Monday, November 9, 2009

Scavenging Gitchee Gumee

One of the stereotypes of the male/female role is that of men being the hunters and women being the gatherers. I know from personal experience that isn't case since the GurneyGranny is a noted killer of bucks and our friend Brian is the berry gathering master of northern Minnesota. When it comes to collecting beach glass from the shores of Gitchee Gumee though, the Voice of Reason is an undisputed master. The only guy I know that can spot the elusive beach glass as well as the VOR is the KingOfIronwood, and I suspect its because he's closer to the ground than most of us.

Lunch stops on obscure beaches and islands seem to be the best time for collecting. Areas where there has been human habitation for centuries, like the Apostles (one of the reasons why the 'wilderness' designation kind of irritates me) seem to have more beach glass that areas that have been true wilderness. Its kind of funny how garbage can transform into a collectible with the passage of time but I guess that's how it works. I will admit that my normal behavior on a lunch stop is to find a comfortable place to sit, break out venison beer sticks, cheese, crackers, a beer, and actually have a lunch break. The VOR, GurneyGranny, and others often graze on their pita bread, hummus, and celery sticks as they scavenge the beach, multitasking with excellent results. I did manage to find one of the more interesting pieces however, mainly because I nearly stepped on it while strolling up to the vegetation line to increase the salinity of a small area of real estate. It was a large brown piece which was part a gallon bottle. We could just make out the 'Clorox' on it (click to enlarge). You can read the rest of the story on the VOR (and sisters) blog.

The VOR and her sisters all do creative stuff with natural materials like rocks, gems, beach glass, wool, wood, leather,and yes, even deer antlers. You can check out all the stuff and the comments on the SistersHandmade blog site and their various etsy sites. I personally own a pebbled leather planner, complete with cherry wood spine and a deer antler closure. Its the envy of my deer hunting buddies. Note the Rook viewing/sniffing said planner. Shed antler hunting is another gathering activity that we all participate in but that season is in March when the snow is just about melted and the bears are coming out of their dens. It always amazes me to see what can be created with stuff that's found laying around on the beach or in the woods. I'm not creative enough to pull it off but am happy to support the folks that are.

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