Usually, when I start to see geese or crane flying North, I know the fiddleheads are almost ready. These are the early unfurled ferns that like to grow in moist areas, such as near creeks or by the bay. In their raw form, fiddleheads have a toxin that can be removed by boiling the cleaned greens for five minutes then rinsing well before cooking or pickling. I like to pickle mine with a easy to remember solution of 3/4 water 3/4 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 tsp salt along with pickling spices. Soon Devils club shoots and masu are what is harvested the same time as fiddleheads. Dandelion jelly is batter up and spruce tip syrup. I love harvesting goodness from this area!
There is something about the first breath you take in when you step outside in the morning. I question myself “am I smelling spring?” Soon the sweet smell of flower blossoms will mix in with one of my favorite smells, right up there with baby’s first breath, is fresh greens. The smell of new life, it is intoxicating.
I look forward to harvesting fiddleheads and pickling them. I look forward to the mud! Why mud? Even though it may seem messy and a chore to clean up, mud represents the changing of the seasons. Spring or fall, times and seasons change and each season should be looked forward to. Different seasons give us different opportunities. Take each opportunity with a smile on your face because surely a new season is upon us!
Have you ever been driving down the street and stop to let an ambulance pass? First thought? I lift up the people being tended to in prayer, I pray for the EMTs going to the crisis. Do not for one second, doubt the power of prayer. Each and every single prayer makes a difference in this chaos we call life. Where two or more are in agreement, He is there! Do you ever meet a stranger through a simple hello? Not knowing a single detail about their life, do you lift up their life in prayer? Always ending in “Your will be done?” A few months ago I saw something beautiful, not in person, but online. It was a picture of one million children in India praying for world peace. It touched my heart, what would your reaction be? I joined them in prayer. The children took the initiative to pray for sometime that this world desperately needs. This is prayer week for Alaska and He will hear our prayers. A chain link of seven for each day of the week. We lift each other up in prayer and believe it makes a difference because it truly does. Amen!
When we grew up, each spring our family would go look for and gather eggs. All different types, every day for a couple of weeks was like Easter. Seagull eggs are green with brown dots, most bird eggs share similar characteristics with varying shapes and size. Duck, geese, swan, ptarmigan, arctic turn, and the small eggs we came across that we did not eat, we did not touch, it wasn’t allowed. When a human touches the eggs of birds in the wild, and does not gather them, the mother will abandon the nest.
I was always sure to carry a stick and wear a hoodie. Mother and father birds are fierce protectors of their nests. We had to be fast and nimble and in a sense cunning. Knowing what to look for on the flat tundra with many lakes. Myself and my four siblings were all very competitive when it came to who found the most eggs. I can remember where all the hot spots are. One summer our family went, what we call egg hunting, down the coast. We camped in a white wall tent on an island and it took maybe a day to cover many ground. I was running from lake to lake as fast as I could run. I was pretending to be in the Olympics hurdling event jumping over tall groups of grass. When I jumped over a good patch a ptarmigan flew out and I was so surprised, startled. I found five eggs. See, as soon as a birds nest becomes empty, they quickly lay more eggs. We do not gather eggs near the end of egging season, so that the chicks have a chance at surviving. We ate all the eggs boiled, sometimes my mom would make wild egg cakes or bake with them. The taste of fresh wild gathered eggs are more rich than chicken eggs. The consistency is rubbery for the whites and the yolk is creamier.
As spring nears month by month I miss harvesting fresh nutritious bounties. The first time I saw an ant was egg hunting. The first and only time I came across something amazing and unexplainable was egg hunting. It was a rock inlaid circle path, very old and very small on a tiny mound on the tundra. I showed it to my mom after I looked and admired this creation. It was a perfect spiral. I grew up believing it was made by the Ishigaqs, or what our culture refers to as small people. In our oral tradition we pass down legends of old. Most teach respect for nature and people alike. When I showed my discovery to my mom, she grabbed my hand and we were all of a sudden in a hurry to leave. Everyone had to go back to the boat to go hunting in a new spot. I hope to find it again one day and take a picture, of course only with my Moms approval. I remember the relative location of where it was.
I hope all of you are truly able to reminisce about good times in your life but never forgetting that each day is a new day for memories to be made. So we make the best of each day, for tomorrow is not promised. Love and be love ❤️
Beluga whale skin and fat prepared by boiling for 5-10 mins. Salt to taste. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and something I feel blessed to be able to eat. One cannot go to a store to buy whale, one cannot sell whale, only at the table of those allowed to hunt will you be able to eat Muktuk.
I have a theory that this brilliant mind was able to use not only air as a conduit for electricity, but perhaps he went one step further and mastered an even faster way using water. H20 is the best conductor of electricity in its non polluted state because it could be directed rather than flay about aimlessly. All forms of life need this essential compound. I like to envision his ideas of free energy for everyone. One day people by the masses will become awake and realize the evil people in this world do not control it, every day common people, good hearted people have the capability to change the world. When thoughts and ideas are stripped of selfish desires they become free. When this world becomes selfless and we as a race come together for that what is good, that is going to be amazing. I love to give ideas in hopes that someone who is more capable of accomplishing it does just that, accomplish ideas for a better world.
Today I used my wood burning iron for the first time. This is what we call punk in Alaska. In ash form it helps absorb other substances more intensely. It would be interesting to study its effects in other combinations besides nicotine, considering that is what a lot of natives mix it with I’m sure it could play a more useful part perhaps absorbing nutrients that are beneficial. I’d like to try mixing some ash with chaga tea or Labrador tea along with my rosehip petals and spruce resin. Possibilities are endless with an open mind.