From Kevin Kelly
I Spent 3 Years Alone Building a Log Cabin
From Kevin Kelly
From Kevin Kelly
When he got here we walked out into the dark. He said, “Close your eyes.”
Whereupon he fitted this helmet with night vision binocs on my head and said “Open your eyes.”
The dark night was alight! 10 times as many stars. I could see a galaxy. Trees, road, paths, animals all bathed in ghostly light.
It’s like a third world: formerly I had day and night. With these you have lighted-up night. Sure, you can see at night with a flashlight, but it doesn’t light things up 360°. Also, people and animals aren’t aware that you can see them. Foster says he’s been out at night with them, and he can walk right up to rabbits.
Surfing in primo spots at night (they are waterproof, but you sure wouldn’t want to lose them); hunting for mushrooms in secret spots; mountain biking at night without visible light — possibilities are endless.
The only problem is that apparently, the good ones are really expensive.
I found this great website via Kirk Lombard, the Sea Forager:
My name is Hank Shaw.
“I write. I cook. I fish, dig earth, forage, ferment things, brew beer, raise plants, live for food and chase God’s creatures. I drink Scotch or Bud, eat burgers or dine on caviar, depending on my mood or what day of the week it happens to be. I spend my days thinking about new ways to cook and eat anything that walks, flies, swims, crawls, skitters, jumps – or grows. This is my story.”
I’ve just (belatedly) started telling Lesley where I’m going when I head out alone in the hills or on the beaches. In case I don’t get back and someone has to come looking for me. Yesterday I was taking off for a long bike ride and mushroom hunt, and I said I’d be home by dark. “In case I break both legs,” I said. Ha ha.
So I got out, deep into the woods, left my bike leaning against a tree, and set out, finding nothing much but death caps (Aminita phalloides), but it was nice being in groves that contained, in addition to bay trees and conifers, healthy live oaks not hit with sudden oak death. I stalked and wandered for maybe an hour and decided to head back to my bike, and at that moment congratulating myself on my sense of direction. I usually can track my way back to the starting point.
Well, smart ass, after a few steps, I realized I didn’t know where I was. Nothing looked familiar. I knew west because of the setting sun (yeah, brilliant, no compass), but I had no idea of the direction back. After 20 minutes, following various deer and coyote trails, I realized I had maybe an hour before it was dark. For some reason I had a phone connection, and I called and left Lesley a message, I’m OK, but lost and it’s possible I may have to spend the night out here, so don’t call in the troops…
I started jogging, decided to head for what looked like a canyon, because I figured it would run west and that would lead to the road. I was getting a bit worried, shit, it was gonna be a cold night. I finally got to the canyon and the opposite wall looked almost vertical.
BUT then I spotted some red banners. and started following them down to the bottom of the canyon, and there was a faint trail going up the steep west side. Never been so glad to see trail markers.
AND at the top, I spotted telephone poles. Eureka! Bushwhacked over to them, then hiked a mile or so back to my bike, got home just after sunset, dog tired and happy. A great adventure.
Anyone have ideas for a good GPS app for an iPhone 6s?
But be careful. Among the Aminitas is the deadly Aminita phalloides (the death cap) and other very poisonous species. Some mushroom experts advise against eating any Aminitas, for fear of getting the phalloides, which has killed more people in the world than any other mushroom, and melts your liver.
I only ate these after getting an ID from my botanist and fungi expert friend Tomas.
Saw a beautiful coyote on a recent (unsuccessful) mushroom hunt. The coyotes I see every so often on the highway are a bit scuzzy looking, but this one was grand. Reddish shiny coat, black tail tip; he was big and had a princely profile like a fox.
Left: coyote scat, indicating a diet high in mice, gophers. Looks like an art object.
Going through Stinson Beach Tuesday a deer bolted down the road. Galloping, two front feet, then two rear feet alternately. Rippling front leg muscles. Powerful and healthy. Then that night, on my nighttime run by headlight, another coyote at the nearby farm. Ran away from me, then climbed to the top of a pyramid-shaped compost pile. The Joker.
This morning more varieties of birds than I’ve ever seen outside the kitchen window. Crows, doves, quail, robins, red-winged blackbirds. a Rufus-sided towee (little beauty), sparrows (ugh), and the ever-spooky rock pigeons. Cornucopia of feathered flight.
Some years ago I had a series of dreams about flying. It wasn’t like I was just floating in the air. I had to run along, flap arms, and take off. So utterly real, still thrills me to think about it. I often watch (in envy) the elegant-in-flight turkey buzzards riding updrafts by the ocean cliffs, or a line of Pelicans just inches above the water, gliding on the updraft of breaking waves. Eat my heart out.
Here are some Fluted Black Elfin Saddle mushrooms Lew gathered in Inverness, too far past prime to eat, but the only half-way decent fungi in the woods right now. C’mon rain! C’mon low pressure, which allows the storms to come in off the ocean.
Got my 15 hp Evinrude outboard motor tuned up. Billy and I are going clamming, musseling, and crabbing on Saturday in Tomales Bay. I have a 12′ aluminum Klamath boat. It’s a little dicey getting out through the ocean waves here with a boat that small, but Tomales Bay is a piece of cake. I’m dedicated to getting ever more food from the wild.
Spring is peeking around the corner. The light is richer, green grass growing, plum tree budding out, red-winged blackbirds singing their Spring song. I’m a child of Spring, born in April, so I feel exuberant this time of year.