I have never had the good fortune and honor of observing a chickadee nest up close before today. Chickadees are cavity nesters and therefor much more difficult to locate and observe. I have discovered a nest cavity in the past high tree branch. The nest pictured below was in a rotten tree stump only a couple feet from the ground. I watched a chickadee fly into a little hole in the stump a couple times as I was gathered nearby with some friends. I finally approached it and captured the image below of one of the parents sitting on the nest.
Later I observed one parent feeding the other just outside the nest. When both parents were away I went back an took and photo of the eggs. What wonderful luck to get this close to a nest that was visible from the entrance with no twists or turns to block my view.
Thank you chickadees.
I carved this serving spoon/ladle from a red maple branch a friend of mine had cut. It had a beautiful curve to it which I followed with the spoons shape. Red Maple is sometimes called soft maple, and it is when compared to Sugar Maple, though its still pretty hard. Red Maple can get brown streaks in it as you see here. Sometime they occur throughout a section of wood and is referred to as ambrosia maple by woodworkers.
This nest is on a shelf in my folks garage. Every time anyone walks through the mother flies off the nest almost into the persons head, startling the heck out of them.
I had seen a Robin with a beak full of grass trying to get in just a couple weeks ago. Now they have two eggs. I look forward to the baby birds, my daughter Gabby and I can watch them grow.
PS sorry for the not great picture, my good camera needs repair.
I made these two little eating spoons out of the same black birch log. It’s amazing to me how complex a thing trees are. The darker of the two was from the heart wood and the lighter the sapwood. And they are quite thin, not much more than a millimeter in the bowl and end of the handle, and still plenty strong enough to do their job. Birches are flexible, strong trees that can bend a great deal under the weight of snow and not break. I often see small birches with their tops bent all the way to the ground under a heavy snow.
These spoons are the smallest I have made and took just as long as the biggest ladle due to the complexity of the design necessary for a good eating spoon (the picture does not show this well as you cannot see the profile, I’ll do better next time) and their thinness.
Working with natural material that are harvested personally is one of the best ways I know to connect with ones local landscape.
I will be leading a plant walk at the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington CT May 14th (Mothers Day) from 12:30 to 3:30. So instead of buying your mom flowers take her for a nice walk in the woods to learn about wild ones together.
You will have to register with the Institute ahead of time to be sure there is room.
The Forest Wolf
In my attempt at “re-branding” I am bringing over most of my old blog posts from the Three Red Trees blog.
There are years of good posts there that will now all be in one place. And I get a lot of search traffic from them that I hope will bring more attention to this site (its crazy how many people google “skunk poop”).
So if you haven’t seen much of my previous work take a look. Its mostly pictures of animal tracks and the stories that go with them as well as occasionally the animals themselves. The old posts should be up in a day or two.
Kestrels are little falcons that hunt insects and other small animals. I carved this Kestrel from Eastern Red Cedar. The wood was easy to carve though splintery. I ended up sanding this (and need to do a little more sanding in some tight spots) to get a good finished surface.
Big changes for me, back in Connecticut to stay and a refocusing my career. To facilitate my art and craft I have created a Patreon page to gather support in the old style of Patron and Artist. Follow this link to find out more Forest Wolf.
I am also combining my natural history and wilderness skills endeavors onto this blog and my other Forest Wolf platforms. The fate of Three Red Trees remains to be seen, certainly a new name or absorption into Forest Wolf altogether. I will still do the work of Nature Connection, how can I not, and the Cattail Gathering will continue.
Stay tuned here for images of my work and wildlife and animal tracks.
Thank you all for your support.
Wolves are a common symbol of wilderness and wildness. I made this mask many years ago from black walnut after first working out the form in clay. Even in the clay there was something so alive about it it freighted my brothers cat.