Stone's North Woods Adventures (SNWA)

Discussion in 'Adventure, Hiking, Backpacking and Travel' started by Stone, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Stone

    Stone Member

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    OK, here's the new vid that uploaded all night last night.

    A few preliminary comments.
    • I've had no formal videography training other than editing software. I'm learning as I go -- over the last few years, based on my experiences as a still photographer (35 mm tripod stuff). I'm a science, biology, ecology, natural history educator with a background in backpacking, a content guy, trying to expand my audience.
    • I'm using one of the crappiest hand-me-down cams on Earth. Good for snaps and stills, barely adequate for video. Has an annoying habit of causing background noise that sounds like a jet taking off at BOS Logan (about 2/5 of segments). An ipod is on my wishlist, as is a GoPro.
    • When you see the film jump, it's because I cropped out a mistake. Hey, it's hard talking to a tiny camera with no one else present within half a mile but trees and crows.
    • I'm developing this series that will extend over months and years to share this space and my knowledge of it based in science, biology, ecology, natural history, outdoor living skills, bushcraft, etc with friends, associates, students and others who live in widely diverse places, whom I'd enjoy visits from but they're not here and I am.
    • There's a fair amount of attention here to snow and snowshoes: types, techniques, binding
    • This is the second draft of this video, but not the last.
    • I explored more deeply into the grove today (last two segments),
      again on snowshoes, and was blown away by what I experienced. Video coming ...
    • I am purposefully debuting this late (11:15 pm) on March 17, 2017: St Patrick's Day, after reading about Celts, druids, and watching another episode of Vikings (History Channel)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  2. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Oh, BTW, @Slade, your deviled eggs make a national debut in this video. :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Theodore

    Theodore Member

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    Some snowshoes from the Maine state museum for you.
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Stone

    Stone Member

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    ^ The old-fashioned way. Those skills are still around, fortunately, although not as widely known as they should be. That could change in the future ...
     
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  5. Theodore

    Theodore Member

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    Shush with the ice age talk. I have had enough snow. Here some "socks" to go with them. I kid, but I bet they are warm and comfortable. 20170318_125038.jpg
     
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  6. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Member

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    Wow! Does that say how old those are?
     
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  7. Theodore

    Theodore Member

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    I am sure It does. I can not remember. I will find out.
     
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  8. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Member

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    [​IMG]

    I thought a comparison photo might be fun. This is East Tx while a blizzard tried to bury Maine. This lady has no fear, neither swamps, pigs, nor clouds of mosquitos will deter her! :D
     
  9. Stone

    Stone Member

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    ^ Awesome. Good comparisons are welcome. Helps point out the similarities and differences of other places to the north woods of Maine and Canada.

    I confess, I had to look hard to find the other person, paddling under that downed tree. :D
     
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  10. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Based on the first "review" comment I've gotten about the last video from a friend via email, I feel I need to clarify something about it, lest too many viewers miss the point, as my friend did -- who normally offers constructive reviews of my vids and essays and gets them.

    The upshot of his comment was that although my instructions on snowshoes were informative and interesting, he found the video to be "a bit too long" and the scenery "repetitive".

    A few responses for now -- to try to change the perspective and expectations of future viewers --perhaps with elaboration later in a new preface to the video in the next draft. (This is notes to self about that and how to make it clear.)

    First, it's not a bit long. It's as long as it needed to be to convey what I'm really trying to point out here, especially to people who don't live in this region (as my critiquing friend does). The actual walk took around 3 hours. (I would have made it 5 had I had more light.) I distilled that down to 42 min. Any shorter than that, and I could not have accomplished my goals.

    What are those goals? To share an afternoon walk with friends and people I would like friendship with because they can enjoy an easy, meandering walk in a subtly beautiful spot -- even sans spectacular mountains, tumbling streams and towering old growth.

    To convey some interesting information about a place that's going to be one of my ecology, geology, biology and bushcraft study areas with videos about the details of biology, ecology (including symbiosis), geology, geography, aquatic biology/ecology, geography, geophysiology -- and of course, complexity sciences -- along with useful tools and skills for surviving comfortably in all seasons, winter to winter.

