Knee-deep in a Cattail swamp is where we found ourselves at the end of the day at Fire Keepers last Wednesday, though our morning started out a bit differently! Nature magic was in the air that morning as we quietly observed two Hairy woodpeckers pecking at a Cedar tree, a young raccoon lope right passed us, and a visit from two first-year bucks!
We practiced our fox-walking and sneaking skills as we curiously followed the raccoon through the forest a short ways to see where he was headed. But true his own sneaky nature, he disappeared into the brush in a flash!
Afterwards, the Fire Keepers were presented with a fire challenge, in which they we given 15 minutes to get a solid fire structure going. Working together, they spent that time gathering the dry lower branches of Western Hemlock, batoning wood, and creating a tinder bundle from inner bark of Bigleaf Maple. With some strokes of the ferro rod, the char cloth eventually caught the spark and the tinder bundle was blown into flame. The fire structure lit up easily! It was a great fire! We celebrated by roasting food over some hot coals and making candles by dipping Cottonwood seed pods into melted beeswax. Nice work Fire Keepers!
After hearing an inspiring sit spot story, we made our way to the pond, where we spontaneously decided to have a group sit spot at the edge of the water. There, we observed Mallards and Geese on the water and a big ole Great Blue Heron fly overhead and land in a tree. We nibbled on Nootka Rose petals as we took in the sights and sounds of our surroundings with our deer ears and owl eyes. It was a peaceful and powerful experience!
We ended our day with a “Magic Cattail Land” adventure, where we harvested some Cattail leaves to be used for cordage/weaving.
It was truly a full and beautiful day, and we are so grateful for the magic of Whatcom Falls Park!