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Archive for October, 2011

It’s easy to imagine that an alarm clock ringing at 4:45 in the morning makes just about the worst noise you’ve ever heard.  By the time I was awake for 30 seconds it was easy to conclude that was the second-worst sound I’d heard all day.  An incessant drumming on the tin roof told me what was waiting for us and, based on the time of year, the rain was bound to be bitter cold – it was the rain that was easily the harsher of the two symphonies.

I like to think I’m romantic.  I can appreciate the idea of a ‘long romantic walk in the rain.’  I also know that what was falling out of the sky was anything but sweet sentiment – it was simply an avalanche of liquid cold.

Each of us grasped our coffee in the dark of the early morning.  We knew we’d be heading for the woods before the sun climbed over the horizon and, despite the excitement of the hunt, there was a general disappointment with the weather.  Getting cold was only part of the proposal – rain brings more challenges than creature comfort when you’re in the woods:

  1. When the ground is wet, leaves don’t make a lot of sound.  The lack of sound presents two problems:
    1. We can’t hear animals; leaves are quieter when wet and rain makes a unbeleivable amount of noise when there`s nothing else interfering with it.  It`s really astonishing just how loud the rain is if you give it a chance to tell you.
    2. They can’t hear the woods.  And when they can’t hear well, they tend not to move – this makes hunting very difficult and leaves us hoping that the doggers (the guys who walk) practically step on our targets as very little else will get them moving.
  2. There`s not a lot of wind.  This is also problematic.  Ideally we want the animals to smell the doggers and run away from them and towards us – that doesn`t happen with little wind.
  3. The rain fills the woods with smells – I can`t detect the difference but many animals can and find it uncertain.  This uncertainty usually has them hunkering down in the thick, dirty hardwoods and swamps.  It makes for difficult walking and difficulty in finding them.
  4. There is so much water that tracking is getting tough – new tracks look old within hours as they are quickly absorbed into the landscape.
  5. Being cold makes it very difficult to stay still.  Movement = warmth (as well as severely limiting your chance of seeing anything).

I mounted the ATV ( a four-wheeled All Terrain Vehicle) with my Dad and Dog by 6:15AM.  It was still dark as we drove the 6 kilometers over old logging roads to get to where I’d be sitting for the first part of the morning.  I walked about 10 minutes into the woods after dumping the bike and watched Dad and Dog fade into the forest.  They’d be hanging out for about an hour before walking through to the other men in hopes of chasing something to them.  I’m sitting behind them in case anything squeezes around them and doubles back.

You’d be surprised how cold you can get driving 6 miles in the rain when sitting on the back of an ATV.  It’s just as shocking how hot that a 10-minute walk in full gear can make you – and that’s the problem.  Any amount of sweat simply equals moisture and that moisture quickly chills you off when you finally sit still.  My first watch is almost 3 hours of solitude – 180 minutes of trying not to move a single muscle while the cold slowly creeps into your clothes.  The occasional breath of wind shakes any remaining leaves in the forest and invariably turns on a tap of ice water which dive earthward and invariably find a way to sneak into the tiny space between the collar of your jacket and the skin of your neck.

The first watch was much like that.  It’s amazing how the rain can make so much noise in one moment and, in the space of a heartbeat, suddenly seem silent and disappear into the background as white noise.  There was the occasional radio call but not another sound or sight for 3 hours.

I don’t know a lot of people who have sat on a log of 3 hours.  It’s a very different experience than I get to undertake most of the rest of the year.  There’s no email, no noise and no competition for your attention.  Just you and the woods.  Some guys are able to stay focused and be in the moment; I’ve not learned how to do that yet.  My mind wanders to and fro and I do find myself occasionally fighting for consciousness (it’s a MAJOR no-no to lose that battle) and it takes me a while to settle in. It gets easier as the week progresses.

The guys walked for about 90 minutes and then the run was considered complete.  3 of us went back to pick the doggers up and move to a new position while the rest of the line remained in place and the hunt continued with the doggers coming from a different angle.  My Father (Paul) started more than a kilometer from where I sat when I heard the radio call.

“Darryl, have you seen the dog?”
“No.”
“Keep your eyes out – he was with me but has taken off.”

