Green Ash wood and leaves

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.

Fresh-cut apple wood


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.

Sawing the dead Elm tree

Bundles of wood to sneak on the plane

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…

A gift of dogwood

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.

A gift of bones and skulls

Seal and white-tail deer bones

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.

Deer, cat, and raccoon skulls

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).

Join the discussion 14 Comments

  • Cin says:

    Caaaaat!!!!! Meow!

  • Gwennie says:

    It sounds like a proper witches kitchen to me, the kind I used to imagine when I was a kid :-)

  • Angelina says:

    It’s totally normal…. Until a guest wonders why a partially-fleshed skull came tumbling out of the ice dispenser lol


  • A beautiful collection!

  • kamonra says:

    I always love your posts! Everything I read gives me a healthy dose of jealousy! ^_^

  • I had no idea that you were a lefty. Of that you had such great taste in boots…

    • lol, I’m not, I’m ambidextrous for just about anything but writing – I do have good taste in shoes though… so I like to think.

      • badger says:

        Hair and shoes are two things of MAJOR importance. Back when I wore white Reebok high tops and had a mullet, women avoided me like the plague. T’was a lonely time in my life, but when I finally realized the hair and shoes were the deal breakers, I got a haircut and started wearing Vans.

  • I understand about dogs and sticks. My beloved Conan would do the same thing, as quick as you were piling it up, he was helpfully “relocating” it to his position of choice. The wood looks wonderful though!

  • manxwytch says:

    Just had a moving company come through the house and had to explain that, yes, all the sticks and burls and chunks of wood would be coming on the move, and I had to pack up five snake skeletons and assorted other bones and put them in the ‘do not touch, I’ll be moving these myself’ room. Tinctures, incenses and herbs in antique jars are going to cause some trepidation…on their part and on mine; it’ll be a helluva mess if any of them break in transit.

  • Cunning Man of the East says:

    Ahhh… Such a wonderful image of a true witch’s house full of bones, hanging herbs, and grease over the place… :)

  • Sarah says:

    Great post! Love all the bones! Along those lines, I have a question for you. I live down here in the Bahamas and recently found two perfectly preserved desiccated frogs as well as the cutest little House Gecko. They probably got stuck in the house while it was closed up for our summer trip. Anyway, what in the world can I use them for? I have them with my Craft supplies and was just going to incorporate them into my mixed media book of shadows cover when I finally get around to it. Anything more proactive? Thanks!

  • Great blog & very beautiful bones! i also share the love of collecting bones & will someday have a camera to photograph them. thanks for sharing yours.