24 December 2006

Merry Christmas!


Well, we're having a mild Christmas Eve here
on the south shore of Nova Scotia. I think it's
quite wonderful, although some of my friends
would like a white Christmas rather than the
green one that's in store for us.

I went for a short walk along the old mining
road. It's rather greasy with lots of water filled
pot holes. After stepping in a dozen or so of
those holes, I decided to make my way back
to the house.

As I was returning home, I saw Santa and the
raindeer pass high overhead. The old fella must
have been drinking, because I heard a bottle fall
amongst the bushes not far from where I was
walking. I soon discovered an empty rye bottle
caught up in the limbs of a small fir tree.

I suppose we should forgive Santa for having the
odd drink on Christmas Eve. After all, he's got
millions of homes to visit all over the world. He
must get scratched and bruised and black all
over from the soot of so many chimneys!

As I waved to the tiny image receding in the far
distant sky, I thought I heard "Ho Ho Ho! Gimme
me another bottle, Rudolph," on the breeze
blowing in from the southwest.

All the best!

18 December 2006

The Flight of Jim Charles -- Part 6


Below is the final part of the short story about
the legendary Jim Charles. I've enjoyed the process
of giving it in a series of posts.

I'll be back with a new post later in the week!

All the best,

Part 6

"Now, soon afterwards, Jim's wife went home, and was
visited by a lawyer who told her that he didn't think Jim
would hang for killing the man. When Jim heard this news,
he quickly returned home; besides, after all he had been
through, he really didn't care what they did to him.

"Well, Jim and this lawyer went to Annapolis, where
Jim had to stay in jail until the court date. At the trial,
Jim was found 'not guilty,' and released. He was a free

"In the meantime, Jim's wife had gotten quite ill. She
had been sick, even before Jim went to jail. She had
wanted Jim to get gold from his mine, to pay for her
medicine. But, he was afraid to visit the mine – afraid
of the dead man's ghost!

"So, when Jim got home, he found his wife on her dead
bed. She passed away that night." Here, Louis paused
again, as if thinking back to that horrible night, years

"Well, Jim pretty much lost his mind over her death. He
burned the house and barn. His little boy never forgot
that fire. He helped his father burn everything to the

"So Jim took his little boy to Bear River, and left him
with the Mi'kmaq people, there. That's where the little
boy grew up to be a man. It was also the last time that
anyone ever saw Jim Charles.

"Some folks say that he drowned in Rossignol. Other
people claim that the dead man's ghost still chases Jim –
that they've heard him. Another story says that he went
back to the gold mine, and that the dead man keeps
him there. Me, I don't know? Maybe one day someone
will find that gold mine – it's hard to say for sure.
I don't know."

Louis sat quiet, plucking the grass at his feet. I was
silent, also, as I pondered the flight of Jim Charles. I
looked around at the beauty of the place. The tall pine
and hemlock, the beautiful field slopping to Kejimkujik
lake, with its islands and sparkling water.

Then it dawned on me. I looked at Louis and said, "Your
last name's Charles! You must be that little boy! Are
you Jim Charles' son?"

Louis lit his pipe again, and took a few puffs. He looked
at me and grinned. "I think maybe you make a pretty
good guess," he said.

-- The End --

15 December 2006

The Flight of Jim Charles -- Part 5


I hope everyone is having a good December. Here is
the next part of the Jim Charles story.

All the best,

Part 5

"This torment went on all summer. Every night he'd
hear the sounds, and he's have to run and hide in
some hole, where they couldn't find him. In the
daylight, he was fine. He was able to sleep, catch
fish, and eat berries.

"There were nights when Jim would find a beaver
house; then, he would dive under the water, and
enter that beaver house. The beavers understood
him. He would stay there all night with those beaver.

"Jim would hear the hounds on top of that beaver
house, scratching and digging, and whining until
daybreak. The beaver would stay close to Jim, and
keep him company. If those frogs would start calling,
the beaver would swim out and smack the water
with their tails. The sound would scare the frogs, so
they would scatter and stay quiet. In the morning,
Jim would dive back into the water, and leave that
beaver house.

"In the fall season, Jim found himself near Rossignol,
where fish were plentiful. One day he looked far
upstream and saw a canoe carrying a man, woman,
and little boy. But he was afraid to go closer. He
figured it was his brother, with Jim's wife and little
boy, on their way to his brother's winter camp,
where he would trap and hunt moose."

Here, Louis paused, to fill his pipe with tobacco. I
looked out over Kejimkujik lake, imagining how this
place must have looked to Jim Charles.

"Now, by this time, Jim wore only a few rags tied
around his body. When he finally decided to visit his
brother's winter camp, his wife and child were terrified
of the wild looking man that suddenly entered the
lodge! But Jim's brother knew him right away.

"The little boy, he never forgot how Jim looked that
day. Jim explained how he had been chased by
hounds all summer, but his brother assured him that
neither hounds nor white men had chased him.
But, Jim wasn't convinced. He said that he had heard
the hounds every night.

"So, Jim's brother said that maybe the ghost of the
dead man had chased him? Jim got to thinking that
his brother's words made sense. It explained why he
had such difficulty keeping the hounds off his trail.

to be continued . . . . (The final part of the story
will be posted on Sunday evening.)

12 December 2006

The Flight of Jim Charles -- Part 4


Now, the story get's interesting, as Jim Charles
takes flight into the wild back country of south-
western Nova Scotia!

Part 4

Louis tapped on his pipe to loosen the tobacco,
before placing the pipe stem back into his mouth.
He puffed away on his pipe, as if considering his
next words.

"Jim was plenty scared. He jumped into his buggy
and drove home like a mad man. He was afraid the
authorities would hang him, but his wife tried to
convince him otherwise. ‘No, that other fella started
the fight,' she said.

"But, pretty soon Jim started hearing things – he
thought he heard the white men coming up the hill to
get him. So, he left his wife and little boy, and ran
away into the forest.

"Now, Jim Charles was the best hunter that ever lived
in these parts; he knew all the woods between
Kejimkujik, Rossignol, Little Tobeatic, Big Tobeatic,
and Bear River. He figured he'd hide in those woods,
and after a while he'd move far away, change his
name, then send for his wife and little boy.

"When he left that night, he took a fish line and
hook – he knew that he could easily build a trap,
and he even left his gun for fear the white man would
hear him shoot. Jim wanted to vanish into those
woods, and never be heard from again.

"So, he left home, wife, and family, going deep into
the woods where nobody could find him. Then, one
night, for some reason, Jim began to get very scared.
He kept thinking about that man he'd killed, and how
he looked lying there, dead. So, he quickly tramped
out the fire, and sat there in the dark, listening.

Pretty soon, he thought he heard blood hounds
barking, and was certain the white man was coming
for him. In Jim's mind, even the frogs in the swamp
were mocking, and calling at him. 'Shut up, you frogs,'
Jim called, but that only made them call louder!

"Jim jumped up and began running, falling over logs
and rocks, wading and swimming in the stream
where he caught that trout. He knew the hounds
couldn't track him in water. Soon, he got very tired,
and came on shore to rest – but he heard those blood
hounds again, so he ran back into the water, and
made his way upstream. After a while he left that
stream, and ran through brush and swamp, half tearing
his clothing from his body. And, the frogs, they were
still calling after him.

to be continued . . . .

07 December 2006

The Flight of Jim Charles -- Part 3

Hi Everyone,

Now, to continue with our story, let's
go to Part 3.

Returning to the camp site, I found the fish
prepared, and the tea steeping in a pot on the
coals of the fire. We ate a hearty supper,
then lit our pipes, and enjoyed a quiet spell,
while listening to the water lap the shore.

"Louis," I said, "who built that old road going
up the hill to that beautiful field?"

"Jim Charles," he answered, giving me a slight

"Oh, of course," I replied. "That's why this is
called Jim Charles Point."

"That's right," he said, as he broke a twig
between his fingers.

"Will you tell me about Jim Charles?" I asked.

Louis nodded. "Very well. But, there are many
stories about Jim Charles. He was a well known
man in these parts."

Louis puffed on his pipe stem, while I considered
my next words. "C'mon then, let's walk up to the
field. I want to hear the story, while we sit up
there on the grass."

Arriving at the clearing, we walked out into the
field, and took our seats in full view of the
blue grass, and near the rose bushes. We filled
our pipes and prepared for the story. Louis
considered his words, carefully, before commencing
the tale.

"Jim and his wife built a fine house on this
field, and Jim pretty much felt like he had the
best place in the whole world. You see, he had
this gold mine, and whenever he needed money, he
went to this mine and got a chunk of gold. He
would sell off the gold, and buy whatever he

"Why, he had himself a team of horses, and the
best buggy that money could buy! He built the road
all the way down through the woods to the white
man's road. Then, Jim and his wife could drive to
Annapolis, Milford, or wherever the white man's
road would take them.

"Well, bine bye Jim started drinking pretty heavy.
He'd go into town and stay late. The white men all
tried to get Jim drunk so he'd say where the gold
was located. But, Jim was smart -- too smart for
them. He'd drink all the liquor while keeping his
mouth shut about the mine.