    To do all that in a comfortable conversational tone and pace -- because walks in the woods should never be fast -- with humor from an older person (now 66, but still carries a heavy day/survival pack on snowshoes in extreme conditions) who makes mistakes and goofs in part due to ****ty equipment (that can be resolved once I get better video cam, which is part of my goal: a Kickstarter fundraiser to earn video and bushcraft/survival gear) that represents who I am as a person, not some TV talking head trying to instruct about ecology or snowshoes in a fast-paced sound byte fashion so characteristic of videos today. I wanted the tone and pace of this video to match the tone and pace of the place: slow, easy, sometimes challenging, but always glowing with that subtle beauty and power as a tiny, tiny part of a much larger biome: taiga. (See below).

    And for people who know me, who have spent time with me on walks or in class (min 2 hours per class), or those who know me only from my written presence on online forums, it's an opportunity to hang out, to get to know me a bit better, perhaps see a different side of me, to see where I live, and feel how I'm doing by listening to the sound of my voice glowing with excitement and appreciation for this beautiful little place out my back door, and maybe -- just maybe -- offering some useful tips about how they themselves can reconnect with nature in a deep and meaningful (not just intellectual) way that's beyond utilitarian (growing food or harvesting firewood), can learn again to take time just sitting in one place and looking to see what's there with a fine toothed comb.

    And finally, to begin -- just begin -- to help people, even those who live here in these kinds of ecosystems but who have lost sight of it's beauty and magic -- to understand the deep beauty and "magic" (in it's ability to transform how we look at and see the world) -- through multiple seasons, from buds on trees promising life in a frozen world through leaf out and summer rains into fall leaf drop on glacial eskers and erratics pushed up by millions of years of glacial advance pushed up like so many ripples in the sand of a stream bed.

    And here's another very big point to put this space into a larger geographic and geological perspective: this -- down in the ravine -- is the southern boundary of the border transition into the North Maine Woods, the southern boundary of the northern boreal forest, aka taiga -- that covers tens of millions of sq mi across the northern tiers of North America and Eurasia, stretching all the way to the tundra around the Arctic Circle, which is melting. Some would say that taiga is repetitive. It is low in diversity relative to a rain forest -- dominated by spruce, fir and birch -- and tends to be relatively flat yet punctuated by mountains.

    Yet I see it as anything but 'repetitive'. Repetitive is class 2, periodic, boring, ordered. This is class 4 -- edge of chaos: low in biological diversity but dynamic with chaotic elements (those deadfall zones down in the grove) that survives really harsh conditions of temperature, snow and ice. And it lives. And there is so much peace there: no people, no cars -- just the occasional snowmobile nearby.

    I want so much to walk in taiga before I die, and study with the people who live there. So I want to know as much about it as I can before I go, including the tools and skills to survive there comfortably while I study and experience it without having to run back to the cabin to get warm.

    Something like that.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  11. Stone

    Stone Member

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    I'm all suited up with pack ready to walk out the door at 3:30 pm into a spectacularly beautiful blue sky afternoon in the low 40's F to visit the ravine -- down with the hemlocks, cedars and birches -- to record a first draft post-script preamble to the March 15 video. I'm going to walk down to my favorite spot -- Ash Camp -- and a new spot just a couple hundred feet south of it, deeper into the ravine, between the two eskers, that may offer ... a better hammock camp, especially under some conditions and circumstances to be described another day.
     
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  12. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Got some great new footage this afternoon -- and some fine stills (I carried a tripod today) -- including a nice close up segment of hemlock, cedar (way more of it down there than I originally suspected), and all three species of birch.

    It'll take me a few days to edit it, and sort it out, but will post it eventually. After dinner, I'll down load some stills and post a few here for hors d'oeuvres.
     
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  13. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Late night report. I've now watched all video segments from today. Aside from an annoying hardware-generated noise from my camera -- :mad: - my kingdom for a new cam! --- I'm super happy with them.

    They're going to take days to edit, but when finished will comprise
    a post-script preface to the video from last Wednesday.

    Now, as promised, here are a few stills from today's afternoon walk.
    These were all shot with my backpacking tripod, which is now a permanent part of the EDK.

    Log where I ate lunch #2 this afternoon while looking north into the ravine grove.

    Log near S esker.JPG

    View looking north into the ravine from the log.

    Log view.JPG

    Dead birch with mushroom common to all dead birches here.

    Birch & shroom.JPG

    Severed mushroom (used my ESEE RB3) back in the studio with magnifying glass.
    (If I'm found with one of these growing from my skull, you'll know why. :oops:)

    Glass & shroom.JPG

    Close up of underside of 'shroom. It's fractal.

    Shroom underside.JPG

    What I could look like a month or three from now.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  14. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Uploading ...
     
