American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Woods Time

I got to spend most of my day in the woods yesterday. Actually, I explored some familiar ground in the morning and new ground in the afternoon.

The trailhead is covered in raspberry bushes and, earlier in the summer, one can stop there and gather enough fruit to feed oneself for the day. Not so this time of year. Whatever berries were there have been picked by the deer, birds, and squirrels.
It wasn't the best time of year to harvest berries but the mushrooms are out in large numbers this time of year. If I knew more about which were edible and which were not I could have harvested armloads yesterday.
Approaching the Des Plaines River I found a low spot that had seen not only deer traffic but, it appears, a raccoon (immediately left of the hoof print) too.
This mushroom, growing on a cut down stump, appears to be a shaggy parasol. If my ID is correct, it's edible. However, I'm not confident enough to pick it OR take a bite.
My EDC pocket knife--a Case Sodbuster Jr. in CV Steel. This knife has been used, abused, sharpened, beaten, and loved. The blade takes a keen edge and holds it reasonably well. It sharpens easily and takes a great patina. The best of all? It's only about $20 anywhere you'll find it.
This nice stream feeds into the Des Plaines River and the trickle of water through the rocks enticed me to stick around and read Graves' "Bushcraft" while enjoying the music.
Slightly downstream I found another low spot which appears to have been a high-traffic watering hole for the local deer population. This would be a good spot to be come dusk when the deer start moving again.
The path over much of the area has grown over due to lack of maintenance. I actually prefer it this way to the well-manicured look of some other areas. This is more "natural."
Finally, the Des Plaines River. Here the stream's trickle becomes a nice waterfall. The Des Plaines is known for a rancid stench in many areas but this fast moving water bears none of that stigma. Here the air is clear and crisp, the river roars, and the water gives off a nice clean smell. Perhaps efforts to clean up the river are finally paying off.

I left the camera plugged into the computer at home when I left for the second hike so there are no pictures this time. I will be back in those woods soon however. I can't see myself not spending immense amounts of time in there.

I had such a great time yesterday that I'm getting antsy trying to figure out when I can next get into the woods. Maybe today? Maybe tomorrow? It might be sometime next week but I will be back out there soon and this time I'll bring the camera.

Thanks for reading,



At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing like a good camping trip:
Nice blog!

At 8:23 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...

Hotlinked for you.

I've been reading your blog for quite some time. That's quite a hiking companion (Monty) you've got there.

Thanks for stopping in,



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