Sunday, March 27, 2011

Woodlands Self Reliance

A little something I been working on.

Schram's Adventures

Well, Spring is in the air, or at least in the area and that means the kids start coming into the woods to do their kidly things. Now, I know I was most likely no better than some of these at that age, but they seem a mite bit more destructive and litter buggy.

Ginger, Lisa and I walk the woods on a daily basis and I have been hanging out at my PS quite a bit, making fires and playing with my toys. I had been planning on re-doing the debris shelter soon and these events helped make that happen.

Quite a few weeks ago, after I had been out of town, I noticed that someone had disturbed my site, knocking down some of the shelter supports and the fire ring. I also noticed that someone had taken some boards and hammered them into four close together trees very near my site. It looked like someone was moving in. After my camp was disturbed a second time, I had had enough and I decided to take action.

I dismantled their construction and left a note telling them I didn't appreciate their disturbing my camp and hurting the trees. I signed it Angry Old Man and figured I was either starting a war that I would fight ruthlessly or setting some rules that they would follow.

A few days later, I found a note in my shelter. It was basically an apology and they promised not to piss me off anymore. I responded that all was well and if they wanted to learn some bush craft, I was willing to share what I knew. It seemed that I was going to have some more students/teachers in this fun new hobby/way of life I have gotten myself involved in. I even set up a ziplock with some paper and pencils calling it Tree Mail so we could exchange notes more easily. It lasted about two days...

About a week or so ago, Tony, A guy who walks his dogs there, and I were sharing a fire at the site when we heard a group of loud kids enter the woods. They had shovels and hammers and implements of destruction and were apparently building a jump for their mini bikes along one of the main paths. They saw our smoke and loudly investigated, moving away when they saw we were still there. It was getting dark and Ginger and I had to get back, so we headed out. The next morning I was not surprised to see the shelter push back and the fire ring disturbed. I quickly fixed the damage, but decided it was time to re-do the shelter anyway. I am trying to make the site as concealed as possible.

So the potential still exists for a nice little war with the kids. They really don't want to piss off a couple of older men that know how to one up young kids without actually hurting them. I am ready for war or peace, whichever they choose.

I rebuilt the shelter. It is smaller this time, but would do the trick if needed. Last evening Ginger and I went in again after I had seen the kids doing their thing again in the woods earlier. All was well, but I decided to build a porch on the shelter and set about putting up the framework until it was too dark to see well. I will continue to improve it as time allows and hopefully it will not get kicked over anytime soon.

The adventure continues in Schram's Woods.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Severn Run Dog Walk

Today I decided to give Ginger a little more woods then the usual Schram's Woods walk, so after doing our usual, we went over to Severn Run Natural Environment Area for a little exploring of the western side of the area.

We hopped into the van and headed down to Quarterfield Rd and parked at the beginning of a development where the path heads into the woods.

There are a lot of posted signs at the edge of the road, but we found the path and headed into the woods. At the beginning, there are quite a few brambles, but as you get deeper into the woods, the undergrowth thins out and the woods become more mature.

After we got well away from the road, I let Ginger off the leash and she was able to range into the woods on either side of the trail, smelling the smells of the woods and have a grand time.

We went in about a mile or so and all was going well when all of a sudden we saw about 5 or 6 white flags pop up about 30 yards away. Ginger takes off at these huge squirrel and of course she isn't listening to me now. I called after her, but she kept on and I was a little worried. I blew my whistle and saw that she was already coming back. I was glad she didn't disappear forever. I put her on the leash for a while and we continued our walk.

After a while we headed back to the van and returned home. It was a good time with some new sights and smells. I think Ginger had a blast.