"Then one evening he had an argument with his wife.
She didn't want him to go drinking in town. Well,
he left and when he got to that saloon, someone
asked him about the gold mine. Jim says, 'That's
none of your business!' Well, the man hit Jim.
Now, that was a big mistake. Pretty soon that man
was dead!

to be continued . . . .

04 December 2006

The Flight of Jim Charles -- Part 2


In any event, as I was saying last time, we arrived
at a cove where we intended to have supper and
camp for the night.

Part 2

While Louis prepared our meal, I decided to scout
the area to see what I might discover. I was
especially interested in cutting a large piece of
birch bark. He pointed over his shoulder, telling me
that I should head northwest, as there was a huge
white birch tree that would suit my needs. He said
that I would come to an old road, and that if I
followed the road, I would soon discover the tree.

I quickly located the old road, deeply gutted and
partially grown over with bushes. I was more than
curious about the road, and wondered why it was
created in this thickly wooded area, miles from
the nearest village? In my fascination with the road,
I completely forgot about the birch tree.

I was quite interested in following the road, to see
where it would take me. And, I wasn't disappointed!
Soon, I could discern a clearing up ahead, but, I
wasn't expecting what I found.

I walked out upon one of the most beautiful places
on earth! At my feet was a field covered in blue
grass that slopped down to the shore of Kejimkujik
lake, dotted with islands, and sparkling in the late
afternoon sun. I could certainly understand why this
was the fairy lake of the Mi'kmaq people – a large
blue and shoreless lake, dotted with green islands,
on which few but the little people have ever dwelt.

Walking down over the field with the thick blue
grass parting before my feet, I was surprised to find
several cultivated apple trees, loaded with fruit. Also,
I found there, old-fashioned red roses in full bloom,
and, nearby, a foundation grown over with bushes.
I looked around, soaking in the beauty, and wondering
who might have lived here, and why such a beautiful
place was abandoned?

to be continued . . . .

01 December 2006

The Flight of Jim Charles -- Part 1

The Jim Charles Story

Jim Charles was an interesting character who
lived in the Kejimkujik area of Nova Scotia in
the 1800s. The area most frequented by Charles
is now Kejimkujik National Park.

It's a fact that he discovered gold in the area,
and became wealthy -- he would visit his mine,
periodically, but always kept it a secret. A
number of people tried to locate the mine, but
always failed. When Jim Charles died, the
secret location of his mine died with him.

The following story is based on a short story,
"The Flight of Jim Charles," written by Albert
Bigelow Payne, and published in 1906. I've
basically followed Payne's storyline from
beginning to end, adding new material as I go

I would like to thank Ken Thomas of Bridgewater,
Nova Scotia, for bringing Payne's story to my

The Flight of Jim Charles

We left the little hotel in Milford on the morning
of June 7th, 1905. My guide, Louis, had joined
me there, and together we loaded supplies for
our sojourn into the wilderness area lying east
of Annapolis and Milford, Nova Scotia. It's a
large, rugged area of wilderness, replete with
lakes, streams, rivers, and a variety of fish and
game, including moose and bear.

Now, some seventeen days later, on this 24th
day of June, we've succeeded in exploring much
of this country, without meeting another living
soul. Louis knows this place like the back of his
hand, and seems always to know where to fish
the lakes, streams, and rivers. As a result, we've
eaten like royalty, and I've no doubt that given a
few hooks and a piece of line, Louis could survive
for months on end in this country.

This evening we arrived at a cove closed in by
large pine and hemlock trees. Coming on shore,
we pulled the canoe well into the bushes, and
carried our supplies to a clearing where Louis
said he had camped three years earlier. It's a
beautiful place, sheltered from all but the winds
and storms that might strike from a southerly

Louis set about preparing supper from the trout
we caught earlier that day. He's an excellent
cook and guide, having travelled the land for
most of his life.

I like my trout crisp and brown, and always look
forward to the evening meal. Often, Louis makes
luskinigan in a frying pan. It's an Indian biscuit
bread that's been made by generations of Mi'kmaq
people. It's especially delicious with a cup of hard
boiled black tea. The tea keeps one's innards
working, and is a relaxing way to finish a hard day
of paddling and portaging.

To be continued . . . .

25 November 2006

A Short Story Note

Hi Everyone,

It's a beautiful morning here on the shore
shore of Nova Scotia. There was a heavy
frost last night, and, now, as I gaze out my
window, the sunshine is having a beautiful
sparkling effect on top of that frost! The
temperature is just slightly above freezing
at this point, and should climb a bit as the
morning passes.

Recently, I compiled a short story collection,
called, Old Ponies and Medicine Tales. While
the collection still needs some editing, I've
decided to post a story on my blog. It'll begin
with my next post, and continue for several

I haven't quite decided which story to post on
the blog, but am leaning toward the one entitled,
"The Flight of Jim Charles". It's my re-write of
a story by Albert Bigelow Paine, published in
1906, and set in Nova Scotia.

I'll begin next time with a brief introduction to
Jim Charles, and Part I of the story.

All the best!

19 November 2006

Meteorite Shower


I went outside at about 12:45 tonight to view
the meteorite shower. Unfortunately, it was
partly overcast, although I doubt whether it
would have been much of a show, anyhow.

In fact, I didn't spot a single meteorite:(

Potentially, it was supposed to be quite a
show for parts of the New England States. I'm
curious to know whether this was the case. I
was hoping that Nova Scotia would get part of
the show:) However, if my experience was any
indication, I would say it was a flop.

I can understand that it must be very dificult
to predict the intensity of a meteorite shower
ahead of time.

Oh well, I did have a visit from a porcupine,
while I was watching for meteorites. I heard
a noise and noticed it crawling behind my oil
drum. It's a young porcupine and has been in
the area for the past couple of months. Indeed,
it's the same critter I almost stepped on a
few weeks back, as I was leaving the house to
take a night time walk.

Well, I must go for now. My best regards to


11 November 2006

Sounds in the Night . . . .


Well, I had an interesting walk this evening. And,
I must admit, things got a bit tense for several

You see, I was walking along the old mines road,
when I heard rustling sounds in the bushes off to
my left and about fifteen yards ahead of me.

I stopped. Waited. Listened intently for the sounds
to occur again. Sure enough, I heard a small branch
break in an area where there are a number of dry,
fallen spruce trees.

I crept forward, until I figured I was in a good position,
and cast my light in amongst the bushes and trees
(I usually carry a small flashlight with me when I
walk at night.). I couldn't see anything, although,
for am instance, I though I saw eyes flashing in the

I wish I could report that I solved this little mystery.
I waited. Listened. But everything was quiet, except
for a slight breeze that was cool and refreshing.

I continued my walk, and arrived back home about
forty minutes later. I walked slowly past that place
on my return, but, again, heard nothing.

Well, it's now approaching the midnight hour, so I
must post this note and make myself a cup of tea.

Bye now,

05 November 2006

The Moonlight's Almost Like Daylight, Tonight!


Well, I stepped outside my door at about 1 o'clock
tonight, and almost stepped on a porcupine! He
was sitting near the doorstep munching on some
frosty grass. The little fella quickly scurried away
and sat on the cellar entrance to my home, watching
as I walked down the driveway.

The moon is very bright tonight and almost like
the daylight. I feel like writing a short story about a
world where people function in moonlight much the
same way as we function in sunlight. A story about
a world where there is just moonlight and/or total

I imagine the story would be quite interesting, although
I don't have a clue at this point about plot, theme,
characters, or, much about the setting, for that matter.
Just a thought, really.

Well, I must go now, and get some rest. I was up until
4:45 on Friday night, trying to bring my Wild World
of Plants site back online. I changed hosting for the
site, and now have it hosted by HostGator, on a "Baby
Gator" account:)) However, in the process, I mis-placed
some files, and messed up some directories, to the
point where I was getting 404 pages and other problems,
including images not loading. Now, things are pretty
much back to normal, although my newsletter subscribe
boxes are not working:( Tomorrow, I'm going to have
to place new forms/boxes on the site.

All the best,

26 October 2006

Balsam Fir Tea


It's a cool +7 Celsius, today, here on the south
shore of Nova Scotia. I was forced to wear my
red-checkered jacket for only the third time this
year. You know, the jacket with the hole in the
outer lining of the right sleeve:)

While I was outside, I walked to the lake, and on
the way I started thinking about how my father
used to use balsam fir twigs as a tea while he
was in the forest cutting wood on cold winter
days. So, I cut some twigs and took them home,
so that I could taste the tea once again. I hadn't
made balsam fir tea for a number of years.

Anyhow, let me tell you that it tastes just fine
with a shot of tequila added to the mix! Just

Seriously, I'm drinking it as I write this message.
It's high in Vitamin C and was probably the tree
used by the Mi'kmaq to treat European fishermen
of scurvy, centuries ago. Mind you, spruce, pine,
and other conifers are also rich in Vitamin C,
and could have been used to cure scurvy.

I'm drinking the balsam fir tea without anything
added to it, like honey, for example. The smell
is quite strong and, if I close my eyes, I can
imagine myself standing in a grove of fir trees.
In fact, my dining room and kitchen smell of fir!
Also, the smell is quite strong from the tea pot --
sweeter than I had imagined, and almost like the
smell of candy.

