The Tree That’s Only Slightly Out Of Place

Greetings,

In the fields of biology and ecology, a specific word is used to describe a living organism that no longer inhabits a particular area:  extirpated.

An extirpated tree, for instance, grows in other regions of the world, but it no longer exists in a particular place that it formerly occupied.

An appropriate example is the Atlantic White-Cedar tree.  This coniferous tree formerly inhabited the state of Pennsylvania, though by the early 19th century all wild populations had been logged.  Atlantic White-Cedar is not extinct, however, because its range currently spans the Atlantic coastline.  Instead, this tree is considered to be extirpated from Pennsylvania because wild populations no longer grow here.

This past weekend, I encountered something fascinating:  a healthy population of Atlantic White-Cedar in Pennsylvania.  This population was located within a beautiful bog containing typical bog specialists including cranberry, huckleberry, pitcher plant, sundew, and dozens of other plants.

Interestingly, ecologists and botanists are well aware of these Pennsylvanian Atlantic White-Cedar trees, and even though this population of Atlantic White-Cedar seems to be thriving, the tree is still considered to be extirpated from the state.

But why?

In this brand new video, I discuss the topic and address a few pertinent questions.  If you are unfamiliar with the beautiful and majestic Atlantic White-Cedar tree, check out the video!

July through September is mating season for timber rattlesnakes in Pennsylvania, and in this recent Instagram post, I describe a very recent and close encounter with one of these beautiful creatures.

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan

The Miracle Of Woodpeckers

Greetings,

A few weeks ago, I decided to explore a familiar wooded area located only a few miles from home.  I didn’t have any particular goal in mind other than to enjoy a rainy afternoon in the company of blooming plants and trees.

Two hours of botanizing had passed before I headed back to the trailhead, fully satisfied having observed oaks, birches, and beeches in flower.

Just before I could complete my hike, however, I was suddenly alerted to a peculiar commotion emanating from the canopy.  I instinctively turned around to look at an American beech tree, and upon doing so I discovered something quite remarkable:  a pileated woodpecker nest, replete with an adult male and two juveniles.

With curiosity and amazement, I observed the adult woodpecker as he regurgitated insects and fed his hungry sons.  The whole ordeal lasted for only a minute before the adult departed and the juveniles retreated back into their nest.

Rather than snap a few photographs and end the interaction there, I decided to visit the nest every day until the juveniles left.

Two weeks later, I was utterly transformed by the entire experience.

In the following video, I discuss my rewarding observations and emotion-rich encounters with these beautiful birds.

If you’ve never experienced an active pileated woodpecker nest up close, this is your chance to do so.

You can watch the brand new video here.

 

Even during dry spells, delicious wild mushrooms occasionally make surprise appearances.  Such was the case with this Lion’s Mane mushroom — an edible fungus that I recently found on a black locust tree.  To learn more about Lion’s Mane, check out this recent Learn Your Land Instagram post.

 

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan

Forest Regeneration at the Druid’s Garden Homestead: Forest Hugelkultur, Replanting and More!

The Druid's Garden

Red Elder – helping the forest recover

The property was almost perfect: in the right location, a natural spring as a water source, a small and nice house with a huge hearth, areas for chickens and gardens, a small pond and a stream bordering the edge of the property….pretty much everything was exactly what we hoped.  Except for one thing: right before selling the property, the previous owners did some logging for profit, taking out most of the mature overstory of trees on 3 of the 5 acres. This left the forest in a very damaged place: cut down trees, lots of smaller limbs and brush, often piled up more than 5-8 feet high in places. I remember when I went to look at the property and started walking the land and just saying, “Why would they do this?”  It hurt my heart. Could I live here, seeing what had…

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The Occult War in Plain Sight

secretsoftheserpent

I have received several emails asking me what I think is going on in the world today.    With all the things I have uncovered in history, forgive me if I do not believe anything coming from the press, politicians, priests or bankers.  Yes, there is a virus.  Yes, people are getting sick.  Yes, people are dying.  This has happened throughout the history of the world.  No matter how bad the pandemic or plague was in history, the economy was never shut down.  Ever!  The number one motto of all religions, governments and press is “Never let a good crisis goto waste”.  Time to give them a taste of my venom. 

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Spirital Lessons of Ecological Succession for the Pandemic: Healing the Land, Healing the Soul

The Druid's Garden

The quiet that nature provides... Nature heals!

Ecological succession is nature’s approach to healing.  From bare rock, ecological succession allows forests to eventually grow.  Ecological succession has much to teach us as a powerful lesson from nature, and it is a particularly useful thing to meditate upon during the pandemic.  As we can look to how nature heals, it offers us guidance and stability during this challenging time.  Thus, today’s post introduces the idea of ecological succession and how these lessons can be helpful to us as spiritual lessons for thought and reflection. This post is part of my land healing series.  For earlier posts, you can see a framework for land healing, land healing as a spiritual practice, a ritual for putting the land to sleep, and a primer for physical land healing.

Ecological Succession

Because nature works on larger time scales, its not always obvious that nature is engaging in…

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Troll Mythology

Physical Land Healing: How do I know what to do?

The Druid's Garden

Some years ago, I remember one influential druid speaking at a major event and saying, “The best thing you can do in nature is pick up the garbage and get out.” From a certain standpoint, this perspective makes a lot of sense. It is the same perspective held by many conservationists trying to preserve pristine lands or lands that have been replanted and are healing; the best thing that can be done is figure out how to keep people from mucking them up, pick up garbage, and leave them undisturbed. This is a perspective ultimately rooted in the desire to care for nature, to preserve nature, and to do good. Unfortunately, this perspective doesn’t really seem to provide a meaningful way to respond to today’s problems ecologically because it’s largely based on assumptions that mitigate damage rather than actively regenerate ecosystems. This perspective as a whole teaches us how to…

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A New Page In My Chronic Pain Journey

Oro Cas Reflects

My name is Oro Cas and I am a chronic pain sufferer. A fifty foot fall in my 20’s, a lightning strike at 40, and 30 years of driving tractor-trailer have taken a toll on my body and nerves. As of my last spine series, I have 3 dead discs, 2 ruptured discs, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and degenerative disc disorder. Needless to say, I am a patient at a pain clinic where over the past two years I have gone from 10mg of Oxycontin once a day to 20mg twice a day.

I’m getting close to a time where there will have to be some major decisions made. Decisions that I dread. Do I have surgery with the hope of better mobility and pain relief? The opinions from two neurosurgeons were no help. One said call me when you’re ready for surgery, the other said you have a 50-50 chance…

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Ash Wednesday

secretsoftheserpent

I wanted to get this post out Wednesday, but have been super busy.  Sorry I couldn’t get it out until today.  Hope my readers enjoy.

What is Ash Wednesday?   Were the hell did this silly tradition come from?  We are told it is symbol of repentance to god.   Why do you need ashes for repentance?  The answer I get for that is it is to remember you came from dust and dust you will return.  Well, why not use dust?  This is yet another tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation and no one knows what it going on.  Time to enlighten.

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Gatekeeper, the God Portunus