Monday, October 31, 2016

somewhere in the back

on the back of a tree on the back of a remote site on waterbury reservoir, you will find this:

Sunday, October 30, 2016

weird shit

up on site 7 (which was back in august) i kept finding an animal scat i could not identify.

and by "kept finding", i mean that whatever animal it was would keep returning to deposit one of these very near the center of the site.

so i don't know what animal made it. i have recently become an expert on the scats of the squirrels of the res, and i have more than a passing familiarity with the scats of mice, rabbits, and rats. i'm also pretty good with moose, deer, porcupine, and bear. foxes and bobcats are a little harder, but usually contain hair. and i don't know my weasels very well.

this one, well, it's shaped like batshit, but way too big for it. and it breaks apart to these crumble bits that look like seed hulls but could be insect exoskeletons.

do either of you know?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

interpreter gig

ok, so y'all know that i like to do projects.

and after that xylophone project, the park manager from the nearby state park came to visit and she said "OMG! you have to come to the park and do program!"

and i said i wasn't sure i was qualified, but she said i could just come do the stuff that i usually do in my campsite and we'll let people come look.

so when the regular interpreter went away for a couple of weeks to get married, i stepped in.

i came prepared to do some experimental weaving, and to teach people to make cordage, which is pretty much what we did, along with some little whistles and such out of willow and knotweed.

here's my first basket, made of blackberry bramble.

Friday, October 28, 2016

team slow loris

i saw this in the shaw's parking lot in waterbury in august.

team slow loris
slow, deliberate, and slightly toxic

Thursday, October 27, 2016

no. it is not time.

on monday i heard my first christmas carols of the season for a teevee ad.

seriously? a week before halloween?

look you asshats. if you're not selling your chiristmas crap as much as usual as christmas because the economy is bad, why not pay your workers enough to buy things instead of pushing them into poverty and then cranking up the christmas shopping so they can buy the socks and underwear and things they need and probably run themselves into debt doing it?

maybe if you paid your workers living wage the could afford to have halloween and thanksgiving AND you'd sell stuff at christmas.

try it and see.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

tour of campsite 13

i lived here for two weeks.

it is one of the most popular sites on the res, and for good reason.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

here's some random stuff.

while i was not organizing my thoughts to tell you, i managed to look at some things and i am sharing them now with you in the interest of closing some tabs.

first, i am thinking of buying a bottle of this.

bottled coyote urine

because squirrels are horrible.

here is an informative resource:

...and here are two videos.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

failure to get organized

i've been home from my camping trip for two whole days (going on three) and i have pretty much failed to get organized enough to post things.

the problem is i got caught up trying to put things into some kind of sequence and then i end up not posting anything.

maybe i'll just start here and then post in whatever order i have things ready in and maybe you won't care if my story is linear.

ok? ok.

Friday, October 21, 2016

favorite camp tool

my new favorite camp tool:

yep, cheap hemostats.

surgical grade ones are kinda pricey, but cheap ones will do just fine for camping, and they come in ten-packs.

excellent for your craft project, but i like them best for striking camp when i have to untie all the knots i've tied. or for picking out a splinter. or for hanging things on a line.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

leaving the door open

you can close the outhouse door when you use it, or you can leave it open.

depends what kind of a view you want.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

seal of approval

back in september i went camping with my mom and her friends at salisbury beach state reservation in MA.

they like to go down to the river at low sunrise or its nearest low tide to have a look at the harbor seals.

one morning i decided to go for a paddle in the rivermouth just before low tide so i could mess about in the water and paddle against current and then be assured of paddling WITH the current which is kinda important because i am not an experienced ocean paddler and the tides were expected to be strong, courtesy hurricane hermine.

it's not like i was going to paddle in a hurricane. it was a clear blue morning and storm not expected to arrive for another eighteen hours yet, but strong winds and strong tides, yanno?

anyway. i put in at the boat launch and i paddled out around the channel markers. there are all kinds of warnings about not getting too close to the seals because people coming up taxes them, but i figured out in the channel ought to be sufficiently far away to pass.

then i messed around in the harbor and played with the waves and stuff and it was all very exciting for li'l ole me and then i saw my mom 'n' everybody come down to the beach so i paddled in to see them and then paddled out again out by the channel marker, and then i was taking a picture of the daymark, minding my own business and i went to put my camera way when i noticed over my shoulder two harbor seals poking their heads up out of the water.

they were close. like, scarily close. close enough for me to see in their nostrils while they sniffed me.

that was, for me, a weirdly vulnerable feeling: me in my little boat in unfamiliar water, with several hundred pounds of marine mammal sniffing at me from WAY TOO close.

i am not sure, but one may have bumped the bottom of my boat.

i felt a bump. i was surrounded by seals. it's not as much fun as it sounds.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

a rambling story with some birds

ok, so first thing i want you to know is i do not own a camera with a telephoto lens. my best camera is a pocket camera and for a pocket camera it is a vey fine camera and that's great because i'm always shoving it into my pocket or into a drybag and yet i still want to take decent pictures and be able to shoot on manual.

it still doesn't shoot closeup pics unless i get really CLOSE UP to a thing.