My heart filled with simultaneous pride and fear.  I dropped the guys off and knew than Darryl was about 750 meters from my Father.  There was a lot of land between them and this was Schaeffer’s first time ever leaving my Father or I.  Our old dog (an awesome redbone-bluetick hound dog named Bud) would disappear all the time; it’s just what he did.  He’d come back or we’d get a phone call when he got too far from camp (once he was found almost 20 kilometers away and another night he crawled into a police car and ‘demanded’ they take him home).  But that hasn’t been Schaefers’ style.

I was excited because I could see him feeling more comfortable – and I know he knows more about these woods than I ever will.  But he’s my pup and it’s how I felt.  I sat in he cold rain alternating between trying to stay perfectly calm and just trying to ignore the situation – there really wasn’t much I could do.  The next radio call came in 10 minutes later:

“Paul call.”
“Go ahead.”
“He’s with me, happy as can be.”

I would later find out that he was rather enamored with the idea of a gummy bear that Darryl had given him earlier in the day.

There were some far-away shots around 10:30 in the morning and then nothing but cold and rain.  Despite the weather I was having fun – weather like this offer its challenge as well as reminds me of just how important I clearly feel this task is.  I’m not here for sport – I’m here, in part, to try to feed my family with something I wholly believe in with all of my heart.  It’s not something we talk a lot about but I know I’m not the only one here who feels the same; we’re all madly dedicated to how this forms part of our diet.

We mercifully headed back to camp for lunch.  While we’d intended to have a bush lunch we opted for eating in the cabin to get back some warmth.  Bush lunches are always a homemade soup poured into a sourdough bowl:

The walking was tough on the doggers.  One of the guys was really sore and my Father had fallen on his walk.  I jumped in for the run for the afternoon.  This meant wearing lighter (and initially drier) clothes but that keeping warm was also a bit easier as I’d be walking about 5 kilometers (with 1.5 of them being through very difficult terrain).  The second part of the walk would present a challenge to stay cool as much as it challenged me to stay warm.  Staying dry was out of the question.

Some of my walk was through the middle of swamps.  It’s tricky walking as your feet are never on flat ground and you have to question each step before you make it.  It’s as physically challenging as it is mentally.  Crossing a swamp is a nasty (yet somehow fun) challenge that’s magnified by the rain.  There’s water everywhere you step – above, below and everywhere in between.  All of it seems to be on a quest to find any bit of warmth it can find…

As I came through one swamp I realized I was stuck.  There was a creek which framed the outside of the bog- I’d have to find a place to cross if I wanted to be on dry ground.  The creek was 4-6 feet across everywhere I looked (Schaeffer just walked through it and looked at me like I was crazy when I didn’t.

I found a place that looked ‘just jumpable.’  Jumping in shorts in the warm summer sun is one thing – when you’re in multiple layers of outdoor clothes and starting perched on a slippery log, the distance you can cover is considerably different.  I found a place that was between 3-4 feet and looked doable.  I took a deep breath and launched myself, stretching one leg as far as I could, hoping it would hit the shore.  My initial relief of hitting the other side faded in milliseconds as my foot kept going – sinking almost to my knee in a murky mess.

My forward momentum was all about commitment and I continued to propel forward, leaving my foot behind.  I’ve done this before and one of two things happen.  Option #1 is that your sunken leg doesn’t move because it’s in a vacuum of mud or worse (i.e. a pile of roots) and you’re likely to break a bone or a joint.  Option #2 is less painful but not much fun – the ground agrees to give you your foot back after you’ve passed it and are spinning towards it.  Thankfully I had door #2 – Einsteins theory put me face first into the earth, my entire body smacked the earth in a single moment (like a champion belly flopper in a pool) before I could scramble to my feet.

A fall like this means a complete reset.  You check your gear, your gun and your body.  Check to ensure nothing is broken or missing and you pick up whatever you dropped – which generally includes small bits of ego.

And, yes, I was having fun.  And appreciating food and my connection with it.  It’s moments like this that explain, in part, the ritual celebration when an animal is harvested.  It takes a village of us and every ounce of effort we have to work together to provide for ourselves.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to happen on that run either.  We returned to campy by 5:00PM empty-handed.

My day wasn’t over yet though – I put on my coat from morning (now ‘sort of’ dry) and went to a tree stand to sit by myself.  I made a few moose calls and waited…

I waited for almost 2 hours before a martin ran across the field in front of me.  I got to watch the little dude play for a few minutes before he disappeared back into the forest.

The irony that Dana was back in Toronto getting ready to go to meet Hank Shaw (one of my hunting heroes) at an event hosted by another friend (the lovely Ivy Knight) while I sat in a tree stand didn’t escape me.  As much as I wanted to meet Hank, I was glad to be exactly where I was – rain and all.

