August 2019

Tracking mammals is the topic for episode 76 of the JMB Podcast. We discuss how we approach teaching tracking, the three types of tracking (clear print, pattern, sign), the three tasks of the tracker (locate, identify, interpret), and why jumping to conclusions is bad, but jumping to exclusions is good. Also covered is why bother [...]

It’s still August but the nights are getting cool. When the night air is cooler than the river water we get dramatic morning mists. I shot this on the morning of August 23, 2019, as the sun was just peeking over Squapan Ridge and the river valley was full of mist. I stood there for [...]

A Mattress Made Of Grass

When made well, a grass mattress is portable luxury. Unlike thin sleeping pads, grass mattresses can easily be made to rival a modern mattress in thickness and comfort. They can also easily be transported, unlike bough beds. And they can be made from a variety of materials including grass, weeds, cattails, reeds, and more. They [...]

Episode 75 starts with a government conspiracy (to us, anyway) regarding whether the whoopie pie is the official state dessert or just the state treat of Maine, then we discuss how a hornet’s nest has stopped us from being able to print anything at the field school for a few days. Next we discuss the [...]

blueberry season

It’s that time of year in northern Maine where the bushes are loaded with ripe fruit. Wherever you look there are cherries, berries and apples weighing down the branches on which they grow. For the next six weeks, the season of bounty in the county, we’ll be feasting on wild foods, learning about them as [...]

pots on the fire

There are three jobs that go with running a school: presenting information, having students do something useful with that information, and assessing the student to see where they are on the continuum of experience. However, most outdoor schools are simply venues for information to be presented. Information is not the same as education. In fact, [...]

I’ve worked hard for and waited a long time to be about to say this. We’re all set up with the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Credits for courses, financial aid & more. Read more on the UMPI website or on the Jack Mountain website.

  On a recent overnight on trail for the 2019 “Riverman” program, I got to thinking about how great food always tastes in the bush, and mentally waxing philosophical about why that is. There are obvious factors, like working physically hard all day and building up and appetite, or that it’s just a pavlovian effect [...]

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