Smell and taste are very close, so the tea tastes
a lot like it smells. If you rub the needles of the
balsam fir tree, it exudes a strong scent. This is
how the tea tastes, although it has a slight, bitter,
after taste.

It's a healthy drink and feels quite soothing on my
stomach. If anyone else has experienced the tea,
please leave me a note.

All the best!
Learn about medicinal plants/trees by going here!

21 October 2006

Romancing the Rain ;)

Earlier this evening, I went with a friend to the
Biscuit Eater Cafe in Mahone Bay, to enjoy
an evening of music and socializing. We had
a good time. The Biscuit Eater is a great place
to hang out, with good coffee/tea and lots of
fine desserts! :)

Anyhow, I got back home at about 10:30, just
when the wind and rain was starting to happen.
So, I made myself a tea and sat listening to the
rain and wind against the roof and windows of
my porch.

This is a nice way to enjoy a cup of tea. I call
it "romancing the rain". I often sit in my porch
listening to the rain and sipping my tea. You
know what, I gotta look for a woman who enjoys
this kind of thing -- yeah, my next girlfriend
has to love romancing the rain! Perhaps I'll
make that my number one requirement:))

All the best to everyone!

18 October 2006

Mines Road Photo

Hi Everyone,

Well, it's a damp and chilly night here on
the south shore of Nova Scotia. I've decided
against taking a walk tonight, largely because
the road is wet and greasy.

However, tomorrow is supposed to be sunny
with cloudy periods, so things are looking
up for tomorrow night. By that time, the
road should be dry and perfect for walking.

Below is a photo of the Mines Road as it runs
past my home. I hope you enjoy it!

Best regards,

p.s. Sorry for the quality. I seem to have
affected the image when I reduced it for
uploading. You see, I'm on dial-up out here
in the country, so it's time consuming to
upload images.

14 October 2006

A Few Remarks


Well, it's been too long since my last post! It's
amazing how quickly the days slip past.

I haven't been taking walking for several days,
largely because the rain and fog tend to play
against such activity:) However, I'll be back at
it soon.

I must admit that I got a little behind in preparing
the latest issue of my newsletter. However, I
managed to finish it off tonight, except for spell-
checking, and adding a few finishing touches.
I'll do that tomorrow.

I'm currently putting the finishing touches on a
short story manuscript. It'll need one more edit
before I'm satisfied. Mmm . . . are we ever
really satisfied?

That's all for tonight, folks. I plan to make a
couple of posts next week. I also plan to post a
photo of the old road past my home. Trouble is,
I can't seem to find the USB cable that attaches
my camera to the computer! Now, how could I
possibly misplace that cable?

Oh my . . . I'm always hiding things on myself:(

Best wishes,

07 October 2006

This Powerful Moon

Well, I just returned from a walk, and I must say
that the moon's influence is more powerful than it
has been for many months. I've felt it for the past
couple of days. Also, it's incredibly bright tonight!

In fact, as I walked along the road, I was amazed
by the light. When I got to the old field where I
chased the deer last week, I could see several
head of cattle lying along the margin of the field,
and could hear them chewing on leaves and grass
as I walked past.

Tomorrow I must take a photo of the road running
past my house, so you can get some idea of what
this place looks like. Also, I will take a photo of
the road and old field, so you can better visualize
my comments.

All the best to everyone. Sweet dreams!

A Funny Squirrel Experience!

A funny thing happened today while I was having
a morning tea.

You see, I was sitting outdoors with my tea resting
on a small table, when a squirrel started chattering
from an Oak, nearby. So, I thought, "I'll go and fetch
a small piece of bread for the little fella".

As I opened the back door to return with the bread,
I saw the squirrel standing with front feet on the rim
of my tea cup, looking inside. The next moment the
cup upset, sending the squirrel scurrying for cover,
with the tea spilling over the table, and dripping to
the grass.

Well, to say I laughed is an understatement! And,
oh yes, the tea was luke warm -- fortunately, it wasn't
hot enough to scald the squirrel. I would have felt
quite upset, had that happened.

Well, have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

All the best!

05 October 2006

A Writer's Note

Hi Everyone,

While I was walking this evening, I thought about
how too much emphasis on the mechanics of
writing, can stifle the creative urge to put words to
paper or the word processor.

Many of you know exactly what I'm talking about --
there are times when you want to write out an idea,
but you get hung up on style, or grammar, or some
other problem relating to mechanics. In this respect,
I'm trying to form the habit of simply going ahead
and getting it down on paper!

Yes, get it down! That's the main thing. If you want
to mess around with the perfect sentence, do it
later. Make certain you write it down, otherwise you
might lose the idea, or the inspiration, or whatever.

In this respect, writing's a lot like painting. I paint
in oils, and there are times when I find myself
placing too much emphasis on mechanical
procedures. However, when I start painting, I get
into the flow and good things happen! And, guess
what: I almost automatically follow the correct
procedures! At least they're correct for me;)

Well, it's almost 1 o'clock in the morning. I think
I'll go and make myself a cup of tea. Then, perhaps
do a few web-related things, before hitting the sack
for the night.

See you next time!

01 October 2006

Another Moon Note


I went walking tonight, although the moon was
low in the sky, offering little light. This was around
11:30 p.m. At one point on my walk, the moon
was peeking through the trees, its light reflecting
off the waters of Minamkeak lake.

As I looked through the trees, I could see the
movement of waves on the lake, by the light of the
moon. It was a beautiful experience.

When I write my first eBook, Nature Odyssey, I
must include moonlight adventure and awareness
exercises in the book. The moon throws an entirely
different perspective on the natural world, and on
nature experience. In fact, I think I'll write an entire
chapter on moonlight experiences!

My eBook project is mentioned at this link:
The Nature Odyssey is announced!

I plan to begin the book this month.

Well, so long for now. I want to post more often to
this blog. I'd like to get into the habit of posting
every third day/night.

All the best!

24 September 2006

Short Story Notes

It's an overcast and foggy day here on the
south shore of Nova Scotia. We've had
some drizzle and the occasional shower
as well. I've spent part of the day, editing
a collection of short stories.

Three of the stories don't seem to fit neatly
into the overall theme of the collection. But,
I've made the decision to keep them -- well,
at least for now. Two of them are quite silly,
really; but what's a writer supposed to do,
when faced with such silliness? I mean, the
stories were there, waiting to be put on
paper. You can't very well ignore them:)

The third story flows even further away from
the theme of the collection. It's actually a
re-write of a story that was published in 1904,
about a historical figure who had a secret
gold mine in the Kejimkujik area of Queens
County, Nova Scotia. I felt the urge to re-do
the story for the collection.

Oh yes, starting in early October, I'll be
working furiously on a new eBook. You can
read about it at the following link, which
also contains the link to download my Free
Report, Control Stress the Natural Way.

Well, must take a walk outside and experience
the fog.

All the best!

15 September 2006

Free Report! Control Stress the Natural Way


My FREE Report, "How to Control Stress the Natural Way: A 21
Day Program," is finally online and available for downloading!

It's been a struggle getting things set up properly. When you click
on the link, below, and land on the Wild World of Plants page,
you'll see the Free Report listed. When you click on it, your
Acrobat Reader should open in your browser, and the Report should

After it's downloaded, simply look to the upper left side of your
Acrobat icons and you will see an icon that looks like a floopy
disk. Just click on that icon to save my Report on your computer.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the Report, and find it of some value.

Go to the link, below, and click on "Free Report".
Wild World of Plants

10 September 2006

The Way of the Crow


Well, it's a cool night here in Nova Scotia.
The temperature's at 8 Celsuis, and will likely
go down another degree or two before morning.

In 1996, Nimbus Publishing in Halifax, published
my book, Black Spirit: The Way of the Crow.
It has since gone out of print, although I have a
number of copies. The last time I looked, Amazon
was selling some copies. However, I had to search
under "Lacy" rather than "Lacey," to find it.

I've decided to re-publish the work as an eBook.
However, I haven't decided whether I'll edit and
make changes to the manuscript, or stick with
the original manuscript, word for word. It's an
interesting and fun question to ponder -- either
way, I plan to create a new website strictly for
the book.

Crows are wonderful birds, and I look forward to
bringing my book to the web. I'll make further
announcements about the book on this blog.

All the best!

07 September 2006

Free Report to be Released Within Days!


Just a brief post to say that my free nature-based report,
"How to Control Stress the Natural Way," will be available
in a matter of days.

I've had a fun time polishing off the report. It'll be in PDF
format. I first thought about giving it as a gift to people
who sign up for my newsletter. However, instead, I simply
give subscribe instructions in the report, itself. This way, I'll
likely get subscribers who are truly interested in the

Well, I must go now. I notice the sky has cleared here on
the south shore of Nova Scotia. It's 1:35 in the morning, and
the moon is bright. Think I'll go for a late night walk!

All the best,

29 August 2006

The Leipsigaek Gold Fields


This past Sunday, I went hiking with a couple of friends
who were visiting from Ontario. We went walking into the
Leipsigaek gold fields area, west of Bridgewater, Nova
Scotia. The area has been mined for well over a hundred
years, and is a wonderful place to hike. Today, it lies
within the town of Bridgewater's watershed area, and is
basically off limits to mining.

