I’d planned to make mittens on this warm and sunny day, but Sam Thayer showed up!  yay!  So I went on his plant walk like the botany groupie I am.  I was all jazzed last year about the stuff I’d learned about plant ID and foraging.  I did precisely nothing about that once I was home.  I got a couple of books.  i have opened them.  I am lazy and I just want to download the info into my head.  The walk was much like last year’s, but still very cool and informative.  The whole time, Sam just plucks stuff and pops it in his mouth, just grazing constantly.  I suppose to forage, you have to do that, since you’re not likely to just find a meal’s worth of anything at one sitting.  I kept thinking “This is very cool. I hope I never need to use this knowledge.”  Sam is super-charismatic and has that charm of someone who really, really enjoys his job.  I planned to do his longer afternoon plant walk that would go down by the water, but I realized that even though he’s very interesting, I’m unlikely to be able to use plant lore from the arboreal forests and water sheds of Wisconsin here on the rocky mountains of central Maryland, so I opted to sit on the beach in the sun.

I read for a while until I was too hot (I should have treasured this moment…) and decided to wander in to the classes to check out the mitten making.  I called Zach, the instructor, by the wrong name and was tempted to say “Well you see, I have this gift…”  He helped us make a pattern from our hands to make mittens from felted wool sweaters–you know, those totally shrunken sweaters that turn up at Goodwill?  One of the other women in the class was also able to sew and we kept thinking how fast the process would be at home…But it was nice to just concentrate on stitching.  Funny to note the pride with which the other women claimed to be unable to sew.  “Can’t even sew on a button!” they’d say, and treat sewing like some sort of voodoo magic.  I kept saying “It’s just practice.  You don’t need a gift, it’s not like painting” but they were quite determined to be Non-Sewers.  But now they’re non-sewers with mittens.

After dinner, Emily and I headed out to buy more groceries.  Michael told us that someone had hit a young bear out on the road and brought it into the camp, where it was being field-dressed.  We walked past the site where they were dealing with the bear and Lily came dancing up, full of excitement to tell me she was watching.  Totally unskeeved, she was.  When we came back, she told me she’d touched the heart and that she’d seen the head with no skin on “and its eyes looked like THIS![makes big stare-y eyes]”  Ben was as far from all that as he could be, as was Julianna.  I guess if a critter had to be hit by a car, that was the place to do it, everyone was so excited.

Tuesday photos:

beach. sun. book to read. Ahhh.

Boys vs. Girls fire-making contest

And by "boys," I mean "Steve"

Ben could supervise

I was utterly uninvolved.

Grace, Julianna, and Keelin

Melinda's house

Emma and Lily and a beach baby

Sam Thayer and an American Highbush Cranberry. I think.

puddle dancers

Morning Circle--feel free to name anyone as you see fit.

A loincloth lad for Michelle. last year's loincloth family didn't show.

Squirrel pelt Ezra was tanning. We were all vegetarians last year...

The "Before" picture

That night, a thunderstorm rolled in, nothing too bad, but the ground was already wet from a very wet summer…

stay tuned…