To see all of the posts in this series, click here (a new post will be published every day through Sunday, November 6, 2011).

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Sunday started late for me.  Schaeffer continued his morning tradition by waking up everyone but me (he seems to have learned that trying to wake me is a fruitless task so he ignores me in the morning and tries to wake everyone else).  Since the hunt doesn`t begin until tomorrow, many of us took our time getting out of bed and beginning the day.

We`ve had another day of bleary weather.  I`m very hopeful the weather will turn or this week is going to be more like swimming than hiking.  It`s been a few years since I`ve hunted in the rain but I know I`d far prefer snow over water as it`s easier to stay warm when your dry.  Besides, I`ve got a lot of gear that`s perfect for cold and I`m a little unprepared for rain.  We`ll find a way to make the best of it whatever happens.

A few scouting crews left earlier in the morning to check the land around us.  They`re checking for tracks – and a few are checking motion-sensitive camera that we`ve put on our land.  The cameras will show us what walks past them and will give us an idea of what time of day animals are moving around the land.  It`s our first year using cameras and I`m as excited about their effect on morale as much as I am about what could appear on them.  The cameras capture pictures, the time of day they were taken and record the temperature of when they were taken.  It`s our first year using them and I`m excited to see what we learn from them.

Since the day is gloomy, there was a lot of time hanging around the cabin.  We watched football courtesy of our gas generator as we waited for the small groups of scouts come back from the reconnaissance trips.  The mood is calm but palpably exciting – there is much hope for the week ahead and passing moments serve to get us all the more excited for the week ahead.

Schaeffer and I got out for a walk.  He dove into the woods and found an old tennis ball he must have deposited there in the spring or summer.  I was rather surprised given that we were almost a half kilometer away from camp at the time.  He insisted on playing fetch and we did so for more than a half an hour:

We had a camp meeting – discussing safety, the plan for the week and discussing ideas on the general plan for the week ahead.  The meeting is generally very light-hearted although there`s lots covered to set the plan for the week ahead.

Part of our Sunday tradition includes picking two teams for the week ahead.  The teams alternate chores – a team does the inside chores one day (cooking, sweeping, cleaning) while the other does the outside (firewood, sauna and water).  My team is on outside duties today; our biggest challenge is pulling tomorrow`s meals out to defrost (especially the soup which we`re intending to eat in the woods, weather permitting).

I made time to sharpen my hunting knife using a diamond sharpener I bought for my Father.  My knife was woefully dull and I was really happy with the results.  These small hand units make precision sharpening a breeze – you simply draw the blade through the holder, ensuring the red wheels spin which indicate that you`ve alligned your knife correctly:


a video by Well Preserved on Flickr.

My big challenge of the day was to calibrate a bunch of the guys GPS units.  Our handheld devices are similar to what you have in your car except they show us topographical maps of the natural landscape around us.  I`ve been working on creating  a custom map that shows us the roads, trails and hunting spots that we`ve used for the last few years.  I hadn`t shared what I was working on with the guys until I knew I could transfer it.  It`s pretty exciting to me to see the excitement as I hand over their custom maps.  (It`s taken a few years to learn how to map our land like this; if there`s sufficient interest it`s something we can share at WellPreserved though I don`t know how many people here it would interest).

If this post sounds a bit all-over-the-place, it is.  The day was much like that – a great day of relaxing, doing fun chores and quietly focusing on the week ahead mixed with a lot of hope that the weather will turn.  The alarm will go off at 5:00AM or earlier – we all head to bed at a reasonable time…

To see all of the posts in this series, click here (a new post will be published every day through Sunday, November 6, 2011).

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I am certain there`s a million better writers who have lamented about the reasons why time flies when you need it to crawl and why it dithers when you need to find the accelerator but you`re reading this and you`re stuck with me.  And I fought time as hard as I could today.  Needless to say, when you`re fighting an eternal entity and you`re a mortal, you`re bound to lose.  Each step closer to leaving for camp put me somehow one step further behind; I`m sure you`ve been there.

Today started late – I slept longer than I had planned and that bled into my final tasks for work which both started later and took longer to complete than planned and the cycle continued through to blog posts and then errands.  There just always seemed to be ‘one more thing’ to do before I’d be free to head in to camp.

