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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Something I will miss (on a daily basis) is the way the afternoon sun hits last year’s grass and lights it up.  Anyone who has connected to land this way will understand what I mean.  And for those who haven’t, imagine just loving the sight of anything your child does.  That pure joy of watching their joy, or the heart wrenching feeling of seeing them hurt.  Loving land does compare to that feeling.  It is deep in you; it is part of your flesh.

When the rancher up creek clear-cuts the old growth Ponderosa for his cattle, you feel it in your stomach; your heart.

I am leaving Walnut Creek for my family.  My youngest child (whose brothers are no longer home) has needed more than what we could provide here on the land.  I am not talking about schooling; though she has decided to go to school after being unschooled her whole life.  I am talking about more socializing and pursuing her dreams of competitive gymnastics and playing with a sting band.  All of these activities are an hour drive from home.  Being in town all day, gas prices, getting home after dark, having my dogs pissed off at me, never seeing my horses, not being able to keep up with my garden, and mostly not being able to do my job here at the Walnut Creek Center; these are the reasons why I could not stay here.  I am back for the summer (my last) until the new managers take the position.  After that…I’m not sure.

My children are only children for another 8 years or so.  I can pursue my dreams after they’ve gotten a good start on theirs. They lived on this land and close to nature, in very remote and rustic conditions for most of their lives.  That style of life isn’t for everyone and it never felt right imposing my dreams on them (unless they, too, wanted the same thing.)

In a few years, I will move back to the cabin in the mountains where all I hear at night are coyotes, tree frogs and elk bugling.  For now, I will enjoy the last six weeks I have with my Love Land.  After that, I will still come twice a week to tend to the horses, walk the creeks and mesas, and photograph the land I love best.

The Daily Wyatt

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~Two more months to live at my Beloved Walnut Creek~

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I’m sitting at Apache Creek below the horse pasture.  It’s sunny but cool.  Creek is flowing well and the horses are frisky.  Solid blue sky.

White and Yellow Sweet Clover are beginning to sprout from wintered roots along the banks of the creek.  These plants (kept in check here by my horses) are originally not from here.  They are from Eurasia and are now considered naturalized.  This issue is a book in itself, not a blog post  topic.  But if you’re interested about that sort of thing, go HERE.  My horses don’t mind; although I won’t feed them alfalfa or clover for health issues, the amount they nibble along the creek is really a non-issue.

The Cottonwoods and Willows have fat bursting buds and the wild Apache Creek Mint has begun to push its way up through the moss and last winter’s flood debris and old vegetation.

Prescott Lupine leaf clusters the size of dimes.

Tiny unopened mossflowers.

Yarrow the size of my pinky.

The various emerging spring vegetation is allowing the horses more browsing on the 80 acres.  They eat less hay now and I find them on the far side of the pasture eating some very strange (to me) things.  Hackberry twig ends, Scrub Oak tips, Willow and Alfalfa roots and, strangely, dirt.  Yes, the are supplied with various free choice minerals I buy at the feed store.  However, there is something in the clay/dirt that they obviously must not acquire in the store-bought minerals.

I wish we still had this intuitive sense to know what minerals, herbs, twigs and roots to eat at what times of the year.  Sometimes, when I’ve been sitting with the land and creek long enough, I feel I might be getting a grasp.  Then, I get rushed and caught up in our busy “human” things and it’s lost.  The wisdom that is so close is lost.

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Local Ponderosa Pine

Locally Milled

~Made with Love (by Kevin)~

 

Handmade Ponderosa Shelves

The thing in the bottom right of the photo is a deer antler I found today while hiking in the forest.

Close-up of Shelf Detail

 

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It might be time to splinter this web journal into separate blogs.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while.  I’m beginning to document the whole Walnut Creek story on a separate blog (how we got there, how we lived there, why we’re not there anymore.)  That Blog is “Five Year Wild” and is for those just interested in the Walnut Creek story and the amazing adventures living off-the-grid for five and a half years in a remote AZ wilderness.

I will have a Photo Blog for those only interested in the photography part of it (not up yet.)

And then, I will attempt to move this blog to my website, so stay tuned for that.

In addition, I have a blog called the Creek and Mesa Review which has reviews of photo equipment, cameras, books,  and cool products.

If anyone has any feedback or ideas, send ’em my way.

Happy waxing moon!

 

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We’ve had two storms  (nearly a foot each) two weekends in a row.  Both times, the snow accumulation melts nearly away by the next storm.  Creeks are flowing freely around here and people are spending more time stocking up on firewood.  Storms help us focus on the simple needs in life: shelter, warmth, water, and food.  We come in after a long walk in foot deep snow; we make tea and hot chocolate coconut milk; we build a good fire in the wood-stove and read a book, or work on homework or draw.  In other places, where snow is plentiful, I imagine people are always prepared.  Here is Arizona, we take the daily warmth and sunshine for granted; a storm comes and people scrabble around for basics.

Granite Mountain Wilderness Area, Yavapai County, AZ

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