We hiked on several of the old roads, there. We also
visited one location where the remains of mining activity
is still quite evident. For instance, the concrete foundation
remains, where the cookhouse and dining hall once stood.
Also, you can see where the gold bearing rock was
crushed, and sent through the sluce to where the gold
was separated from the guartz rock.

The area is an interesting and magical place. I've noticed
this about gold bearing areas. There seems to be something
special about such landscapes. Perhaps it has something
to do with the nature of gold itself. In any event, it was a
nice outing. I'm anxious to return there to pick cranberries
in October.

All the best!

20 August 2006

A Strange Experience

I've often posted comments about the old mines
road, and the impressions I have while taking my
evening or late night walks. But, I've never mentioned
that this old road has a history of haunting events
and strange experiences.

I remember the night Willie visited my parents, and
described what happened while walking home on his
previous visit. Willie, by the way, was a neighbour
who lived close to a mile from our place. At the time,
I was about twelve years old.

He had just sat down on a chair, and started to sip
his cup of tea, when he told us this story.

He related how it was partly moonlight that night,
when he left our place. As he walked along the road,
he noticed a dark figure approaching, and thought it
was unusual that this person kept far over towards
the opposite side of the road, and close against the

Willie kept walking along at an even pace, but the
figure was walking quite slow. When they met, the
figure kept far to its side of the road, and against the
bushes as it slowly moved past Willie. It was tall and
very dark.

You can imagine how Willie must have glanced back,
as he continued home. He must have been cautious
and afraid of being followed.

Yes, a lot of strange things have happened along
the old mines road. I hope you've enjoyed this short
account of one of those happenings.

Have a good sleep tonight:)


13 August 2006


I went for a moonlight walk last night. I left at 1:30 a.m., when
the moon was fairly high in the sky, and giving its light to the
old mines road. It was a beautiful night.

In fact, I can't quite find the words to describe the beauty of
such late night outings. I mentioned this in a couple of earlier
posts, several months ago. The world is different in moonlight,
and offers us a glimpse into alternate realities. It is also excellent
medicine for stress related conditions. I figure each walk is
the equivalent to a week's worth of psychiatric counselling:))

I believe my location adds to the power of these late night
walks. You see, when I walk on the old gravel mines road, it's
easy to imagine one has suddenly travelled back in time to the
life of eighty or a hundred years earlier. Indeed, that one has
travelled back one hundred and sixty years, to when Thoreau
was at Walden Pond, or when Whitman was writing Leaves of

In any event, at one point I heard the call from a loon out on
the lake – such a solitary call at that time in the night. Then,
later, as I stopped to enjoy the moonlight over an old apple
orchard, I heard the hoot from an owl, somewhere back in
Teal's Bog, less than a mile from where I stood.

Tomorrow, is the beginning of another week. I have lots to
do, including a newsletter to prepare for Wednesday, and a
special report to prepare for release on my websites. It'll be a
free report on “How to Control Stress the Natural Way,” and
will include nature-based exercises for that purpose. I'm
excited about it, but a little over-whelmed by the work of
preparing and formating the report. It takes a lot of energy
and focus.

All the best to everyone!

09 August 2006

Moonlight Thoughts on a Country Road


As I walked along the old country road tonight,
enjoying the moonlight, and noting things around
me like the shadows from the trees that line
both sides of the road, I started thinking about
philosophy and spirituality; especially New
England transcendentalism.

Having been born and raised in Nova Scotia,
I've always felt a closeness to the New England
States. I don't know how many people in other
parts of Canada and the United States, realize
the close connections between Nova Scotia
and New England.

I won't go into the historical reasons for this
connection, as that would entail a lengthy
explanation. Suffice it to say that there is a
history of deep family ties between the regions.

Perhaps this is why I've often found myself more
influenced by New England writers and philosophers,
than by their Canadian counterparts. For instance,
I've felt a fascination and deep connection to New
England transcendentalist philosophy, for as far
back as high school.

So, tonight, as I walked the moonlit road, I could
imagine Walt Whitman, Henry Thoreau, or Ralph
Waldo Emerson, walking along with me. I fancied
I was Whitman, with his long beard, strolling along
the road, contemplating the next portion of his
masterpiece, Leaves of Grass.

Oh yes, I'm a romantic, and have been from way
back:) But, hey, that's part of the beauty of life. It
lends itself to beauty, romance, and passion.
Without those things, life would be drab, indeed!

All the best,

03 August 2006

Free Report Coming Soon....

I spent part of this evening working on a free report that I
will offer from my web sites at Wild World of Plants and
Natural Healing Talk. The title of the report is, "How to
Control Stress the Natural Way," and will be in the PDF
and/or Exe file format.

I'd like to know what file format people prefer as regards
electronic reports and eBooks. I'm excited about the
report, and hope it will generate some subscriptions for
my newsletter. If you have suggestions or advice as
regards the best file format, please leave a comment.

Well, I'll close for now. Oh yes, the free report should be
online by the end of August, at the latest.

All the best!

26 July 2006

A Short Story Note

I'm currently working on a short story involving legendary
medicine plants. The plant in question was known as the
"rattling plant" by the Mi'kmaq, and was mentioned in a
folklore article, written in the 1890s.

I'm attempting to interweave a number of elements into
this story, including animals, birds, plants, a legend-like
character I've created, humour, and dreaming. Yet, despite
so many elements, the story seems to be going together
in a straight-forward, easy to read, manner.

I'm experimenting with a sharp contrast approach to
the story; that is, I'm switching rapidly between different
elements within the story. For instance, I will be building
up some tension between the main character and the
mystery plant when, suddenly, I will switch to a bird or
animal and tell you what it's doing (often, in humourous
fashion). This releases the tension, but leaves the reader
wondering what's going to happen next.

I'm doing this story as part of a short story collection,
concerning my experiences with plants and various
characters over the past thirty years. The stories are
a combination of fact/fiction arising, in the main, from
my personal journey with plants and life.

All the best!

19 July 2006

Wild Foraging: A Healthy Exercise

Every now and then I like to go on a wild food foraging adventure.
Perhaps, spend a few hours during a morning or afternoon,
roaming about the woods and fields looking for tasty treats,
or plants that can be used as foods in an emergency situation.
It's a fun adventure and always a learning experience.

My last adventure took me into a mixed forest environment,
consisting mostly of maple, birch, spruce, pine, and the
occasional hemlock tree. This is a nice mixture and usually
occurs in soils that allow for a good variety of small plant cover
on the forest floor.

Among the first group of plants I look for, in terms of wild edibles,
are the wood sorrels (Oxalis L.). The leaves of those plants are
somewhat sour tasting, with a sweet accent. They make an
excellent addition to a salad, and are also useful for an herb
tea. Wood sorrels aren't related to the sorrels and docks of the
genus Rumex L., although they do have a similar flavour. Both
sorrels are best enjoyed raw.

Aside from the wood sorrel, I was also able to find and taste
blue violets, Indian cucumber, and sweet fern, among other

Both the leaves and flowers of blue violet are high in vitamins A
and C. For instance, a half-cup serving of the leaves contain as
much vitamin C as approximately three average size oranges.
The flowers have been used in making jams and syrups. As
well, blue violet was considered a powerful medicine plant in
traditional British and European herbalism.

The Indian cucumber root is a wonderful treat! It should not be
collected, as it is endangered in many areas. However, if you
find a location where there are a number of plants growing, it
is okay to dig out the root from a single plant. It is a crisp
tasting, white root. The taste reminds one of potato, but also
has added flavour that resembles a cucumber. I enjoy it a
great deal.

The leaves of sweet fern may be dried or used in a green state
to make a pleasant tasting tea. I don't think it's a tea that
should be used on a daily basis, especially if you are taking
prescription medications. Before drinking it regularly, I would want
to research the chemical nature of the plant more fully. However,
it's certainly a unique and pleasant tea to serve on occasion.

As I say, spending a few hours in the forest, finding wild edibles,
is an adventure and learning experience. It's relaxing and
therapeutic to our body, mind, and spirit. It's also a great way
to grow a friendship or relationship with another person. This is
something I hadn't considered until quite recently, probably
because I'm only now learning to live more fully from the heart.
I wish I had started earlier for a number of reasons. But that's
another story.

So, go for it. I challenge each of you to try at least one wild
edible between now and the next newsletter. But, remember,
try only a sample. Never, never, contribute to the over-collecting
or over-harvesting of wild plants. Finally, if you like, send me a
short note explaining what you've sampled. If I receive some
responses, I'll comment on them in the next newsletter.

Good medicine always!

Note: This is an article that appeared in the latest issue of the
Natural Healing Talk newsletter. You can subscribe to this
bi-weekly email newsletter, by going to the Wild World of Plants
website and filling in the subscription form.

10 July 2006

The Herbal Gathering and Fair

Hello Again,

I had a great time this past weekend at the herbal
gathering. The weather was beautiful on Saturday,
for my workshop and field walk. They went over
quite well, and I was pleased with the number of
people who participated in both events.