I’m sure the weather hasn’t helped; it’s been raining grey today.  You know that special kind of gloominess – grey clouds lurk overhead and stretch to the skyline where they kiss their own reflection before plodding a dismal path to your feet and the reflection of the puddle you stand in.  You could swear that the moisture licking at your exposed skin are pieces of that very gloomy sky as opposed to water just completing another cycle from land to sky and back.

Despite my personal frustration that leaving for camp seemed to be an eternal quest, the truth is that it was a lovely start to the day.  I had a chance to gather my thoughts, complete the things that needed doing and once certain I could leave it behind I was able to put my wheels on the dirt trail that would take me to camp.  But let’s back up and talk a bit more about the time I had while running through town, dusting off the final pieces of a check list that would take me into the depths of the Ontario forest for the week ahead.

I popped by the local butcher, realizing I had forgotten to prepare or bring any type of hors d’oerves (an annual tradition that each hunter joins in on).  The butcher shop was postered with sentences like “Do you know where your meat comes from? We do…” and this tongue-in-cheek phrase:

It was a blatant reminder that many of the critics of the local food movement who claim it is a urban-upper class and exclusive movement haven’t stepped out of the city themselves.  I know more preservers and local food people in the country than I do in the city – albeit many wouldn’t know (and would chuckle to hear about) any form of a ‘movement’; it’s simply how they live.  I spent a few years (ages 2-5) growing up in such an environment and perhaps that’s the root of my strong sentiment around it.

When I entered the butcher shop, I realized I’d made a mistake.  What they had been lovely – but it was also tremendously scarce.  They apologized (needlessly) and began to explain but I knew exactly what was happening.  Any butcher in Ontario can process wild meat – but must empty their shop of all domestic meat, perform a thorough cleaning and then bring in the game.  It must all be exited from the business before domestic product is returned.

I’m skeptical of the reasons (‘health’) although not nearly enough of an expert to be qualified to be so.  I find it unfortunate that butchers can’t make a living selling to regular customers during this time (and since it is illegal to sell game, regular customers must go elsewhere for the month that is moose and deer season) and it prevents us from ageing game more than a few days.  I sometimes (often) dream of having a place I could age game for 20-40 days…

Town was full of Hunter Orange.  It was clear that there are lots of people around for the same reasons we are.  Many knowing nods are exchanged and I find myself so curious to know what the stories of these other camps are.  There’s more than 40 years of history to ours and surely there are similar stories  all around.

My truck hit the dirt around 1:45.  I was kind of surprised that I was only 2 or 3 hours behind my ‘best case.’  As soon as the wheels hit the dirt, time became irrelevant and I laughed at how uptight I had been about it in the previous hour.  It was nice to be on the way.

‘Dirt’ means 45-60 minutes of rough driving on abandoned logging roads.  To give you the idea, I shot two short videos of the drive in (one facing me as I drove slowly across the road and a second facing the road). I’m driving about 10 km per hour (5-6 miles per hour) and am not on a proper road which is why I filmed (I wouldn’t do this on a highway):

a video by Well Preserved on Flickr.


a video by Well Preserved on Flickr.

After an hour of that, our ‘driveway’ is less than a kilometer of extremely rough roads (it’s actually a logging road that’s existed since this place was forested with horses).  Here’s a sample:


a video by Well Preserved on Flickr.

It was great to get to camp – as you’ll see in the last video, Schaeffer was doing just fine and excited to see me – the audio is somewhat humbling so if you’d like to watch it on mute, I’d be indebted really. 🙂


a video by Well Preserved on Flickr.

The rest of the day was delightfully slow.  The hunt doesn’t begin until Monday so Saturday devolves into quite the party.

I made two garlic-herb breads to go with our preserved tomato sauce that made for an awesome dinner:

And all was going smooth…

The last of the crew pulled in around 8:00PM.  My Father and I were told, along with others, to have a seat in the kitchen as there was a surprise awaiting us.  I grabbed a seat and the door opened…

Our surprise was my second-cousin Steve.  I hadn’t seen him in years and he hadn’t hunted with us in more than 10 years – and he came to join us for the week (we had an extra bunk this year so there was plenty of room for a 14th guy).  A fantastic celebration followed and the party lasted late into the evening…

That concludes what I’m sharing of the first official day in camp – more to come tomorrow!  To see all of the posts in this series, click here (a new post will be published every day through Sunday, November 6, 2011).

