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Observation of Natural Patterns & Chuck Norris Wood

Recently I was blessed with the opportunity to go along with a couple friends on a weekend caming trip. They took me to a semi local destination that I heard alot about. It was close to Cheaha State Park in Alabama. The name was High Falls / Odum trailhead. We left early that Saturday morning heading out for adventure. It took less than two hours for us to arrive at the parking lot located at the bottom of the trail. With our gear on our backs we set out up the hilly terrain to my friends favorite camp site. 
Once we located the campsite we began to unpack our things and prep for the cold night ahead. The forecast was calling for 28°F that night and it might have even been colder. The wind direction was hard to pin point due to the terrain around us. We eventually settled on the primary wind pattern and placed their tent and my hammock close to a natural wind break. 

After we had our sleeping arrangements made we grabbed our water bottles, filter pumps, and Lifestraw and headed down to the water. The water was crystal clear with a soft blue green hue that took my breathe away. The constant flow of water cascading down the large waterfalls was hypnotic. Large rocks and boulders dominated the landscape adding to its beauty. I noticed several budding brushes in the sunny areas where the rock and water meet. The edge where the beneficial components came together was allowing life to thrive. We spent the rest of the day climbing rocks, exploring, and meditating. 

Cascading falls oxygenating the water

It was good to disconnect from the world and connect with nature. I noticed several wild berry bushes along certain areas. In other areas I saw how indigenous trees had continued to grow ontop of boulders. They didn’t give up fighting to live even in these harsh conditions. The wood of those trees was very dense, near impossible to break, and loaded with btu’s. I’m still reseaching to determine the actual name of the tree but for now we will call it Chuck Norris tree.  The monoculture pines that were meant to replace them however did ok until they got to the edge where the ‘Chuck Norris’ trees thrived. The top layer of soil was visibly superior where the planted pines had not taken over. The mentals notes of all I had observed will help me in the on going design of the Path To Permaculture farmstead.

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Thankful For The Rain 

After the drought we experienced in the summer of 2016 you will not hear me complain about rain. The storms that have provided the recent precipitation have sadly caused alot of damage in some areas. High winds and tornados are not something I can be thankful for. The rain however is something I am thankful for.  

Along with some of the normal unseasonably warm days I’ve began to see life emerging from the soil. It was a few weeks ago I broadcasted rapeseed as fodder and root knot nematode control on my farmstead. After all those recent nights and days of straight downpours they have begun to grow. New wild strains of fungi have been spotted on my farmstead. Mushroom fruits such as wild oyster have emerged from hickory stumps felled 2 years ago. 

It’s been constant testing and retesting of my water harvesting systems by the rain events. Places that had previously washed out are now soaking up every drop I get of the vital resource. This has given me a feeling that what I am doing is working. I am not talking about major earthworks either. What I have done is very small scale moving of dirt along with laying logs on contour in keyline areas. Creating natural dams in gullys up hill has also proven effective in recent rain storms.
Keeping in mind where I’ve been and where I want to go, I’ve decide to be thankful for the rain no matter what…

‘Cause who knows how long I’ll have to wait ‘Til you come blowing back my way I’m learning to be thankful for the rain’