Listening To Earth:  The Fertile Soil of Uncertainty

July 11-12, 2020 

Spirit Hollow, N. Bennington, VT

Be earth now, and evensong.
Be the ground lying under that sky.
Be modest now, like a thing
ripened until it is real

--Rainer Maria Rilke

On the wind, in the songs of birds, in the pulse of the trees and the bubbling of the waters, Earth speaks to us in countless voices. Through all our different windows of knowing, we can attune to the trembling of a tiny wild flower or the croak of a raven, the shimmer of a white quartz boulder, or the wellspring of tears that arises from deep underground. These and so many others entice us into conversation, into relationship.

Join Tracey Forest & Dave Muska for this 2-day course to enliven our connection and communication with the Earth.

Throughout the weekend we will participate in the art of tracking on the land and tracking our own mythos, stargazing and befriending the dark, fire making and tending our own inner fires and facilitated council. There will be plenty of solo time on the land to reflect and release, listen and receive.

2020 Calendar of Classes

January 11, 2020:  Animal Track & Sign
                                    Huyck Preserve & Biological Station,
                                     Rensselaerville, NY
February 1, 2020:  Wildlife Tracking 101
                                   North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier, VT
March 7, 2020:       Intermediate Wildlife Tracking
                                   North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier, VT
March 28, 2020:    Wildlife Track & Sign 
                                   Mosher Marsh Preserve, Amsterdam, NY
                                   (Postponed Due to COVID-19)
June 13, 2020:       Wilderness Way-Finding Challenge  
                                 (Youth Program)                                    
                                  Scoharie Creek Preserve, Town of Charleston, NY   

                                  (Postponed Due to COVID-19)

June 14, 2020:       Wilderness Crafts (Family Program)

                                  Van Dyke Preserve, Town of Bethlehem, NY

July 11-12, 2020:   Listening To Earth: The Fertile Soil of                                                     Uncertainty 
                                 Spirit Hollow, North Bennington, VT
July 25, 2020:        Wild Mushroom Immersion
                                   Montpelier, VT
August 1, 2020:      Mushrooms of Holt Preserve
                                   Holt Preserve, New Scotland, NY
August 2, 2020:     Edible & Medicinal Plants
                                  Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy Private                                                               Easement, New Scotland, NY
Nov 7,  2020:         Understanding & Interpreting the Landscape 
                                  Mohawk   Hudson Land Conservancy private                                                             easement, Glenville, NY
IMG_2272 (1)
C. tubaeformis

In our modern world we often forget the abundance nature provides. Join Dave Muska of Ondatra Adventures for a family friendly workshop in Wilderness Crafts at the Van Dyke Preserve in Delmar, NY.  In this class you will make a small melon basket from local and wild-harvested vines, learn the art of making cordage from natural fibers, and how to make stone necklaces.  Be prepared to hear some stories, learn natural history, and have fun with your family outdoors!


When:  Saturday, May 13th 2017



Where: MHLC Van Dyke Preserve, Delmar, NY

Cost:  FREE

Winter Wildlife Tracking

Tracking is the art of reading the landscape and interpreting the stories that it holds. It is a dynamic and living tapestry of tales encompassing all that moves across the earth.  

In this class, you’ll be introduced to basic tracking skills and concepts such as clear print identification, track patterns, as well as techniques to develop your skill in tracking.

This is a great class for photographers, hunters, or anyone who wishes to deepen their outdoor experience.  

All skill levels are welcome!


* Please plan to be outdoors for the duration of this class.(3 Hours). We will be walking and standing still thoughout the class. Please DRESS ACCORDINGLY.

Bird Language: Understanding & Interpreting Bird Behavior

Our fields and forests have a ‘news service’ signaling to all who are aware.  Birds report everything that is happening, from the news of a passing predator to signaling the arrival of a 'quiet' human walking up the trail, still minutes away.   

Bird language is an effective, fun, and exciting tool for observing the relationships of the natural world.  

I have on many occasions been led on adventures to find great horned owls, coyote, and much more due to my understanding of bird language and interpretaion.      


Join us in this interactive workshop in which you will be given the tools to develop this amazing awareness and skill.  Your experience outdoors will never be the same. 


This class does not require any prior knowledge of bird species or their calls and is open to all levels of interest and skill.

Photo: Marcy Herrick


Art of Friction Fire

In this class you will learn time-tested techniques to starting fire with friction. Yes, you can do that! We will cover the local species of plants that provide the greatest success along with the fundamental components of friction kits, how they work and why they sometimes don't.


You will leave this class with a new appreciation for the gift of fire along with the tools and knowledge to create fire on your own. Subjects covered will include tinder bundle collection and construction, strap drill (2 person), bow drill (1 person) and hand drill. All participants will build their own friction kits to take home.