Here Before

“Once I had a child
He was wilder than moonlight
He could do it all
Like he’d been here before

Once I had a child
She was smiling like sunshine
She could see it all
Like she’d been here before

Then I had a child
Took his while like northern summer
And he knows it all
Like he’s been here before.”


Our weekend in Shasta County was a blessing of luscious and luminous Autumn. We walked the wilds of Battle Creek, where the Salmon run is just finishing and the Vulture People warm their wings and full bellies in the Fall sunshine.




Jeff and Fern plopped rocks in the creek and I went for a walkabout.




The fuzzy rosette of Wooly Mullein. I am a little abashed to admit this, but a leaf with dew drops makes a perfect pre-moistened baby wipe. Fern had a bit of an accident.


Fuller’s Teasel.


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I…I took the one that got me lost.

They began circling.


And then I noticed that somebody was slumming it with the Vultures.



He led me back to my family. We found another spot by the creek and played Pooh Sticks with Oak Galls.

Boy, you sure have a lot of gall.

Jeff wearing his streetscore Star Wars shirt and knocking down galls for Fern. I laugh and think of this everytime I see this pic.




Wild Grapes.

Another fine morning found us, of course, down at Vulture Flats. We’ve all been here before. Welcome home.

I haven’t seen her for nearly a year, but shortly after our arrival, a friend came a callin’.



The sound of a hawk’s cry penetrates to my bones like a sweetly sharp arrow, and the air is rendered crystallin.




I’m trying to come up with a new name for my professional Ecopsychology/therapy blog. Jeff suggested “Moss Appeal.” Which is hilarious to the two of us and probably no one else. (By the way, I’m taking suggestions and your strokes of genius).





Water painting.


Find the kingfisher.

I like taking blurry photos of birds. Ahem.

Leaving this time was not so painful. I have been feeling so entwined with the unseen magic that exists…well, everywhere…but vividly and startling out of doors, be it in the Bay Area or in my beloved stomping grounds, that departing did not leave me heartbroken. Some of you were wondering if there were any shenanigans from The Presence. I was utterly miserable every evening as twilight ended and the humming that signals the arrival of Whateveritis would begin. I did several offerings of sacred smoke, as well multiple conversations and prayers and stated, again, that harmful mischief would not be tolerated. While I felt it hovering over me while I slept, by the end of our stay it was very mild and seemed satisfied. I think it’s a bit of an attention whore.

Y’all have one more day to enter The Giveaway (I can’t wait! Who will it be?) Drawing names will provide great fun during what looks to be a sopping wet weekend here in Nor Cal. Have a beautiful one folks.


7 thoughts on “Here Before

  1. Yay for entwinement with unseen magic! It sure is radiating from your posts these days! They are making me want to go for a hike with you, to be in your lovely presence of course, but also just to see what happens, haha 🙂 Lucky Fern to have a mama who draws such magic and wonder from the natural world. In fact, what you said in a previous post, about her perhaps growing up taking it all for granted… what a gift to have a childhood where forest friends popping up around every bend feels commonplace!

    Sorry I’ve been so lax about commenting lately, I tend to do that once I finally get a big long post of my own written. I am not a cranker outer of big posts, those things take days for me! By the way, thank you for your sweet comment, it warmed my heart, put a smile on my face, and was very much appreciated 🙂

    Yesterday on the way to school Clover asked when she would get to play with “baby Fern” again? Then she corrected herself and said “well, Fern’s not really a baby anymore.” Haha

    Well, I’m glad I’m not too late for the giveaway, off to comment there…

    Holy Smokes, a torrential downpour just started here 😀

  2. You know, I’ve been following your journeys through this blog for such a while now that you going to Shasta County, or even moreso Vulture Flats, is a little like returning home for me now. When I see your photos and read about the visit, it feels as if “oh yeah, we’re going home for a bit”…and there is a strange feeling of comfort and familiarity. It looks so right to see Fern there, water painting….one day she’ll skim those pebbles instead of plopping them. I noticed our presence getting loud around here lately too, only up to a few days ago though, then quiet again… up to mischief following me around and misplacing things, i didn’t feel any malice though – OR, – alternatively, i could have premature dementia. Okay, I have a blog name for you….it isn’t good though….wait for it….”Two paths converged”. For some reason that poem always reminds me of a path in the woods, and there is a pscyhological element to it right….right? “A Path through the woods”? Otherwise, in the vein of Moss Appeal….what about Loaded Lichen. Now, I’m all excited to see what name you come up with!
    I actually like Moss Appeal. But it does make me think of LiveAid for Moss. Bring out a song, “Save the lovely moss” You could even do T shirts. Okay, too far.
    love you. x

  3. Mary. Oh Mary. These pictures are such balm to my soul. It is such fun to take these journeys with you guys. Of course, it makes me wish I could some day take them in person, BUT one of the beauties of these world wide webs of connectedness is that you get to visit places you might never go to in person, just after breakfast.

    These seem magical lands, like only an ecosystem I’ve never visited can.
    So many beautiful (blurry 😉 birds, a land where mullein sister thrives in the wild (here she fails to thrive in my garden even…). I love the picture of Fern next to one.

    I’m so grateful to you for these travels and look forward to even more exposure when you get “Moss Appeal” up and running. It would actually be totally awesome if you talked more about what you do here on Terralectualism. It seems like a fascinating profession.

    Bye for now, dear heart.

  4. Those bubbles look like pearls! And I love that the eagle guided you back, and that you were able to get such beautiful photos! I saw an eagle on fourth of July (funnily enough), but wasn’t able to snap a pic.

    Like I’ve said before, I am enamored with your blog. I love the wisdom you share and how you capture your life. I am so excited for the new blog!!

  5. this breaks my heart. your words and moods and photos are so fluid….

    when you talk about smudging that funk i pang away; i know it.
    but i am not so adept at recognizing or naming it, making me even less equipped to work through it.

    when i visit my parents up in my old forest home i can hardly sleep there, perhaps some psyche panic, and yet in the morning and i am so loathe to leave, to return to my newer suburban dwelling.

    but it’s been over a year, and i know where to find the wild things.
    can’t wait for your eco-psychology blog….wish i was clever enough to suggest a name.

  6. have i ever told you how much i love your bird shots? how much they make my heart soar? well they do. darin loves vultures. as soon as he’s out of the shower i’m going to show him these, that one of the noble old soul stretching his wings, so glorious. also loving fern stretched out creekside and just every bit of these outdoor adventures in general.

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