Avalon Gathering and Wildwood Wandering

This ancient birch is probably over 200 years old, and is perhaps the largest in the Maritime provinces.

This ancient birch is probably over 200 years old, and is perhaps the largest in the Maritime provinces.

Daphne and I returned last night from the second Avalon Gathering where I had the good fortune to share the company of Brooke Oland, an organic farmer and excellent naturalist, and Paul and Anne Comham, who run a school of bushcraft and aredeeply devoted to environmental care. We missed the first day of the three day event due to a sudden need–imposed upon us by Mother Earth–to can a sudden ripening of many of our tomatoes, but days two and three were great all the same. These days I get up around 0400 to 0500 and could not manage to stay up as late as all the festivities went on, but it was still fun.

The Avalon Gathering is a pagan-friendly medieval fair, and among many other activities, we celebrated Paul and Anne’s 30th anniversary with a finely done handfasting, complete with harping and long swords. We had the pleasure of seeing what is perhaps the most massive birch in the Maritimes, and went hiking the old forest surrounding their homestead. Barred owls made for good night company and deer and moose tracks made for interesting spoor. Camaraderie at the potluck and some talented musicians, such as John Lavers and Tom–a remarkable traditional flautist–made for fine fireside music. You should have been there!

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