ok, so on my way out toward the moscow boat access, the channel is marked by two dead trees, one of which always looks like there's a bird sitting on it. plus often there's a bird sitting on it.

so i was heading north toward the boat access and i saw some otters and then i was looking at a bunch of cormorants sitting on a log, and trying to figure if those ducks over there were mergansers so i was looking off to my left when i came up level with the dead tree on the right side and even though i was pretty close it was kind of foggy because early morning and as i was drifting closer and closer i kept thinking "wow. it is really amazing how the end of that log always looks like there's a bird perched on it."

and then suddenly i realized that now i was eyeball-to-talon with a very large eagle which had been up until that point sitting very still.

it gave me a bad look and then flew off.

an eagle is a very large thing to be looking at you that closely.

and not in an affectionate way.

but the eagle preferred me when i was looking the other way, and so as soon as i was looking at it, it flew off so of course no pictures.

ok, so then i got the things i needed out of my car and started going back down and when i got tot he snag that marks the opening into the main camping area, there was a cormorant sitting there. i don't care if they're common and they get shit on everything; i like cormorants.

and this one let me get close enough to take a really nice picture.

very, very close.

Monday, October 10, 2016

a dream come true

some months ago i got a new tv. it had been my grandmother's, but it was smaller (but bigger screen) and HD and more "modren" and all that.

problem was, i had to turn it on and off by way of the remote, which meant no more convenient hitting the button on my way in or out of the room.

and then one night i dreamed there was a BUTTON ON THE TEEVEE ITSELF.

it seemed like such a realistic dream.

a button.

so a couple days later when i looked, there it was.

a button.

to turn the teevee on and off. right where you'd expect it to be.

it is a dream come true.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

packed up

last time i left my campsite i was only pausing at home before joining a girl scout troop for a campout, so i had to pack my car with mind to unpacking it again at a new campsite, all fresh and tidy.


Saturday, October 08, 2016

let's redefine paradise.

this here is the bow of my boat, in a lovely sunset on quiet water.

the thing in front of me is a potato. it is a hot, freshly-baked, perfectly done potato. soft inside, crunchy, salty skin, eaten to the last light of day, rocked gently in the water.


Friday, October 07, 2016


so i was up on the res one morning and i saw this thing floating in the water.

i am in the habit of picking up floating trash in the res. i try not to get all uppity about that because even though on the aggregate i pick up way more than i leave, the occasional piece gets away from me.

and i was like, ewww. who would throw a plastic tampon applicator in the res?

but then i picked it up.

so it's a little balloon-like thing, and smells rather strongly of fish. and i was wondering what part of a fish i might be holding. maybe the swim bladder?


Thursday, October 06, 2016

funeral at sea

i came home to find this in my downstairs toilet:

so i had a brief funeral.

it went like this: "sorry 'bout that, dude."

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

you otter be in pictures

earlier this summer i was paddling up the little cove that has the semi-legal duck blind on it (it is legal in every way except the gentleman does not remove it after duck season) and a bunch of heads popped out of the water.

like a LOT of heads. slinky animals, not like beaver. i thought they were mink. i have since been informed and research suggests that they were river otters.

but still weasels. swimming weasels. more than six, less than a dozen.

but we were all going the same direction and nobody looked too upset. then we all got close to the back end of the cove where the weasels decided apparently that it was tie for me to go and they all started swimming toward me, rearing up out of the water and hissing.

now, if one weasel swims up to you, that's a kind of manageable number because you could probably fend it off with your paddle.

but eight or nine angry weasels in your boat would be a nightmare, so i turned around and got out of there, which is probably what they had in mind anyway.

then more recently i was paddling up to the moscow canoe access and a bunch of them came up and sniffed me, bobbing around in the water. the hissed a little sniffed me a little, checked me out, and went on their way.

river otters.


Tuesday, October 04, 2016

there are idiots among us.

up at the moscow boat launch, when people come out of campsites for an afternoon but are coming back, they sometimes lock their boat to a tree.

there's a rental company that operates on the res also, and they will instruct people to leave the boat locked to a tree for later pickup.

the day i packed to go home, some idiots didn't lock the rental boat to a tree, but TO MY LOCKS.

do not ask me why they thought that was a good idea. i took my locks and went home.

Monday, October 03, 2016

junior ranger

it is indeed late in the year for me to just be finishing up my venture challenge scoresheet, but i wanted to become a vermont state parks junior ranger.

it's on the challenge every year and i have been curious, so this year after i did a hitch as the substitute interpreter at little river (did i even TELL you about that yet?) i thought this would be a good year to do it, so i got myself the booklet (printed on handsome stock) and set to work.

it's INTENDED for children, but the regular interpreter tells me that adults do it sometimes. children under nine do the slamander pages, children over nine do the beaver pages, and adults do the whole honkin' book.

it took me three weeks.

you can download your copy here.

so anyway, i did all the activities and then i went over to the park o a sunday morning for the wrapup and brain administered the OATH and now i am officially an vermont state parks junior ranger.

brian gave me one of the old style badges along with my current one because he had leftovers, i guess. the new one is very handsome and i am proud of it.


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