Lughnasadh on Black Pond

August 4, 2023

I took this picture on August 2nd on a still day with the trail to myself. I cherish these days when weather and privacy allows me to perform ritual outdoors. Decades ago, someone told me that this holiday is about taking stock of what you need to finish and what’s holding you back. The first grain reaped does not a harvest make. I prayed for support in the writing (and completion) of my current novel. It will be the fourth that I’ve considered worthy of publishing under my name. I actually had an offer from a publisher a few weeks ago, but I turned it down. Didn’t feel right. I took it as a sign that more developments are coming, that things are ripening. Pray for me, friends.

The Strangeness of an Odd Month of August

August 7, 2020

We’ve had a LOT of rain where I live this week. Going out for my walk in the woods the other day, it seemed to me that the trees and plants were feeling happy about the rain. Or maybe they were only happy to see me again.

First Harvest Blessings

August 3, 2018

Goshawk nest in birch tree. Photo: Jensens

Well, the goshawks, reportedly, have flown the nest. The trail is open and people report traveling unmolested. Not sure when I’ll walk that path alone again.

I heard reports last month of two other trails in the county where Northern Goshawks were threatening mountain bikers. The prevalence of goshawks in the Adirondacks has been a matter of speculation for years, with one theory being that they are too shy to give an accurate count. But now it seems that for one month out of the year they are more than willing to make their presence known. I wonder if numbers are recovering or if we’re having an irruption. Time will tell.

Here are some fun facts I learned about the Northern Goshawk.

1) They have such strong talons and are so aggressive that they’ve been known to pierce bicycle helmets in attack.

2) They hunt starlings, which is a major point in their favor. While starlings are famous for their accomplished singing skills, in North America they are an invasive species. Starlings are loud and obnoxious in large groups.

3) Goshawks kill a lot of Blue Jays and keep that native species in check.

4) They like to consume their prey on the ground and don’t have a lot of enemies (unsurprisingly).

5) People are more likely to be attacked when hiking solitary, although this year groups, including groups with dogs, have been attacked.

Things are returning to normal in the village. People are reporting nuisance bears who have learned to open garage doors, but that’s an ongoing problem, and at least the bears run away when they’re confronted.

Goddess of the Harvest

August 11, 2017

All Hail the Winsome Freya

Photo: Jerzy_Strzelecki

All Hail the Mighty Cerridwyn

Photo: Joshua Lutz

All Hail the Nourishing Demeter

Photo: Myrabella

These triple goddesses have traditionally been worshiped in porcine form. The pig embodies the generating, nourishing, destroying aspects of the Triple Goddess.

What’s in Your Harvest?

August 4, 2017

I’ve been eating very well lately. Here is my Lammas offering of food from my garden and local farmers: lettuce, carrot, radish, cucumber, tomato, blueberries, basil, bread. Thank you Goddess!