There always seem to be surprises on a field walk.
I was delighted to find the cat spruce (white spruce)
growing so plentifully in the Ship Harbour area. The
eastern shore of Nova Scotia seems to have a large
number of those trees. We were also able to locate
the indian tobacco (lobelia), although the plants were
quite small, and hadn't blssomed. The final rather
outstanding discovery for me, personally, was a
patch of bearberry plants. I hadn't noticed the plants;
they were found by one of the participants. I had
intended to collect some of the leaves before
returning home on Sunday, but neglected it.

I did make one rather glaring mistake during the field
walk, and that was to briefly mis-identify a stand of
young birch trees for alder! Often, simple mistakes
can be easy to make, when in the middle of a field
walk. I've made many mistakes over the years. It's
something one learns to live with, when doing such
things. But, mistake alder... I blame it on the heat:))

In the end, I think everyone at the herbal gathering
had a fulfilling and eventful weekend. I certainly made
a lot of connections, and renewed some old
connections. I look forward to participating in next
year's herbal weekend!

All the best!

07 July 2006

Nova Scotia Herbalist Meetings!


Well, I'm off to the Nova Scotia Herbalist meetings/festival in
Ship Harbour, Nova Scotia, tomorrow morning, July 8th. I'm to
give a workshop at 1:00 p.m., and a field walk at 2:30 p.m.

I'll be back on Sunday evening or Monday with a post, to tell
you how things went, and to give my impressions of the event.

I've never given a field walk on the eastern shore of the
province, so this will be a new experience for me.

See you soon!

03 July 2006

Natural Healing Talk Web Site, Online!

Hi Everyone,

After much thought, deliberation, and work, I've launched my
new web site, Natural Healing Talk. This is the companion
site to my newsletter of the same name. The site is incomplete,
in that I have lots to add to it, such as a subscription form to
my newsletter, and a "links" page. Please visit the site at the
following URL: www.naturalhealingtalk.com, and have fun
looking around.

For the moment, you can subscribe to the newsletter by
sending an email to subscribe@wildworldofplants.com, with
"subscribe" in the subject heading space.

Oh yes, if anyone has a particular topic they'd like to see
covered in the newsletter, or in an article on the web site,
please forward your topic suggestions to me. I'd be happy to
consider your suggestions in this regard.

Well, so long for now. I'll be back in a few days with another

All the best!

28 June 2006

Today, I Found More Labrador Tea!

Well, finally, some sunny weather here in good ol' Nova
Scotia! It's allowed me to get back out in the woods, and
look for medicinal plants, and other interesting things.
Mind you, I've noticed that the mosquitoes are more plentiful
than last year, in my area of the province.

Today, I discovered a new location for labrador tea, which
happens to be a favourite plant of mine. It's rather deep in
a predominantly softwood forest, that opens into a large
swamp, replete with all kinds of interesting grasses, and
some old hackmatack trees. I found the large cluster of
labrador tea growing on the southern boundary of the

I've brewed the tea on many occasions. It's often listed as
a poisonous plant because it is classified as a member of
the Rhododendron family of plants. It contains a volatile oil
which, if released, can cause problems. However, I'm
always careful to steep the tea, rather than boiling it for
long periods of time. It gives off a mild, spicy flavour, which
I find quite nice.

Tomorrow, I plan to work on another issue of the newsletter,
Natural Healing Talk. You can subscribe to the newsletter
at my Wild World of Plants site, http://wildworldofplants.com.
This will be issue # 8, and I'm happy to say that the
subscriber base continues to grow, albeit slowly.

Well, it's late -- time to get some sleep!

Good medicine always!

20 June 2006

Foggy Night!

Hi Everybody,

I just came back from a late night walk. My gosh,
it's quite foggy here on the south shore of Nova
Scotia. In fact, it was so foggy that, on a couple
of occasions, I turned on my flashlight to make
some sense out of where I was walking!

There were few sounds to speak of, except for
some frogs peeping in a swamp. Once, I heard limbs
cracking off in the bushes. The cracking sounds were
not heavy, and may have been caused by a porcupine,
or something of that size.

I'll be back in a few days with a longer post. This
is just a note to maintain contact -- sorry for not
posting during the past week. I expect to have a
new website online in a week or so; I'll post the
URL on this blog.

My best regards,

12 June 2006



As I mentioned in the post of June 2nd, my walk on
the mines road inspired new insight into a short story
I had written several years ago. In the post that
followed, I mentioned how I had lost the first 12
hand-written pages to the story. I'm happy to report
that the re-write is coming along fine. No, I wasn't
able to find the missing pages:(

In any event, I don't want to leave the impression
that the "new insight" I mentioned, had anything to
do with the missing pages or the re-write. Rather, I
was troubled with certain elements of the closing
paragraphs to the story. I must have spent an hour
debating possible changes. Then, I decided to take
a break, and have my walk.

Anyhow, I had stopped to gaze in over a field -- I
often stop at this field, because it is so darn nice,
and has a special beauty in the moonlight -- when
the thought suddenly came that the ending would be
perfect if I deleted the second to last paragraph!
It was unnecessary, and simply prolonged the
closing scene.

I rushed home and made the change to the story.

Well, so long for now. I'm looking forward to a
beautiful late night walk -- the sky is relatively
clear, and the moon will be in its glory!

All the best,

09 June 2006

Have you had this writing problem?

Hello Everyone,

I've a very challenging and interesting problem concerning
a particular story that I plan to include in a short story
collection. You see, I wrote this wild and wacky story about
three ago, and now find myself missing the first 12 hand-
written pages! I don't know what happened to them? I've already
done one last search, and now find myself in the curious position
of having to redo the opening stage of the story!

I feel a bit upset that I can't find what I had written, simply because
having those pages would make life a lot easier. And, of course,
I'm curious as hell over what I wrote! I imagine it was as wacky and
wonderful as the remainder of the story.

The story is loosely based on a trip I made with friends, up the
Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, then over to the coast
of Labrador and along a narrow dirt road to Red Bay. It was a
fantastic trip! The people of Newfoundland and Labrador are real
folks without the pretensions we often find elsewhere. They will
put you up for the night, and give you the shirt off their back, if
they have too! The reality is different than the impression you
often get from seal hunt protesters, many of whom would have you
believe the people are cruel and barbaric.

Anyhow, back to the problem. I will certainly keep you updated
on how things turn out. It is just sooo weird to look at a story
from several years ago, and to try creating a totally new
beginning to it -- one that flows in the same style and manner
as the remainder.

All the best!

02 June 2006


I walked last night along the old mines road, and enjoyed the light
from the waxing moon. At one point during my walk, I stopped to
enjoy the late spring sounds, including the rustle of leaves caused
by a warm breeze from the southwest. As I bathed in this delightful
experience, I thought about "inspiration," and the role nature has
played in inspiring many people throughout history.

You know, it only takes one such experience -- perhaps, the crystal
still water of a lake in the moonlight, or, soft falling snow on Christmas
eve -- to inspire us to action, or to give us an idea that will later be
developed into something worth while, such as a fulfilling career or

My walk last night gave me new insight into a short story that I've
been grappling with for the past week. It posed a particularly difficult
problem, and one which I'll explain in my next post. For now, I have
to close, and run into town. I've got some things to do in Bridgewater
(the nearest town to where I live) and, besides, I want to meet a
friend for coffee:)

All the best!

29 May 2006

This Road is Magical


I just returned from taking another of my late
night walks. As usual, the "peepers" were out in
full force, making a myriad of sounds as I walked
past the swamp below where I live.

Then, a short while later, the loons began to call
out on the lake. Their calls are so beautiful and
soul searching. In Mi'kmaq culture, the loon is the
"messenger" of Glooscap, the culture hero who
lived in this country centuries ago. he has gone
away, but will return one day to his native

I felt cool and refreshed by the time I returned.
A quick check of the thermometer shows me that
it's +10 degrees. This is a bit mis-leading, as
there is a slight fog, and a moisture in the air,
making it feel cool, indeed.

All the best to everyone! I'll be back in a day
or so with another post.


22 May 2006

Writing Tip # 3

Hi Everybody,

I just got in from a beautiful late night walk. The
temperature is mild, so I was able to walk in my shirt
sleeves, even at one o'clock in the morning.

During my walk, I was thinking about the importance
of writing in the same location every day. Or, in my
case, one of several locations. Having a special place
to write, represents a comfort zone of sorts, where
the creative energy is free to flow. I've found that
nurturing three or four such locations, multiplies the
effects. I even have two locations where I generally
only visit evenings. Those are restaurants that I
visit for evening coffee or tea writing sessions.

You may want to try the same thing. Write where you've
developed a degree of comfort, and are not faced with
a continuous barage of daily stress. In fact, cultivate
several locations. This is a good way to break a writing
block. If you can't think of anything to write, change
locations. This may be the catalyst to get you going

Well, enough rambling for tonight. Talk to you again,


17 May 2006

The Natural Healing Talk Newsletter

Hi Everybody,

Here is the latest issue of the Natural Healing
newsletter for your examination. I normally
don't post the newsletter, but decided to give it some
extra exposure, as part of the effort to build a
subscriber base. Subscribe at Wild World of Plants,
or send an email to subscribe@wildworldofplants.com.


