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Day 10 Venturing Outdoors



Believe it or not, I got up at 7:30 this morning. I can't remember the last time I voluntarily got up so early, naturally, with the sun, er, daylight (there wasn't any sun today!). I keep saying this, but it feels so refreshing to be back to my self again, feeling accomplished every day, yet, not straining myself to the brink like I sometimes do. A whirlwind blew through the basement during the day - so many projects started and finished.


All you great followers requested a foraging video for this week's video. Welp... Austin and I traversed into the empty plot of land in the neighborhood to see what we could find. It was 32 degrees today. I had little hope for finding anything but boy did we find a ton of treasures! Beneath our feet, small plants creeped through the decaying grass: nettles, wild mustard (?), clovers, plantains, possibly some cleavers and sorrel. None, unfortunately, were ready to be harvested. Maybe in a week or so! I was on the hunt for other plants, like chickweed and dead nettle, as I know how to use those easily. I'm excited about the cleavers though - I have plans for those once they get a bit bigger!


After tiptoeing through a puddle in the path, Sparky went into the woods and we followed. What was lurking around the corner of the trees? Why, it was a half rotted deer carcass! That was surprise number one. We usually don't find such things in the woods, but for some reason this woods was filled with all kinds of extreme things. We turned out of the woods and went back along the side. Aspens and paper birch towered above us, their eyes watching carefully over us, as we continued on. There was a mound of black dirt with middle aged trees coming out of it - "A hangout," was Austin's first remark. Stinging nettles and dock poked out their baby leaves from the dark soil, and I peered over my shoulder to see a glorious hawk feather, perfectly positioned for me to find. Obviously, I picked it up and placed it carefully in my basket (I found another one later, soon to join the first), the basket that was supposed to carry edibles home. From here, we walked into the forest and found much, much more. Deer trails kicked up the mushy soil in and out of the trees, the thorny strands of gooseberry skeletons and hawthorn. We started picking up sheets of birch bark laying on the ground, to shift the video project from foraging for food, to foraging for crafting supplies. I wanted to try painting on the papery birch bark with gouache.


On our way back, we found ourselves by the deer carcass. I noticed a mound in the forest near the deer and got curious... why was there a mound out there? So we ventured out relentlessly and found a collection of bones scattered about. A flurry drifted in the invisible breeze and I noticed Sparky standing near something white in the fallen leaves. Upon further investigation, I noticed it was a scull of a beautiful animal, just resting next to a tree. Austin and I were both in awe at this treasure, though he was very adamant that I didn't touch it with my hands... I flipped it over and noticed the sharp teeth still in the scull. This wasn't from a deer, no, we believe it was from a coyote. The picture is above, if you know for sure let me know!


With the little basket and our noses dripping from the cold, we walked home and spent the afternoon indoors. I turned the birch pieces, along with some other winter trinkets I found, into a unique work of art, pictured below. You're the first to see it, the video hasn't come out yet! You CAN paint on birch bark with gouache, I recommend you try it! It's a lot of fun, and I feel it's more connective than just plain old paper.




The rest of my time today was spent finishing that painting I told you about yesterday. I'm very pleased with it, however, I have not yet mastered the art of transferring physical art into a digital masterpiece. Here is what the finished painting is like, equipped with echinacea, butterfly weed, purple asters, yarrow, golden rod, and penstemon. The idea for this one was to turn it into a t-shirt and tote bag, which I was able to do! Both are available on my Etsy shop if you'd like to take a peek :)


https://www.etsy.com/shop/AdventuresAcross




I really need to get myself to do these blog posts earlier... I get so tired by the time I start writing! I hope you all had a beautiful day, and I'll talk to you real soon!


Much love,


Ashley


Day 10, 259 Days to go

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