When Ash Moves in and Takes Over

Ash splints fill my bathtub and stain it yellow, shreds of ash are felted into all of my wool socks, my cat rolls in piles of scraps and then walks off to some other part of the house, leaving a trail behind him. Ash falls out of my hair, I find it in my tea, in my bed. My life is … Read More

Ramps Done Right

Ramps, Ramps, Ramps! The elegant two-leafed Wild Leek, or “Ramp” (Allium tricoccum), is a beloved Spring wild edible across this country, and the growing popularity of this delicious plant is a happy sign of the regeneration of our connections to the wild as a society at large. But is this Rampage good for the Ramps? Some say “yes”, some say … Read More

Trout Lily Day!

There is a massive springtime display happening in the woods behind my house, and going into my fourth spring on this land, it hasn’t gotten any less exciting. Patience! The massive springtime display photo comes at the end of the post. This is the foreshadowing. It starts in mid-April with tiny red spears poking up underneath the leaf litter. This is … Read More

First Basket: Red Osier, Lilac, Virginia Creeper, Basswood, Wool

On a sunny and well-frozen day in early February, we learn to harvest red osier dogwood. Its color is stunning against the snow, and makes for a beautiful basket. Ray leads us to promising harvest spots, talking about the dogwood’s preferred habitat (open and sunny and wet). We fan out in search of long, straight, slender whips; a single year’s … Read More

Land as Collaborator

“My land.” Oh dear, this is going to be a problem. This land doesn’t belong to me in any truly meaningful sense. I’ve tried calling it “the land that I live on,” and variations thereof, but the phrasing is cumbersome and feels detached. So I’m going back to calling this “my land,” in the relationship-indicating sense that I would say … Read More

Personal Ritual, or, How I Get Myself Out of Bed

I wish I could say that I start the day by going outside and sitting in nature. I admire people like Trevanna who have this practice. But this is definitely not how my mornings go. If I’m being completely honest with myself, my “morning ritual” recently has consisted of hitting the snooze button multiple times, rolling out of bed, stabbing some … Read More

Saturday Morning Hide Tanning

I knew that hide tanning was one of the things we’d be learning this year as apprentices, but I didn’t really know what I was getting into. This was my cryptic to do list for Saturday morning (which I unfortunately left in the lunch room at the office on Friday, for the speculation of my colleagues). A day of decadent … Read More

Creating Ceremony, Reclaiming Traditions

Since joining the Wildwood Path as an apprentice, I look forward to each month’s emailed overview as much as I looked forward to opening my Christmas stocking as a child. This month’s invitation beckons: Join us as we build our relationships with the mysterious worlds: the ancestors, the fire, our own grief, and our capacity for transformation. The lengthening nights … Read More

Tracking for the Joy of it

From the perspective of an apprentice: I know basically nothing about tracking. I don’t have any guidebooks, I usually forget to bring a ruler along with me, and my smartphone doesn’t work (except as a camera) in the woods. So I’m not gaining knowledge very quickly. But I LOVE going out after a snow and following all of the paths as … Read More

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