While I was at the farm out East I harvested some woods I have trouble finding on the West coast. I harvested Green Ash from the grove in the beautiful fen behind the farmhouse.
I harvested Apple wood from an ancient heirloom apple tree with small green apples which dwells between the barn and farmhouse overlooking the fire pit. I took a huge branch from it, but the tree is so old and so massive that you can’t even tell I touched it after I was done. My trusty helper Ellie, my mom’s border collie, followed me from tree to tree overlooking my work and managed not to run off with any of the branches despite her stick-fetching obsession.
Lastly, I harvested Elm wood from a tree that had died a sad death and was cut down this winter. It’s beautiful wood and in Scandinavian folklore, it is said the first woman was birthed from an Elm tree and the first man an Ash. I took home woods of all sizes for wands, stangs, tool handles, fetiches, beads, and maybe even statuary…
I’ve been home for several days now and settling back into my life, keeping busy crafting talismans and crane bags and getting ready to restock the apothecary of my shop with smoking blends, incense, and my flying ointments. Thursday was a treat as a friend who is also a witch and artisan came over to visit me to bring me wood from her Dogwood tree that had to be felled due to infestation (she’s the one who gifted me the wood from her ancient rosemary bush when it died). We talked of art, woodcarving, pottery, and magic over tea.
As if that weren’t enough, she also brought me a box of bones she’d collected over the years from beaches during her kayaking trips. I was presented with a deer skull, a racoon skull, and two large bags of seal and deer bones. As a thank you, I sent her home with some flying ointments from my personal collection for her and her coven’s rites.
While we were ogling the bones, another bone collector, the awesomely-bearded Shaman, popped over with even more bones for me. He’d dug up a long-buried cat skull from a job site that might’ve been there for a century. It’s tiny, with just its perfect little fangs left. He also brought wolf and bobcat skulls to clean with peroxide. Inside one of the skulls was a goodly amount of flesh-eating beetles which he also brought me. Most of them died before arriving, but a few are still alive and we’ll see if they make it.
It’s perfectly normal to have a kitchen full of bones, macerating skulls, a pile of wings, a freezer full of dead things, and a tub of flesh-eating beetles… not counting the many carboys of mead, all the herbs hanging from the ceiling, and the dining room table covered in talismans (which I’m going to list for sale tomorrow morning once I’ve recovered from mischief after the Sharon Knight concert tonight).