Monday, December 3, 2012

Season's first snow tracks!

A light snow and stiff North wind marked the morning as we headed out for this month’s Tracking Club meeting. Four brave souls, including little 22 month old Cuinn, climbed the hills of Kimbercote in search of tracks in the snow.
 Winter seems to have finally arrived here in the Beaver Valley and with it comes that white blanket that makes our job so much easier. Rabbits, squirrels, mice, deer, and many others leave their marks clearly in the snow and give us the opportunity to really study gaits. We covered the majority of the 100 acre property and spent some time on the Bruce Trail. 
The highlight had to be the tracks of a large deer moving just ahead of us in our wanderings. Maybe next time we’ll get to see it make those tracks and I hope you’ll join us in the search!
Garrin Carter

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tracking Club marks the important stuff

Better late than never they say. Nature felt this was the time to deliver the rains it had held close all summer onto the lands here in the Beaver-Valley area. I’m sure the rivers and ponds were quite thankful but it was a bit much for our monthly Beaver-Valley & Blue Mountain Tracking Club meeting to go out on the land. 

While not quite perfect tracking weather it was a great opportunity for us to gather in the bottom of the newly renovated Kimbercote barn and scrape some wood into fine new bows.

With projects in hand we settled in for a nice day of carving and conversation. Between draw knife strokes we talked of deer moving through the property and acorn production. We tillered and reminisced of tree climbing in our youth. Kyle shared some great stories of growing up from B.C. to the East Coast and a special ‘Thank You’ goes to Lisa Christine, who made a wonderful salad to share.

Hopefully next time we can get out and put our noses to the ground but to be honest we can do that anytime by ourselves. We get together to share with each other and build community. Some days don’t always take you to the places you think you’ll end up at when you walk out the door but this one gave us an opportunity to build connections with people we can relate to which is what community is really all about.

~Garrin Carter
2012 Apprentice
(Photo credit: Nicole Carter)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

To Build a Bow

Looking at the Sticks and Stones course calendar long ago I saw the heading ‘Bow Making’ and a wave of excitement washed over me. I’ve had a big place in my heart for archery since I was 11 when I took two archery courses at the local YMCA. For years I would shoot my little bow at the side of the house until my arms grew sore. A little while back I rekindled that love of the bow and have since tried my hand at field archery, hunting, and indoor target shooting. I own a few bows now but what I’ve always wanted is a bow I’ve made with my own two hands. I started looking into making bows but got intimidated and never followed through. This has been a chance to realize that long held desire.
Everything I had read in the past implied the steps were as simple as shape the wood, bend it, and shoot it. The truth is you need to know the wood you are working with intimately. You learn every bump and groove, every bend and knot. At the end of a long satisfying day of scraping you can close your eyes and see the grain. While the tools and the steps in building a bow are simple, it’s the patience and the care you take that truly create the final product.
I think back today to the large quartered log I started with and find it almost hard to believe that the beautiful piece I have now was once in there. Skeet often referred to bow building as ‘learning to speak wood’. I feel this experience has been the first few words in what I hope to be a long conversation.
-Garrin Carter  
2012 Apprentice