Natural Healing Talk
May 16, 2006, Vol., 1, # 5

Feature Article
Featured Web Link
Ethnobotanical Note
Barter Section
General & Unsubscribe Info

Hello Everybody,

I'll begin by commenting on the field walk for pie day, that took
place on Sunday, May 7th.

It was a small, but wonderful event, involving myself and three
guests. We had an hour long walk in an area I call "the medicine
woods". I gave it this name, years ago, because I can find many
of my medicine plants there. I say "my" medicine plants, because
other people may seek out and work with different plants, and may
not find this place as rich for medicines.

In any event, we found plants such as gold thread, labrador tea,
bog rosemary, and mayflowers in abundance! We discovered a
stripped maple, black spruce, witch hazel, and lots of alders. We
hiked for about an hour, and then returned to my place where tea,
coffee, and pie, were the order of the day. More specifically, apple
and lemon pie. I won't say how much pie I ate; but, suffice to say,
I felt it would be rude not to try everyone's pie. Besides, the guests
demanded that I try their pies! Now, I'm thinking of making this an
annual event. However, if I should have upwards to a dozen guests
for the 2007 event, I want you to know that it'll be impossible to
sample all the pies:)

I received an interesting question from Ruth in Maine, who
wondered what she could pick directly from her field, and prepare
as a general cleansing tonic drink to use throughout much of the
summer season? She has a two acre property, mostly field, with a
few trees along the perimeter of the field. After exchanging a few
emails with Ruth, and learning about certain plants that grow in her
field, I suggested white clover. We normally only hear about the
benefits of red clover blossoms. However, don't under-estimate the
value of the white clover. It, too, can be used to purify the blood,
and cleanse the system.

The white clover is usually more plentiful than red clover. While both
clovers are valued by farmers, the white offers continuous grazing
for cattle throughout the summer. It keeps renewing itself very
quickly. Apparently, it is quite plentiful on Ruth's field in Maine. A
good way to prepare this tonic drink, is to use 2 tablespoons of the
blossoms to a pint of water. Do not use green parts of the plant.
Heat the water so that it is just below boiling, and allow it to steep
for 10 to 12 minutes. Drink 2 or 3 cups of the tea, daily, over a week
long period. Repeat every 3 weeks during the growing season for
the clover.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this rambling presentation on pies and
clover. All the best to everyone!


Feature Article
Art and Wellness

I went sketching yesterday for the first time in perhaps two
years. I had forgotten how absorbed one can become with
the practice of sketching. In this instance, I walked to a
wheelbarrow that I had turned upside down against a pile of
boards, several days earlier. I decided to sketch it.

There is a big difference between sketching a general impression
of an object or scene, and actually looking with focused intent
at something, and trying to put what you see on paper. It is this
trying to "see" and the rendering on paper of this "seeing" that
is quite absorbing. I became lost in the process, so to speak.
And, on several occasions, I caught myself drawing lines
according to my own notions, rather than determining how those
lines on the wheelbarrow actually appeared to my sight, and
then rendering them on paper.

The same scenario applies to painting on location. It is quite
easy to simply paint one's impression of a scene, rather than
what the eye is actually registering. Indeed, I like to paint in
this fashion, and to render my own creative interpretation of
a scene. The main thing is to be honest with oneself. To
first look with intent and focus at what you are painting, and,
then, to decide how you want to do the painting.

We can apply the same process to a great many things in life.
For instance, just as I assumed certain lines on the wheelbarrow
went in certain directions, I've also assumed things about people
and events that may have no basis in reality. We've all done
similar things in our lives. We may assume that someone hates
us, or that someone is outrageously in love with us, or that we
should behave in a certain way to please people. I've done all
three and guess what! Those things remove us from the full
appreciation and enjoyment of the present moment.

Why not take a small step to re-capture life in the present
moment, and the healing it affords? Do it through art. Buy a
sketch pad and a few pencils -- I would recommend HB, B, and
2B types. Then, sketch for at least fifteen minutes every day, or
several times each week. Try to render what the eye sees. Don't
worry about results. Enjoy the process!

The important thing is to focus and become absorbed in the
sketching activity -- to live those moments in the present, without
thoughts of the past or future. I have a theory that when we are
absorbed in the moment, in some activity like sketching, painting,
sculpturing, dance, song, or whatever, we are operating from a
naturally balanced state, and are maximizing our ability both to
prevent or heal illness.

So, go ahead, and become involved in the arts, even if you don't feel
you have talent. Relax. Enjoy the artistic endeavour. Laugh at your
mistakes. Do it as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Enough preaching.

Good medicine always!

Featured Web Link
Foraging With the "Wildman" -- Wildman Steve Brill's Wild
Food Website. This is a fun site. I'd like to meet Steve Brill,
because I think we could learn a lot from each other. He
gives workshops, presentations, and field walks, primarily in
the northeastern part of the United States. He notes that the
main purpose of his "hands-on" program is to get back in touch
with nature and the environment. He's the author of The Wild
Vegetarian Cookbook, and several other works. He sells
signed copies of his books, from the website. Wildman Bill has
a wonderful links page, listing a diverse number of interesting
sites. Check him out, and have some fun browsing the site, at
Wildman Steve Brill.

Ethnobotanical Note
Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica L.), has had a number of
interesting medicinal uses in the traditional medicines of
the Native peoples of Atlantic Canada. The leaves and dried
roots were steeped in water, and used as a mouth wash
to treat mouth infections. It was also used to treat arthritic
pain. In this regard, the leaves were used in poultice form,
or the dried, powdered root, was steeped or boiled in water,
and applied as a soothing wash to the painful area. The
leaves also make an interesting seasoning on either fish or
meat. They can be broken up and placed on a roast to give
it a touch of exotic flavour!


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Laurie Lacey -- writer, painter, life skills coach, with extensive
background in traditional plant and tree medicines. My sites
are at Wild World of Plants and My Art Site
Also, I have a blog at The Nature Writer's Digs
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Disclaimer: The material in this newsletter is for
information purposes only, and is not meant to replace
professional medical advice and treatment. Any use of
information in this newsletter for treatment or self-treatment
is strictly the responsibility of the individual(s) involved in
said treatment.

Natural Healing Talk is an opt-in ezine available by
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Thank you!

13 May 2006

Writing Tip # 2

Hi Everyone,

Here's a tip that I suppose will be valuable to travel writers
and nature writers alike. I tried it this past week, during a
hike along Green Bay, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.

I had a small note pad and pen in my pocket for taking notes.

The hike lasted for about two hours, so during that time I
made a point of stopping every twenty minutes to record
single words, and short two to five word statements about
the hike. When I got back to the car, I had four pages of
brief notes covering the morning adventure.

At home, I found it quite easy to take the notes and expand
on them. I'm not certain it would work so well every time, but
in this particular case I was able to complete the rough draft
of a five page essay.

Well, this is just a brief post. It's 2:50 a.m., so I'd best be
off to bed! I plan to meet a friend for tea in the morning.

My best regards!

07 May 2006

Another Rainy Night

Hi Everyone!

Sorry for not posting anything during the past week.
I've been busy working on a collection of short stories,
and, also, trying to find a suitable template for my soon
to be launched, Natural Healing Talk website. I want
a template that has a nature theme, is easy to navigate,
and can easily handle eCommerce. I want to write and
sell nature and healing based eBooks. Also, I plan to
offer a lot of free material, including downloadable
PDF files.

I was going to take my nightly walk, but the rain is so
heavy. Instead, think I'll make myself a tea, and sit
listening to the drops against the roof of my porch.
Such a nice sound. When I do this, I call it romancing
the rain. You should try it! I find this is a very relaxing
and meditative way to enjoy nature and tea.

All the best!

01 May 2006

The Rain and the Night

I have walked in all kinds of weather. In the hot sun,
in the light of the full moon, in a snow storm, in cold,
dark, winter nights, and in the rain. Ah, yes, the rain.
It is this that I will talk about, now.

We've had a steady rain for several hours, here on
the south shore of Nova Scotia. Even so, I decided
to go walking. I enjoy hearing the rain on the road,
and bushes around me, and on my rain jacket. And,
the frogs are obviously enjoying it, if their songs
from the swamps are any indication.

I pause to listen at sounds from the bushes nearby.
Something else is stirring in the night, besides
myself, and the frogs. I move on, occasionally
glancing to my rear. The rain continues. I walk
through a water puddle, soaking my shoes.

I know this walk is something I will write about, when
I return home. I've already walked much further than I
had intended. To my right is a cattle pasture. On a
moonlit night, I can see clear over the field. This
night, I am unable to see the field. Soon, I will
retrace my steps, and enjoy a cup of tea at my kitchen

Bye for now,

28 April 2006

The Song of the Peepers

A couple of nights ago, I was out walking the old
country road at one o'clock in the morning, when I
heard peepers (frogs) singing in a pond up ahead.
As I approached the pond, I moved quietly, so as not
to alert the peepers. I was able to move alongside
the pond, without attracting their attention.