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It’s Friday evening as I write this and the last 36 hours has been a blur.  It’s with a small but of reflection that I realize that the blur has lasted more than 36 days.

The Fall is my favourite time of year – it’s also the busiest.  There are so many competing interests at play:

  • The harvest and the bounty it offers to preserve
  • The stunning amount of great food events, festivals and tastings
  • Preparing for the hunt
  • The Brickworks Picnic (where we served more than 650 portions of food we prepared in four hours)
  • Two long weekends which tend to be mini-vacations for us (generally to the hunt camp to prepare for the harvest)
  • It’s also the busiest time at work as I host an International Summit of Leaders from across our business
  • I’m starting a new position at my company – transitioning roles is a bit like working both jobs at the same time until one gently fades away.
  • I’ve decided to keep the 1,000+ consecutive days of posting going so there’s also a matter of pre-writing 10 days of posts to keep the site going while I head into the forest.

It’s been busy.  It generally always is before the hunt – the 6 day moose hunting season generally marks the end of the busiest time of year for me these days.  It’s like my drive home – our house is less than 2 minutes from the highway that takes me home; I go from 100 kilometers (around 60 miles) an hour to parked in 120 seconds or less and it takes a few more minutes for my brain to slow down and get in synch with my body.

Our work summit, this year, included 2 days away from the office.  We’re on a break of the final evening – there’s a casual get-together after an intense 4-days filled with meetings.  I’ll be here through morning when I’ll wrap up some final work items, finish my final posts and run errands through town before leaving mid-morning for camp.  I’ll be there in about an hour from here (it’s close but the rough logging road I’ll cross in my pickup demands respect and patience).

It’s ironic that the chosen location was Huntsville, Ontario (where I’m writing this journal) – I’m 3.5 hours from home and less than 20 kilometers from our cabin.  I’m between two worlds – geographically far from home and socially in a different universe than that cabin that’s so near (to get an idea of how remote, visit this post from 2009).  We’re staying at a golf course which is all but closed for the season – I can see the fall colours all around me and keep thinking of the cabin where my Father, a few friends and my dog await.

My Family spends a lot of time in the cabin this time of year.  Mom and Dad will spend 30+ days out of 45 just getting ready for the hunt.  They’ll spend time working on small projects as well as hiking and using the 4-wheeler (ATV) to look for signs and evidence of animals.  Mom left camp with Dad on Monday (her final visit of the year) and he came back yesterday (Thursday) for another 11 days.  He’ll be back in November for 16 or 17 for deer season.

I generally always get to camp later Friday night.  I love arriving Friday night – it’s generally just the retired guys who are in and it feels like the calm before the storm.  It’s a celebratory mood and the guys either stay up or get up to greet me, even if I arrive after midnight.  There will be no such arrival this year as our conference goes through the evening – something I am slightly sad about but I’m also excited to have a casual night with my peers.  Besides, I know I’ll be in camp early in the morning so my ‘sacrifice’ compared to years past is probably a 1:00AM beer.

Yesterday morning saw me up and out of the house before 6:00AM.  I took Schaeffer (who was bounding with excitement) up to the suburbs and dropped him off with my Father.  I didn’t think taking our pup to our conference for 2 days would go over so well so he took the express route to camp with my Dad (who is his absolute favorite person in the world).

From there I headed up rural roads and wound my way up to Huntsville.  After a mini-SUV passed me on the highway I received a phone call from the vehicle.  It was a group of colleagues on their way to the same off-site session I was headed to and they were looking for breakfast recommendations in town.  It was fun to take them to a diner I’ve visited since childhood.

The restaurant was packed and there were plenty of tables where groups of men huddled over caffeine and mounds of breakfast staples.  It was clear to me that many were there for the hunt.  I was identifiable as the same (my hunter-orange jacket is the only coat I’ve brought) and I stood out – the only hunter at a table of men who were the only group of men who were non-hunters in the restaurant.  Much like where I am staying, my position at the table was one of limbo – physically between two places.

My colleagues missed a few subtle interactions between myself and a few others.  There were a few knowing nods, smiles and glances as each of us prepares for something that most wait the entire year for.  I have no idea who these people are and we’d likely miss connecting any other time of the year but this was 3 days before the hunt and we share a bond of familiar strangers.  It’s an odd exchange to try to explain – and just as odd to experience.

