I actually did spend most of my time near the entrance to the forest today. It was a clear warm and sunny day, and the blue of the sky provided relief from the greens, brown, and whites of the forest. So many plants are in bloom, and so many are transitioning to seed and berry forming too. The bulk of my notes are in the photos today, as plants reveal their identities overtly and spectacularly - this is the time of year to learn their names, and then remember where you saw them so that you can learn to recognize them at other times of the year too. The orange and black butterflies have become familiar companions now. I heard chickadees, the flute and rattle of red-winged blackbirds, the bouncing song of song sparrows, cawing crows, and robins, and an unfamiliar bird sound, twee-twee-twee-twee-buzz-buzz-buzz-buzz.
Mosquitos pricks made a constant somatic music on the flesh of my legs, and at the end of my walk, a touch of stinging nettle layered on a differently timbered note as I continue to take in this forest, in her many voices.
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Hi! My name is Nathan Binnema. My grandparents are from the Netherlands, and I have lived my whole life in the city of Edmonton, as a settler on this land that I have learned to call Amiskwaciy Waskahikan. Growing up my family attended Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, which is how I am connected with Doug Visser. Around 2012/2013 I joined the public activism to fight the rezoning of the northeast agricultural land, and was introduced to the farm and the forest. I stayed in touch, and a few years later Kelly asked me to do bookkeeping for Lady Flower Gardens. Though I haven’t pursued studies in ecology or biology professionally, I have always been a biophile, and for nearly seven years now have been with a practice called phenological engagement, which involves visiting a small area consistently throughout the year, and trying to get to know all of the living creatures who also visit there, and how they are related.