Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Litterbusters! Giving back to the Nature Spirits

We had been talking for a while about doing something for the Nature Spirits and the land around the city, but we hadn't really done anything about it. However at Autumn Equinox the Nature Spirits called us out on it during the Grove Omen so we finally got our butts in gear and volunteered with the Forest Preserve of Cook County. Our first task was litter removal and we chose Evans Field in Jerome Huppert Woods where we do a lot of our outdoor rituals (Beltaine in particular as well as Autumn Equinox this year.)

We arrived around 10am, coffee and breakfast sandwiches in hand, on a beautiful late Autumn day. We met up with Jennifer, finished breakfast and grabbed our plastic bags and gloves, made some offerings and headed towards the little side grove where we hold our rituals.  The Forest Preserve can and will provide gloves and bags if you need them but Jack and Chris had some heavy duty bags and gloves left over from the flood so we used those instead. The offering was a squirrel feeder of corn that we thought the deer might enjoy. Ironically we had to break it up to get the plastic piece out of the middle (it's designed to sit on a pole) so we wouldn't litter! Jennifer also brought some offerings but we saved those for the end.

We each took a bag and split up, and even though the woods didn't seem  too littered soon we were finding all sorts of things. Mostly beer and booze bottles and junk food wrappers, but we got some strange and frankly gross things like used maxi pads (!). I found a nice metal pole that I used to tease bits of trash out of hard to reach places that Jennifer took home to stake her plants in her garden (see we recycled too!) While foraging for trash I explored parts of the woods that we never had time to explore on High Days, and in the woods on the far side of the field, I found some swamp land and a small spring!

Even though it seems I spent most of my time taking pictures, I actually did pick up a large bag of trash, we all ended up with a good sized bag each. After we had pretty much scoured the place of trash we grabbed Jennifer's offerings and headed to my newly discovered spring. She offered, honey, an apple, a banana, corn, and oats. We are pretty sure the trees around us were filling up with hungry squirrels eager for our departure so they could feast! Afterwards we headed to Jack and Chris' house for yummy Guinness stew and to plan our Samhain ritual.

All in all it was a fun day, the weather was great and it feels good to help the land and the Nature Spirits. We plan on doing something monthly from now on. It will vary by season, but will include things like invasive species removal, more litter busting, and anything else they want to train us for. Anyone who wishes may join us, you can RSVP (which is really helpful since the Forest Preserve likes to know how many people to expect if they have to give us supplies or training.) Anyway have a blessed Samhain and Happy New Year! :)


1 comment:

  1. Hi there, I was wondering if you could show me where the spring is? I just came across an obscure reference to it in a geology pamphlet and now I'd like to go see what became of the "sylvan dell" as it was called.