We had a team-building experience today that included orienteering with GPS’s, target practice with a ‘kids’ bow-and-arrow and other outdoor activities.  I had an edge over many of my colleagues until it came to lighting a fire that would bring water to a boil.  Our wood was met and I made a few rookie mistakes that I should have never made  but did.  We ended up in second-last (in a game where pride was the biggest prize) and I was reminded of the Golden Rules of all things outdoors: as soon as you think you have it mastered and get cocky, you will be humbled.

Time to run out for the evening; an early alarm will call from sleep – I’m excited to get into camp and see my guys…

To see all of the posts in this series, click here (a new post will be published every day through Sunday, November 6, 2011).

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Greetings all!

Regular readers may recognize a gap between my announcement that I was hunting back to the woods for the annual moose hunt, my return and the lack of update around what happened.  Those who have been around these parts for longer know what’s coming but I wanted to invite the rest of you to join in the journey.

In the next 9 days I will be posting my complete diary from 9 days in the forest as I participated in the Ontario Moose Hunt.  The posts will be as sensitive as possible as I understand this is a divisive topic.  My initial posting on hunting (aptly called ‘Confessions of a one-time vegetarian‘) provides a lot more detail on the topic and my difficulties in writing about it.  In short, it’s an activity that I am immensely proud of yet sometimes struggle to participate in at the same time.  It’s also something I was taught not to discuss in public from the time I was a child.

I hope you’ll consider coming along with the journey and that you’ll share your comments, ideas and thoughts.  I’ll expect we all treat each other with civility when we disagree but also challenge each other to consider new concepts and ideas – this, of course, applies to me as well.

Many may wonder why I have such a dramatic pretext – it is only tied into personal experience and the consistent experience of my youth that speaking of hunting in public generally went poorly.  I remember a Science Teacher who once publicly berated me for skipping a day of school for the harvest and then explained that she fished and often killed fish without eating them.  That was wrong in my world but it didn’t escape me that what I was doing was just as wrong in hers.  I understand that the topic is sensitive and divisive. 

The topic of hunting is largely misunderstood – often because of the portrayal of some members of the hunting community at large.  Our cabin is a food camp; we eat everything that we kill and have done so on the same land for longer than I have been alive.  We apply for licenses and are able to harvest very selectively (our cabin of 14 men can kill 1 adult female moose and several calves during the 6-days of Moose Hunting in our area this year). 

In the next 8 days I will post daily journal entries exactly one-week after they are written.  You’ll be able to follow along with our daily challenges and successes and hopefully experience a bit about what the hunt is about.  I will not expose you to shock-value or gory pictures – the intent is to open dialogue and not throw it in the face of an unsuspecting group of curious people  and friends.

It is my hope that by sharing a lot more of what happens that we will demystify what happens and open conversation to discuss the role of wild game as part of the food chain.  It’s difficult to argue that hunting will ever be kinder than a vegetarian lifestyle but compared to some practices mass agriculture, birth control for deer or the lack of sustainable fishing practices I am hoping to discuss alternatives.

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a video by Well Preserved on Flickr.

Post 3 of 3 sharing small videos from deep within Ontario’s Forests which show ancient signs of our past…

Settlers were charged with building rock walls to claim their territory. The walls were specific sizes (both of the physical wall and the area they had to cover) – I don’t know the exact size of the plots in the land my family has hunted for more than 40 years.

This video (I appologize that the adio has somehow been eaten and will reshoot when back at the cabin next year) shows one of the rock walls now almost hidden by the forest. The wall is 3-4 feet high, 5 feet across and built of solid rock. It goes on beyond sight in 2 directions.

These walls are stunning to see – I hope the video captures the essence. Standing on or near it is an experience that’s tough to describe – the absolute reality that someone built this is so tangible; as is the realization that I will never know who did it and the world will forever keep that mystery.

I wish I knew the stories this wall keeps held within its cracks.

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a video by Well Preserved on Flickr.

Post 2 of 3 sharing small videos from deep within Ontario’s Forests which show ancient signs of our past…

Large piles of rocks (known as ‘caches’) often marked ‘cornerposts’ of settlements. This is just down the road from the rock foundation we shared in yesterdays video.

These caches were made long ago – it’s amazing to find them in the middle of the woods in areas which are visited by 10 or fewer people a year (in all likliehood they are seen only by 1; 10 is avery conservative estimate).

It amazes me to know that hunters likemy Father (and many of the men I hunt with) can walk into the middle of the forest and deliberately take someone to visit long forgotten ruins of settlers like these. There really is a magic to places like this.

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