Outdoor Lore and the Lure of a Good Cup of Coffee

Autumn … let that sink in for brief moment.

Dense fog and moisture in the air, dewy wetness on all things still green and those turning color too.Rusting leafy foliage falling away baring their now stark treed host. Dried corn plants shuffling their crinkly leaves await the harvesters blade and the pale early morning sky fuzzy misted over as the sun begins to burn through with a cool and bright effort. And pumpkins dotting this or that field or ornamenting this or that farmer stand or door steps.

Yup, it’s fallish out there folks.

And I’ve got a hankerin’ to be out there, to spend time in the thinning woods. Where green turns to rust and mushrooms show themselves off against the leaf littered forest floor, some pretty, some ugly and all of them fascinating.

Yesterday I gave in to that hankering and hunkered down the evening before to prepare my daypack for a short day trip into the local deciduous woods. The air felt fresher, the temperatures chillier and my step quicker so as to generate a bit more body temperature even though my wool mix hoodie kept me snug and warm.

It being a Saturday morning, the forest lanes and roadways (this is Germany and the woods are crisscrossed with ‘Waldwege’) were empty. I had the place mostly to myself. And as I often do, I wondered where the wild boars were. But most of all I was anticipating my first cup of outside coffee.

Clear Lake OR Camping 2012 ciaodarlingciao.wordpress.com

goodness (ciaodarlingciao.wordpress.com)

If you’ve ever made a delicious cup of hot coffee outside you may know the pleasure I speak of. No, not a cup of instant crap but the real ma-coy, boiling water poured into a coffee filter over a large cup. The result a brew so good that it nearly blends into the surrounding beauty. Ah ok, so the heady scent of a freshly brewed cup of java out there is kinda out of place as it were but it does the body good. If you prefer a good hot cup of tea would also do the trick I suppose but coffee is my choice for moments like that.

I spent some time looking around and gathering a bit of firewood, smallish bits and processed them into suitable sizes to accommodate my Bush Box multi fuel pocket stoves’ small size and then set to building the fire that would boil the water that would release the intense flavored coffee into my cup and then my mouth. It took a little while but the time spent doing the work was well worth the efforts.

Bush Box

By the time my cup was filled, the sun had begun to shine on the spot I’d selected for the coffee ritual.

I sat back and just liked being there.

dancing canadians

Canadiana 115

Canadians like a bit of music too. And the dancing that goes with hit (it spelled the way it is pronounced with French Canadian accent)

Cue Music Video now … click it for Canadian Dance Moves

Extracted straight from the youtubes … word for word like this:

Learn Canadian dance moves with this handy video!

In this educational video, you will learn the basics of the most time-honoured and traditional Canadian dances:

– The Lumberjack
– The Friendly Backpacker
– Scrape the Windshield
– The Cross-Country Skier
– The Beaver
– Pile the Poutine
– Pump the Keg
– Skate the Pond
– Spell Your Name in the Snow
– The Curler
– The Glove Save
– The Dog Sled
– Paddle the Canoe
– Skip the Goose Poop
– The Maple Leaf
– Carry the Two-Four
– Tap the Syrup
– Cold as Ice
– Raise the Cup

Van46 Digital

Concept and Dancing: Stina Diös and Liam Kearney (@kearneycation)

Camera: Jeff Higgins (@jeffhiggins – http://jeffhiggins.ca)

Music courtesy of Julia Bentley & Andrew Gunadie:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWQf13B8epw

Buy “Canadian, Please” on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/canadian-please/id324750877?i=324751049


Life is getting shorter. If you do not feel joy in what you do, you are not enjoying yourself.



I like it …

Winter Snow

Some love it, some hate it, the rest of us tollerate it. I’m in the tollerate camp on the seasonal white stuff.

I don’t much like snow; on the ground that is. I like it up in the mountains where it belongs, or on pretty postcard pictures and cheerful ski holiday advertizing. I used to ski and remember that special relationship I then had to snow.

Walking in/on the stuff is akin to walking on Sand, something else I am not too fond of; and besides who really enjoys that kind of groin work out. You know the feeling, getting home after a treacherous walk along the snow encrusted and lumpy iced sidewalk spotted with few and far between bare salted patches, where the going gets better for  a few steps and then suddenly your groin ‘antislip’ muscle technology is taxed to the max when you hit another slick patch and try to stay on your feet and/or at least keep your footing. Ok, so it’s a good work out, but lets agree that it is also involuntary.

I’ve lived in all kinds of winter weather areas, in places with normal winters, snow fall, snow staying on the ground for the prescribed winter time, in places with little snow an just cold temperatures and grey skys, and places with so much snow that it scares the crap out of you just watching it fall because shoveling the stuff becomes a full time job, and in places where rain replaces the white stuff.

My recent snow experiences are from the latter rainy places where the unexpected white stuff interferes with driving and general mobility of everyone.

I am betting that those larger furry canine pets love the change from rain to snow and the colder temperatures and enjoy the opportunity to test the winter coats they have to wear in every season.

When it does snow in those places where a steady winter rain is the norm, some people react in a very irrational way. Some think that just because they are in a big vehicle that they can drive in any situation like normal; except they rely too much on their vehicle and not their own skill in driving on snow. Others run screaming from their cars, abandoning them where they swerved to a stop in the white stuff, or where they got stuck and then there are those others who try to spin their tires and their way out of ‘being stuck’ with well intentioned but ill thought out ‘foot on the gas’ gusto. Others obviously have experience with the white stuff and know how to drive in it. An then there are some who declare that “my car/van/truck doesn’t drive in the snow” That one always makes me chuckle…. WTF? Of course your vehicle will deftly handle even those conditions if you know what you’re doing.  It is ‘you’ who do not know how to pilot your vehicle through these seasonal conditions properly. Still chuckling.

But why am I scribbling on about all the different reactions to snow on the ground? Cause I don’t like the stuff much, lol.