hate this.

and then there were
8) american elms, five of them.

there ya go.

one campsite, one week. harder than i thought.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

2020 Vermont Venture: Weave a basket using natural materials

 i know it would have qualified if i had just made a basket and INCORPORATED natural materials,  but for me the overarching principle of of the Venture Challenge is to do, practice, learn, observe.

so i decided to try to make a basket out of garlic mustard straw, because that's a material that i had never used, but had noticed that it's strong and maybe bendy enough to weave with, plus garlic mustard is an invasive species and it's not possible to overharvest it.

but then i ALSO decided to experiment with weaving a twill basket, because not only had in never weaved a twill pattern, but i did not even know what the word was. i saw a pretty basket weave and thought: "huh. let me try to see if i can figure that out" and then once i figured out the pattern, i was able to search it up on the interwebs and learn that the name for that is twill.

my first try was a disaster, but i at least learned how to make the pattern. my second try is much better, but i still have a lot to learn. it would be easier, probably, to buy commercial materials, but i'm all about processing what i find.

here's my basket. the bottom view shows the weave best.

Friday, September 18, 2020

2020 venture vermont: Go for a walk around your home or community while staying at least six feet away from anyone else.

 i went for walks in the time of covid, up and down my road in order to get exercise. i sang as i walked, to strengthen my lungs.

here are the songs that i sang:

and then i walked at night in the rain to track amphibian migrations. i did a lot of walking, both alone and distanced with my friend barb, in camel's hump state park, bushwhacking off the honey hollow road, looking at plant life.

then i walked every old where, looking for sedges.

because yanno. walking. outdoors.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

2020 Venture Vermont: Find a historical fact or story about a Vermont State Park

 Following the 1903 forest fires, a fire lookout was installed on Camel's Hump in 1911. it consisted of a cement map stand, and later that year, a telephone line.

i maybe don't want to tip my hand about all my sources, but if you're into reading about camel's hump state park, i am really going to recommend THE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE OF THE CAMEL'S HUMP MANAGEMENT UNIT and the Camel’s Hump Management Unit [...] Long Range Management Plan .

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

2020 Venture Vermont: Build an animal habitat for your favorite animal in your home or backyard

 i am choosing to interpret this as build a habitat for my favorite animal that is in my backyard, because that seems like it will do some good.

this summer i noticed some little pickerel frogs hopping around in my backyard, taking shelter under my back steps. and i had some spare plant pots, so i cut some little doors in them to place under the steps to give the little dudes a nice place to hang out and eat bugs.

Monday, September 14, 2020

2020 Venture Vermont: Sit in a quiet area and observe nature. Write down or draw a picture of what you see

 maybe it's careless venturing, but since i do a LOT of observing nature and writing down or drawing what i see, here's a page from my notebook.

this is some of my observations from my sedge class this summer.

because sedges.


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