I stood there, listening to the symphony of sound. So
many peepers! Also, the occasional croak of a bullfrog.
I closed my eyes and focused on the array of sounds.
I was soon carried away, and absorbed in this world
of frogs. I wasn't able to see them, but I could tell
that the singing came from all areas of the pond. I
could imagine the social interaction that was taking
place that night! The example of community within this

I opened my eyes, and noticed the darkness all around
me. Nothing else seemed to be stirring in that darkness.
I continued my walk for about a mile, and then retraced
my steps back home. As I passed the pond, the peepers
were still singing, and the bullfrog was still actively
taking part in its own way.

As I lay in my bed that night, I could still mentally
recall the song of the peepers. It was good medicine
for my mind, and just what I needed for a good night's

23 April 2006

Writing Tip

There are days when one is hard pressed to find things to say about a
particular subject, or when we simply don't feel in the mood to write an
entire article. Well, it's still possible to accomplish a great deal on
such occasions, and here's how.

Make a list of ten subjects which you feel you'd like to write about over
the next several weeks or months. Then, sit down by the keyboard, or
with your pen and paper, and write a paragraph on each in turn. The
paragraph doesn't have to be the opening to the article, but can describe
an important point in the article -- something you feel your readers
should understand about the subject.

Begin by writing a paragraph on each of three subject areas. Then, take
a break. Have a cup of tea... take a short walk... or do something else.
Afterwards, come back to the keyboard, and continue with the next couple
of items. You will be surprised how much you can acomplish over the
course of a morning, for example. Soon, you will have started ten to a
dozen articles! A pretty good accomplishment, I would say.

All the best!

18 April 2006

Pileated Woodpecker

I forgot to write about my sighting of a pileated woodpecker,
while sitting and relaxing in a mixed forest, near the end of
my field in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. I had gone walking
and came upon a large poplar tree that had fallen in a high
wind. As it was a mild, sunny day, I decided to rest using the
fallen poplar as a seat.

As I was sitting there, enjoying the warm sun, I heard the
knocking sound of a woodpecker about fifty yards to my
right. I peered through the forest, and saw the pileated
woodpecker on a pine, about twenty yards from the base
of the trunk. Its head was moving from side to side, as it
examined the bark of the pine. Periodically, it would stop
moving, and tap the bark in rapid succesion.

The bird slowly moved up the trunk, stopping to examine
and tap against the tree, before moving along. This continued
for about fifteen minutes until, I think it sensed my presence,
and flew away to the west. I love to see them fly, because
they often make their rising call, as they move to a new

I could elaborate on this incident, for the purpose of a nature
article. If I added some research material on the pileated
woodpecker, I would have a short article that would be suitable
for publication in a magazine or newspaper. This is an effective
method for writing nature based articles.

All the best!

16 April 2006

Happy Easter!

I want to wish all my visitors a Happy and wonderful
Easter Holiday!

I'll be back next week with several posts, including
some tips on how I do nature-based writing. In the
meantime, enjoy your weekend, and please inform me
if you happen to find a rabbit that lays eggs! I've
been looking for such a creature for the past 50 plus

All the best!

11 April 2006

The Porcupine's Night Out!

I opened my door last night, to go outside, and almost
stepped on a porcupine! It was there, looking up at me,
about three feet from the doorstep.

So, I gently closed the door, and sat down on the step.
It moved back slightly, about three feet, turned around
and briefly made a show of the quills on its back and rear.
However, it soon relaxed, and appeared to be nibbling
on spring's fresh grass shoots.

Well, this went on for some time, until it started woddling
away toward the rear of the house. I followed at a distance,
and watched as it went past the house, through a small
stand of assorted bushes and into the forest. That was at
11:30 p.m.

I went back outside at 1 a.m., to take a walk in the moon
light, and saw a porcupine under an old apple tree, nearby.
It was similar in size to the one I had observed earlier that
evening. I suspect it was the same porcupine, that had
come back to the field to sample more of the freshly growing

All the best!

07 April 2006

Poison Ivy and its Rash!

As spring gets into full swing, many people will be out
in their gardens digging around, or moving brush, and doing
other general clean-up chores. In other words, taking part
in activities that could expose them to poison ivy plants --
either new growth, or the old, dried plant material from last
year's cycle.

Be careful, and take precautions. Wear work gloves, and wash
up with strong soap after your activities -- change your socks,
as you may have walked through the plant material. Now, I don't
want to make anyone paranoid, as chances are remote that you'll
be exposed to it. And, if you are, you might very well have a
high tolerance to it. My father could rub poison ivy leaves over
his arms, and go away laughing about it.

Learn to identify poison ivy. There are several varieties; but,
mainly, you can identify the plant by its three leaves -- in
some cases, groups of three leaves -- and by the fact that there
is a small notch or indentation on the edge of some of the leaves.
While there are many plants with three leaves or leaflets, the
notch or indentation is a pretty good indication of poison ivy.

Never try to burn the plant! The chemicals in the smoke can go
in your pores, and cause poison ivy rash. Also, if your dog, for
example, rolls in the plants or old, dry leaves, you can catch
it by petting your dog. I caught it once, while on a canoe trip.
It lasts for a week to ten days, although poison ivy can remain
in the blood for up to ten years, causing minor periodic outbreaks
of itching. In my case, a small pimple would appear on one of
my fingers, and would itch badly, for several days. This continued,
occasionally, for about seven years.

Oh yes, you can be very susceptible to it, if you're perspiring;
for instance, if you're doing heavy manual labour in hot weather.
I caught it while pulling my canoe through a rocky, low water area
of a stream. It was a hot, July day, and I was perspiring profusely.
I didn't realize that the banks of the stream were populated with
the ivy plants. Soon afterwards, I learned how to identify the plant!

The Mi'kmaq used sweet fern leaves to treat poison ivy rash. The
leaves were steeped or boiled in water, and the resulting concoction
used to bath the effected area. This is a good remedy to know, in the
event that one is camping in an isolated area, without recourse to
medical treatment. For the most part, the best one can do is gain
some relief for the itch, and to allow it to run its course. Mind
you, I personally feel there are some plant remedies that can
be used to shorten its duration.

All the best!

03 April 2006


One of the best things for a beginner writer to do, in
terms of introducing themselves to the writer's life, is
to practice journalling on a regular basis. The regularity
of the process will allow the beginner to develop the
discipline necessary to complete a manuscript or report.

A simple process to follow in the beginning, especially
if you are having problems with getting started on a
project, is to dedicate yourself to writing a paragraph
each day. This may seem like a long, drawn-out process,
but it will be worth while in the end.

For anyone interested in writing about the natural world,
a good idea is to go to a park or some seluded area, and
find a single object to write about. For instance, an
interesting looking tree, a special feature of the landscape,
a particular bird or plant, or some other thing that interests
you. Describe it in as much detail as possible, or write a
paragraph of general remarks about the object or feature.

Go there, daily, and write your paragraph. Soon, you will
find that you've accumulated a lot of material about different
objects and features of that landscape. You will be able to
tie the paragraphs together into an article about that place.
Name the article, and send it off to a magazine or newspaper.
Or, simply, keep it private, and as a valuable part of your
journalling and learning experience.

All the best!

31 March 2006

As March Ends....

Well, here we are at the end of March. The temperature
shows +16 C., which is about 62 F. The lake near my
home is now free of ice, while I can hear the waves
moving against the rocky shore line.

I took a walk into the medicine woods, to see if I
could spot new plant life pushing through the ground. But,
as I discovered, it's still a bit too early for that to happen.
I did find lots of gold thread, Coptis trifolia, at various
places along my route. It is difficult to mis-identify this
plant, as it has bright yellow rhizomes. Those rhizomes
are very bitter to the taste, and can be used for many
problems, including canker sores, and acid-reflux
problems. For more information, see my plant notes at,

All the best!

Note -- This information is not given as medical advice, but simply
as educational information on traditional remedies and plant
uses. Self-treatment is strictly the responsibility of the
individual(s) concerned.

26 March 2006

Beaver House

As the weather gets warmer, I start thinking of dusting off my kayak and putting it in the water. I'll likely wait a few weeks until the ice is mostly out of the lakes. Last year, my first kayak trip was special -- I followed a stream to Leipsigeak lake, and on the way discovered a large beaver house. I hope you enjoy the photo of my discovery.

You know, the more I think about it, the more I feel like visiting that area again this year. I think it'll be my first kayak trip, again, for the second year running. Last year I saw three beavers, playing about in the water. It's quite wonderful to see and hear a beaver smack its tail against the water. It's a special experience of the outdoor life.

Good medicine, everyone!

23 March 2006

A Weasel in the Water

I'm rather late making this post. It's now 2:46 A.M., on March 23rd. I
had expected to be in bed early tonight, so I could rise by 8 A.M.,
tomorrow morning and begin work on a short story. Well, that's
likely gone by the way side. :) I'll be lucky to start by 10 o'clock!

In any event, I must tell you that I had a unique experience, yesterday.
I was sitting by the lake shore near my home, when I noticed something
moving amongst the rocks, about fifty yards away. When it jumped from
a rock into the water, I recognized the weasel form, immediately. I
sat still as it swam towards me. When it was within fifteen feet, it came
out of the water, and moved gracefully to a rather large flat-topped
rock. It stayed there sunning itself and watching me; occasionally, its
head moved back and forth, as if trying to examine me in detail.

