I have taught the ways of the wilderness for well over thirty years and have authored a novel which dives deep into the shadows which follow you as you traverse wilderness trails. It is my hope to reach as many people as possible to tell everyone that the wilderness is not a place to be wary of. It is the only place where a person can dig deep into their soul and find that which is hidden to them by modern day society.
~ R.G. Wright / Hawks Shadow

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

A Ruffed Grouse interrupts firewood cutting.

This ruffed grouse landed on my snowmobile while I was cutting up a downed tree for firewood. 

I shut the saw off and placed it in the snow, then I slowly sat down to address the little hitchhiker. 

I spoke to her quietly asking questions which obviously would never be answered. She flew onto the snow and waddled up to my foot where she poked and prodded my footwear. 

When I moved, she moved. When I walked away from her she ran after me. 

She disappeared  as fast as she appeared. I turned to pick up my saw and when I looked back, my new buddy was gone. 

I touched her head once while in her presence and she made a soft gentle sound indicating that she too was enjoying our time together.  

It was a great day. I did not get the amount of wood cut that I had intended, but these encounters are rare and there was no way I was going to dismiss it for a few extra loads of wood. The wood could wait for another day. 




Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Sounds from a beaver lodge.

Beavers live in a tight knit family group. When the kits are born, they suckle from mom for a month or more before she weans them off her milk and introduces them to a diet of plants. 

They are very vocal, chattering and talking to each other all the time, day and night.  

I love sitting on the lodge just to listen to the chatter of the little ones and to interact with mom as she fixes the "roof" of the shelter. 

One day, I decided to record the little beaver people. I placed a microphone into the vent hole of the lodge and hoped I would capture the conversation.  

The sounds you hear in this short video are those of the little ones within the lodge. No bigger than the palm of your hand - they make up for it with the power of their calls. 

Hope you enjoy their voices. 




Sunday, December 22, 2019

Beaver Mom Collecting Food For Winter


Her name is Betty, she moved into the pond in front of my home a couple of years ago and has become a close friend of mine. 

We sit on the bank together as she oils her coat and cleans her fur. She talks constantly and I do my best to pretend that I know her language. 

In this short video, she is gathering winter food for her raft which will keep her family fed through the ice filled months. 

She has taught me volumes about the ways of the pond and beaver folk. 

I share this moment in time with you so that you may see how we as humans can be accepted by the wild ones if we choose to lose our  egos. 



Something is watching me!

 
In my book, "A Long Paddle Home," the protagonist is haunted by his past and by a mysterious creature which follows his every move. 

In order to write the sentences within the story, I had to feel them first. 

With that goal in mind, I took a journey through Algonquin Park to the very place where a huge revelation within the story happens. The old Pine River Logging site on the Tim River. 

As I paddled toward the portage from Queer lake to the Tim River, the mist enshrouded shoreline allowed my imagination to run free. 

It was there within the mist that I was finally able to see the entity which wanders through the pages of "A Long Paddle Home." 

Shivers ran through me as I realized that this creature could actually exist.  

All indigenous cultures have a name for it. 

I call it - Agawaatesin. 

 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

An excerpt from the novel, "A Long Paddle Home."



After a long day of paddling, I settled in for the night and spent several hours ruminating on some ideas I had for my book "A Long Paddle Home."

As the fire pushed the dampness from my clothes, the steam mingled with the smoke and rose into the darkening sky. 

I envisioned Lisa - a character within the story, sitting by a similar fire and wondered how she would feel as the darkness slowly stole my sight.  

I found her voice and transcribed it into the book. 

This is a short excerpt from the novel. 

You can find it at Blue Heron Books in Uxbridge, Ontario, Masters Book Store in Haliburton, Ontario, and on-line at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Indigo. 



I found Yoda.


People have inquired as to where I found inspiration to write the novel "A Long Paddle Home." 

I often reply by simply saying the ideas within the story just appeared as I was writing. 

That is not the whole answer. 

I have wandered the forests for as long as I my memory serves. I have read thousands of messages written within the fabric of the landscape. 

From the silence of a mist enshrouded coniferous forest, to the banshee like wail of the wind as it bends trees to impossible angles during a thunder storm, I have witnessed nature as she weaves her stories into a mosaic which is too vast to comprehend. 

On day while laying on the ground inspecting an ant colony, the feeling of being watched forced me to  look to my right, sitting quietly on a leaf was the little fellow you see in the photo. 

I called him Yoda. 

The ideas for the story came from many such encounters. I have learned that to really feel the forest, one must slow down, lay down and look around. 

You are being watched. 

Once you are able to remove yourself from your own internal dialog, you will be able to absorb the lessons which the land chooses to teach you. 

I believe that little tree frog helped me to find the creature witch roams through the pages of "A Long Paddle Home."  


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Horse flies suck!



I spotted this young buck one morning as I was wandering around the pond in front of my house. 

I stalked to a patch of weeds and filmed him as he contended with swarms of horse flies. 

I sat quietly and forced myself not to swat at the incessant flies. 

These moments are rare, concentrate on the subject and don't worry about the audience. Soak it in because it will never be reproduced.  



Sunday, December 8, 2019

Why do I wander?



Rain hits the canvas cover of my lodge and drips from the smoke vent. I sit staring at the fire as it devours the wood I have placed into its embrace. 

The warmth of the flames infiltrates my clothes and warms my cold skin. I stare at the smoke as it rises and escapes through the open flaps to mingle with the rain. 

I ponder a question which is asked of me often. It is normally asked with innocence and a true desire to understand the answer. 

The problem is, I do not have an answer. This short video may help to provide some insight.

What is the question? 
Why do you leave this comfortable lodge to wander far out into the wilderness where comfort is but a memory?  



Sunday, December 1, 2019

Map and compass essentials. Finding yourself when you are lost.









Map and compass work may seem dull and boring at first glance; however, having the skills to use them is a must when traveling through the wilderness. 

Lakes may seem small on a map, in real life, they can be large and intimidating to the unprepared tripper. 

Prior to embarking on a canoe trip, I spend time with a map and compass to set bearings and jot them down in my note book. 

I do this because I want detailed knowledge of the route and because I never know when I may find myself on a dark enshrouded lake where landmarks are non existent. 

My compass is always part of my kit, I never leave home without it. 


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