  15. Stone

    Stone Member

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    While you wait for said upload,
    please enjoy this.



    @Bushman5 , do they allow this kind of musi'que up there?
     
  16. Stone

    Stone Member

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    And for some reason,
    this image comes to mind

    5C-Steel kit - GBWH + RB3.JPG
     
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  17. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Sunday, March 26, 2017

    I spent 5+ hours down in the ravine at Ash Camp today. It turned out to be easily the best, finest, most peaceful, recharging {running out of adjectives} afternoon in the woods (or anywhere else) that I've spent in YEARS. Absolutely stupendous.

    I'm totally psyched by the camp now. Psyched. I predict that once I get my top and bottom quilts (starting a fundraising drive soon on crowdfunding with my extensive network of clients and friends), I'm going to spend substantive time there overnights.

    Took my hammock today, and successfully hung it (sans rain-fly) for the first time there. Laid in it for a long time just looking up at the ash and hemlocks below it, all against an azure sky background looking toward outer space where stars will be at night.

    Shot some video footage before my aging, rechargeable battery died (ordering a new one tomorrow). But then I shot stills of the hammock. I plan to edit the video footage of the first half of the afternoon over the next few days, then add a post-script done in the studio with the narrated stills. (That'll be fun, because with stills, I can take my time and use annotations to point out points of interest that might be overlooked in a video that moves more quickly ...)

    Took me a while to remember how to set the hammock up properly (height of slings on tree; taught ridge line; head end ~1' below foot end), but it's like riding a bike. I've got it dialed now.

    Here are a few teaser stills.

    Hammock with woobie.

    Hammock woobie 2.JPG

    View from hammock in couch mode looking west.

    Hammock chair view.JPG

    View in recliner mode.

    Hammock boots 1.JPG

    Yours truly in a state of Nirvana.

    Hammock w: Stone.JPG

    What I was looking at in the image just above: a majestic ash (name sake of the camp)
    framed by smaller hemlocks against a brilliant, azure sky.

    SAC - view from ham.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
  18. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Just making sure a few bushcraft buddies (at least) see ^that new post^.

    @Wolfman Zack @Zeek @Theodore @ManOfSteel @FortyTwoBlades @Bushman5 @anrkst6973 ...

    I'll invite more after sleep. Tired after 5 hours in the woods and a late dinner, then watched the videos. They need some editing, and have some audio issues -- the cam has a malfunctioning audio system now that produced annoying noise, but it doesn't obscure voice; I'll use noise reduction on the edit, and hopefully I will earn enough for a new cam -- Canon S120 -- in April.

    But I'm liking what I'm seeing in today's footage a LOT. Good potential there. I'm learning. :)

    Y'all come. (Literally.) Bring friends. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
  19. AddictedToSteel

    AddictedToSteel Member

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    Your note about "running out of adjectives" reminded me of Zane Grey's books. I have been reading them and I am impressed by his vocabulary. He can go on and on describing a nature scene and not repeat himself. To get a sense of it, check out "The Man of the Forest" and "The Mysterious Rider".

    His books go back a hundred years, but his descriptions indicate a vocabulary more expansive than any writer I have read before. Nice thing is that many of his books are available as free downloads on iTunes.

    Here is a sample from "Riders of the Purple Sage":

    The tips of the cottonwoods and the oaks waved to the east, and the rings of aspens along the terraces twinkled their myriad of bright faces in fleet and glancing gleam. A low roar rose from the leaves of the forest, and the spruces swished in the rising wind. It came in gusts, with light breezes between. As it increased in strength the lulls shortened in length till there was a strong and steady blow all the time, and violent puffs at intervals, and sudden whirling currents. The clouds spread over the valley, rolling swiftly and low, and twilight faded into a sweeping darkness. Then the singing of the wind in the caves drowned the swift roar of rustling leaves; then the song swelled to a mourning, moaning wail; then with the gathering power of the wind the wail changed to a shriek. Steadily the wind strengthened and constantly the strange sound changed.

    The last bit of blue sky yielded to the on-sweep of clouds. Like angry surf the pale gleams of gray, amid the purple of that scudding front, swept beyond the eastern rampart of the valley. The purple deepened to black. Broad sheets of lightning flared over the western wall. There were not yet any ropes or zigzag streaks darting down through the gathering darkness. The storm center was still beyond Surprise Valley.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
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  20. Stone

    Stone Member

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    ^He^ painted pictures with words, didn't he? Such a word smith. I really value writing talent like that.
     

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