It moved gingerly to within eight feet of my position, then, quickly
retreated, before making its way inland and away from the lake. This
was the first weasel I've seen since last summer. Perhaps we'll meet
again by the lake shore, as I intend to be there often this spring.

Good medicine, everyone!

21 March 2006


I went walking this afternoon in a hardwood stand near my
home. This hardwood area is composed mostly of beech trees,
with scattered growth of poplar, ash and maple. The leaves
from last year's cycle are plentiful on the ground, and made
a crunching sound as I walked over them. The sun was
shining through the stand of trees, and warmed my face as
I took a seat on a old log -- a beech tree that had fallen to the
ground a couple of seasons ago.

I sat on that log, feeling the warmth from the sun, and thinking
about the medicine of the beech tree. Years ago, an old
Mi'kmaq woman told me that she treated TB with the "winter
beech" leaves. It took me a while to understand what she
meant, when she referred to winter beech? She meant those
leaves that remain on the beech tree throughout the winter
season. Those were the leaves she would steep and use for
medicine, including the treatment of TB. I have never
forgotten my conversations with that old lady. She was a
Mi'kmaq elder, and a woman with lots of medicine

My best wishes to everyone!

17 March 2006


As a person who writes about nature, I am always noting interesting
things as I walk about the landscape. I've learned to take notes, mentally,
and to record them when I arrive back home, or even days afterwards.
But, I wouldn't recommend this approach for most people, especially
if you are into recording observations in detail.

I would recommend taking a small note book with you, and a pencil or
pen, or both. In this way, you can record impressions and observations
as they happen. You might even want to make sketches of animals,
birds, or whatever you observe. And, never mind if your sketching
ability isn't what you think it should be -- do it anyhow. It's a good,
healthy practice, both mentally and physically.

Bye for this time,

Smell the Flowers


It won't be long before a number of plants start sprouting
up in the forest, as they begin another cycle of life. Here in
Nova Scotia, it'll happen during April, which is why I enjoy
hiking in the forest at that time of year.

The mayflower, which is the provincial flower of the province,
appears in April. It has an exquisite perfume. I believe the
perfume is relaxing and soothing to the nerves. The blossom
is quite beautiful and ranges from white to a rather deep pink.

Another plant I love to see breaking through the ground, is
the wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis). This was used as both
a medicinal and food plant by some aboriginal people, including
the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia. They chewed the rhizomes for
this purpose.

All the best!

Spring! Time to Grab That Tonic Bottle!

Yes, it's almost spring! What a glorious time of the year.
You know, in some respects, it's only because of the hard
dedicated work of nature, during the winter season, in
supplying us with an abundance of cold, blustery, snowy
weather, that we can fully appreciate the glory of spring.
Thank you, winter.

Now, having made that confession, I must say that I've been
terribly concerned this past month or so -- concerned about
whether I would be in the mood to fully appreciate spring.
You see, the winter here in Nova Scotia (even Cape Breton!),
had been so mild and lacking in the blustery, snowy
weather, cited above, that I doubted whether spring would
be much more than cause for a "ho-hum" reaction. I was
wrong! Mother Nature must have heard my concerns, because
we were hit so hard by a cold spell during the last half of
February, that I darn near froze a toe as I walked to the mail
box to pick up my bills and love letters.

So, now, I'm thinking: "Hello, spring, let's grab the tonic
bottle and welcome you home!"

In fact, while on the subject of "tonic," there is one
particular flowering plant that comes to mind -- the
dandelion. It is quite famous as a tonic plant. Have you
ever sat or stood in a field of dandelions, and enjoyed the
beauty of the yellow canvas spread out around you? It is
truly a tonic for the soul and spirit. This, alone, puts us
in a frame of mind suitable for the spring season. In terms
of a physical tonic, or something we can drink to invigorate
our mind and body, the dandelion serves the purpose.

The young leaves can be cleaned and added to salads, to
supply the body with an array of minerals and vitamins. As
well, one ounce of the leaves, steeped for ten minutes in a
pint of water, is a good general tonic that can be sweetened
by the addition of honey or molasses. A wineglass full can be
taken twice daily for tonic purposes. The occasional glass
of dandelion and ginger wine is also a delightful tonic
treat. I have a recipe for this wine. If anyone would like
the recipe, just drop me a line at llacey@tallships.ca, and
I will be happy to send it to you.

My very best wishes to everyone!

14 March 2006

Here's an ethnobotanical note from the first issue of my newsletter, Natural
Healing Talk:

The common juniper, Juniperus communis, and its cousin, Juniperus horizontalis, are
widely known in the plant medicine practices of North American Native
peoples. In Mi'kmaq medicine, the common juniper has a variety of uses. For
instance, the gum was used to heal cuts and sores, while the inner bark and
juice were used to treat stomach ulcers. Terry Willard, in his book, Edible and
Medicinal Plants of the Rocky
Mountains and Neighbouring Territories, writes that
"The Cree called juniperKa-Ka-Kau-mini and made a poultice for wounds out of
the inner bark" (p.33). Oh yes,I do mean the juniper plants, rather than the hackmatack or
tamarack tree, which is often referred to as juniper.

Good medicine always!

12 March 2006

I love this time of the month! The moon is waxing and will be
full on Tuesday, March 14th. It's always nice to go walking
on moonlit nights. Last evening was a mild, +5 celsius, here
on the south shore of Nova Scotia. The moon was bright and,
this, along with the mild weather, made walking a delightful

I'm looking forward to Tuesday, because I plan to mail out the
first issue of my newsletter, Natural Healing Talk. I've written
a rather light-hearted article on spring tonics, and on the value of
dandelions as a general tonic medicine. As well, I've included a
short item on ethnobotany -- this will likely be a monthly feature,
giving information on the use of plants and trees as medicines, by
the Native peoples of North America.

Until next time, my best regards,

p.s. if you wish to subscribe to the newsletter, just write
subscribe@wildworldofplants.com, with "subscribe" in
the subject line.

Note -- The information in this Blog is not given as medical advice,
but simply as educational information on traditional remedies, plant
uses, nature therapy, etcetera. Self-treatment is strictly the
responsibility of the individual(s) concerned.

06 March 2006

Nature and Wellness Article

I recently wrote an article on nature and wellness, which
I've included below. Please feel free to use it in your
blogs, newsletters, or on your web pages, as long as you
include my name as author, and include the footer at the
end of the article. You can benefit by the additional content
on your web page, and I can benefit by having it disseminated
around the web, and some attention given to my newsletter
and web site. Others benefit by having an interesting
article to read.

It's a lovely +3 Celsius and mostly sunny day here on the south shore
of Nova Scotia. As a matter of fact, it's time for me to take
a leisurely walk along the old dirt road, where I live.

All the best!

Wellness and Special Places in Nature
by Laurie Lacey

In this article I will speak about the wonderful healing
Potential of special places. By “special places,” I mean those
places in nature or the natural world that are close to our
hearts, and healing to our mind, body and spirit. If you don’t
yet have your own special place in nature, I would recommend
that you mmake this a goal for the near future.

I have a number of special places, and have used them for the
healing of dis-ease, for inspiration, and the gaining of new
insight into a problem, or to have a respite from the activities
of my normal life. They are a refuge of safety, or places where
we are able to re-orient ourselves, to think about and to
determine goals for ourselves, or simply quiet sanctuaries for

In our special places we are able to engage the landscape
in dialogue; I mean, to get to know an area quite well. We
are able to see how its mood changes with the weather, the
seasons or the time of day. Over time, we also become
acquainted with the animals and birds that frequent our special
place, and may even get to know their behaviour patterns, and
flight paths. For me, it takes on the aura of an old friend – a
place where I can take my problems, a place which gives
both support and intimacy.

It is not my place to tell anyone how they should treat their
dis-ease or to recommend a treatment, nor do I advocate
nature therapy (ecopsychology) practices as a substitute for
professional medical services. However, there are times when
we can empower ourselves to remedy situations on our own,
or with the help of friends, or in conjunction with professional
services. And, too, having special places is a good means of
illness prevention. It is an excellent process, and a free form of
self-help, encouraging us to play a greater role in maintaining
our health and wellness.

Let me conclude this article, with a suggestion: go off into the
natural world and find an area in which you feel relaxed and
comfortable. A place where you feel safe, and are able to
contemplate life in peace. Make this place a refuge in the
weeks and months, ahead. Visit your special place at least
once or twice, weekly. While there, examine the area in detail
noting the bird, animal, and insect life you discover. Begin a
journal of your experiences while in this natural landscape.
Have a brief period of meditation during each visit. As the
weeks and months pass, you will come to realize that your
special place has assumed an important role in your life, and
in helping to define the kind of life you live. You will also
notice what a wonderful role it plays in maintaining your
well-being. Having a special place in nature will help to bring
you a more joyous life.


Laurie Lacey is the publisher of Natural Healing Talk,
a bi-weekly newsletter on natural healing and wellness.
To subscribe, visit http://www.wildworldofplants.com,
or send an email to subscribe@wildworldofplants.com,
with “subscribe” in the subject line.