sense of smell

What’s that Smell?

When someone speaks this phrase they are often indicating that something stinks and they don’t know where it’s coming from. Perfume, fabric softener, and all the strangeness of the cleaning products aisle also come to mind. Our sense of smell is literally attacked by modern fragrances. It’s no wonder that Kamana 2 students, when beginning […]

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Boy at Sit Spot

Sit Spot Practices for Kids

Animals are living secret lives all around us all the time. As we become more aware of nature, we can become connected to them as fascinating beings we share the world with. Though it may seem obvious, these animals are individuals with their own temperaments, territories, styles, and sometimes families. To some extent, we can […]

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urban cemetery sit spot

An Urban Story of Sitting

I love my neighborhood. It is so full of life—eclectic, eccentric, seedy, edgy, quirky, resilient, creative, beautiful life. Until two years ago, I would have said that all this abundance was predominantly of the human variety. Now, of course, I know differently, as I am greeted by display after stunning display of the bounty that […]

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squirrel climbing tree

The Tree Climbers

It was my day of rest yesterday. I spoke to family and friends, went fishing at the lake, read a few pages of Bernd Heinrich’s “Mind of the Raven”, cleaned my boots, and closed my eyes at my Sit Spot. But that was only the beginning. Behind me, the sun was nearing due west, still […]

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lichen on a large tree

The Tree of (Survival) Knowledge

Since the dawn of time, humans have enjoyed an essential relationship with trees. They provide for the human necessities of food, fire, and shelter, as well as a myriad of other uses. But the trees themselves are also hosts to countless resident organisms, virtually all of which can be harnessed by the resourceful survivalist. In […]

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Perspectives – Activities for Kids

Over many years of being with kids in nature, I have noticed that scale is a nuance to their experience and their development. While older children may focus in on an industrious project in a particular area, like digging a hole or building a dam, they also are more likely than younger kids to stop […]

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the sit spot pond

Sit Spot Murmurs

Two years ago in the late summer, I started seeing bear scat along a field edge on the way to my sit spot. An inch and a half tube full of raspberry seeds is hard to miss or misidentify here in northern Vermont. Then a bit later the chokecherry bushes in the south end of […]

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Indicator Species

What is this telling me? As a tracker, this is one of the most powerful questions I can ask to go deeper into the story of a track or outwards into the bigger picture of how an animal fits into its ecosystem. For example, running across a set of 3.5″x3.5″ wolf tracks in Idaho in […]

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Nature is Everywhere

I was in Dresden, a city in the southeast of Germany which has a population of half a million people. My wife had a meeting in the middle of the city and I was supposed to wait for a couple of hours. I sat on a bench and looked out at a busy place, where […]

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smoky mountains

Hazards: Following Fears, Gaining Awareness

A deep need for humans is outdoor safety, the maintenance of life, and limb. This is a powerful connecting force with the rest of life! From the sparrow fleeing the hawk, to the caterpillar hiding from the wasp, all creatures share a desire to avoid dangers or hazards. If you hook up electrodes to measure […]

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