I took a walk along the Joe Rodata trail with my friend Lindsey. Lindsey is an avid naturalist and tracker. We had a great time talking about the medicine wheel and many other topics. She is very tuned in to birds and pointed out the small sounds of the Spotted Towhee in the blackberry hedges, and the song of the Swainson's Thrush. "It harmonizes with itself," she pointed out. Listen here.
The St. John's Wort is in full flower along the trail with several very large patches. This one is mixed in with Teazel, a thistle with medicinal properties that is being used by Lyme patients.
A few other recent observations: Many small birds and mammals. Close call on the road last night with three separate fawns, one in Petaluma on I street and a pair on Robert's Road. A baby owl on Sonoma Mountain Road that flew away as the car approached. Lots of spiders in the house during the heat (a few in the bathtub every morning), and the orb weavers are really going at it in the garden. The cats are shedding hair by the handful. Several times when driving between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol recently I've seen a group of three White Herons flying in the vicinity of Highway 12 and Stony Point Road; yesterday I saw them over Oliver's Market. I wonder if in days gone by they might have been flying in large flocks. They are incredibly beautiful to watch. Michele and I saw one fly over Terra Firma Farm (in Petaluma) last night at dusk. We were there for a campfire talk given by Sal Gencarelle, a very fine teacher with deep knowledge of Lakota medicine ways. Michele and I were sitting facing a barn; a few minutes after the heron flew by a large owl came out the barn followed about 30 seconds later by another one. Their loud voices kept us company as Sal talked, along with several other night birds and some yipping that may have been foxes.
I should mention here that I was in Cooper's Grove on Saturday facilitating a Medicine Walk. The mosquitoes are already in decline. I heard one of the Red Shoulder Hawk babies still in the nest; I looked below the nest to see if the other one had fallen to its death like its sibling did two weeks ago, but I didn't see it. The Kites on the West edge of the Grove were very vocal, with two babies and the parents making a wider variety of vocalizations than I had heard before. They have a very sharp whistle followed by a cough.
Amos Clifford, Guide and Restorative Council Mentor; trainer in restorative justice, restorative dialogue with nature, and circle-keeping and the way of council; mentor.