Friday, February 28, 2014

Yesterday's post about starting a fire with flint and steel

                                                 opened a floodgate of memories. I decided to let things roll and try and recall life in the tipi.

Just keeping a fire going was a chore as the amount used depended on the season but was pretty constant. If I wanted a hot meal, I cooked it on a fire. If it was cold and I wanted to stay warm I built a fire.
In short I cut a lot of wood.

One got pretty good about keeping their eyes open for stuff. Tinder is one example. a walk in the woods seldom left me empty handed. If I spotted a cedar tree I'd sluff off some of the loose bark and put it in my possibles bag.

In the late summer when the birds had fledged and vacated their nests I'd see one and a single glance told me if it was made of twigs or grass. Twig nests got left alone. Grass nests got placed between my hands, got shredded and went into the possibles bag.

A mouse nest was a treasure. Two puffs on the char cloth on top of one and they would burst into flames. One of those went into the bag after the turds were flicked out.

There were these mountain cacti and they had little fruits on them. They were good to eat if you didn't mind peeling them. There were all sorts of little goodies out there if you knew about them.

I always had my eye out for game and had a deal with a local that would split a deer with me if I shot one. I did a couple of times and ate well for a long time.

Flints both as firestarters and for my rifle were all over the place if you kept your eyes peeled and knew how to knap them. Many none flint pieces of igneous rock worked well.

The part that is so interesting for me th think of thirty-seven years later is how casual things were. I didn't think of even looking around for things I needed because I seemed to know where they were without looking.

It is amazing how much the past twenty-seven years have dulled my senses to things but not totally. Every so often I flicker back when I'm outside and notice some little odd or end. The other day it rained and I observed the rain wasn't going to last very long. Then I wondered how I knew that after it stopped a few minutes later.

Then I simply I had subconsiously seen what the birds were up to. They know better than I do and generally when they birds disappear when it starts raining it isn't going to last very long.

It is simply amazing how much I have dulled out since I got civilized, yet sometimes it doesn't take a whole lot to snap at least a part of it back in.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY


  1. "Flints both as firestarters and for my rifle" - why does your rifle need flint - is it a flintlock?

  2. I have a flintlock. When I started shooting in competition I started in black powder