Late Winter Wonders

FoxTales features guest posts by characters from the magical fiction novel, Because Of The Red Fox. This post is written by Annie Wakefield-Browne, cousin to Shell Wakefield (protagonist of the book).

Hi! I’m Annie, and I’m super-excited to be writing to you today. Let me tell you about some of our day, and maybe you’ll tell us about yours.

First off, it’s been crazy rainy and windy at times for the past few days, and hail the size of peas spat down this afternoon. Okay, so it hasn’t been as windy as it was about six years ago. (Folks on the island always talk about that storm if you bring up a topic about wind and rain. You can read what Jane had to say about it in her Wise Child Learning blog post, Thunderbird Takes Wing)

But the hail spat like bee-bees from a bee bee gun onto the backs of the ducks in the poultry yard. Oh, they were so confused for a bit, but eventually waddled under shelter.

Near sunset, though, I wandered  out into the field to my favorite Hawthorn tree–she’s kind of like a great-aunt to me, or an elder friend. Anyway, I stopped by to say hello, and I noticed that all kinds of lichen lay on the grasses, blown off by the wind, I guess.  Tomorrow I think I might collect some of the lichen for Jane (you know, the writer of our book, Because Of The Red Fox). I think she’d like to make some medicine from lichen, from Usnea, because of its amazing anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.

Hawthorn In Winter - photo by Jane Valencia (c) 2013
Hawthorn In Winter – photo by Jane Valencia (c) 2013

Oh, I bet Aunt Elinn, Shell’s mom, would like some too, because she’s an herbalist–well, I’d call her a green witch. That’s really a better term for what she does.

As I wandered about, noting the Usnea, I started noticing the trails along the edge of the field, close to the blackberry and the woods. Wow! There’s a regular highway along the edges of fields, and lots of turn-offs where the animals lunge into the shrubs. Little tunnels are everywhere in the hedges, if you stop to look.

Who makes these paths?

I found a pile of droppings — deer droppings, I think — near one tunnel that seemed to slice through between some pokey holly. If that tunnel is big enough for a deer, it’s big enough for me! I pushed past the holly and …

… and found myself in an amazing secret place! No one would ever, ever find me if I decided to make this my own private shelter, my own private teahouse even. Well, the deer might find me if they decide to pass through, but I could just crouch by one of the cypress hidden away here, and just think my own thoughts.

… mmm!

I pushed back out of my secret hideaway (it’s really just a pocket of a place been our field and a neighbor’s yard, and then wandered a little further.

By now the grass was glowing green with hidden sunset (the sky was filled with low gray clouds). And down the trail the old apple trees were dancing.

Well, not like they were up and moving. But that’s what they looked like and that’s how they seemed.

And that was my sunset!

So tell me. What do you notice at the edges of your yard or a nearby field , or the edges of any outdoor place? Are there trails, tiny or large? Who or what do you think uses them? Where do they go? Do you notice any tunnels?

Do you have a secret hideaway, right where you are?

Thanks for reading! Good night!

Win A Copy Of Our Book!

This blog is devoted to the fantastic and fun. Today, two characters from Because Of The Red Fox introduce a giveaway of their book … Deadline for entering the drawing is Sunday, Nov. 11!

oakgypsy
Oak and Gypsy Belle – dolls made by Lisa Mathias of Journey School Stories (http://www.luckyfarm.us/)

Oak: Greetings! Oak and Gypsy Belle here. We’re two characters in the magical nature novel, Because Of The Red Fox. We won’t tell you exactly who we are, because, well … that might be considered a spoiler! In any case, we wanted to let you know about Herbal Roots zine and a cool giveaway they are hosting of our book.

Herbal Roots zine is an amazing monthly ezine that shares an herb a month with kids and kids at heart.  It’s full of fun projects, enchanting artwork, lots of herbal knowledge and wisdom, stories, games, and so much more. Each month features a particular herb or tree and its medicine.

My partner Gypsy Belle is an herbalist and wise woman, and she just loves this ezine. She co-teaches a Forest Kids camp in the Otherworld, and always has an issue or two on hand to share with the kids who attend. You can often hear them singing the songs about the herbs and their medicine. I’m looking forward to hearing them sing the song of this month’s medicine plant!

Gypsy Belle: That’s because this month’s Herbal Roots zine is devoted to Oak! (she starts to sing “Harvest Oak Bark Now”). I never thought of you asbeing  very plant-y, Oak!

Oak: Hm, yes. You might call that my understory …

Gypsy Belle: Ugh! Leave the bad puns to Shell!

Oak: A-corny Shell?

Gypsy Belle: No. Oak. No. More. So, Readers, what Oak has been trying to tell you is that right now you can enter a giveaway to win a copy of Because Of The Red Fox.  You can also read a lovely review of our book. How cool is that!

Oak: Readers, head on over to Herbal Roots zine, and check out the scene. And be sure to enter the giveaway! Maybe you’ll be the one who wins us (well, in the book).

Gypsy Belle: Jane will autograph the copy, too!

Oak and Gypsy Belle: Good luck!

Click here to find out about the Because Of The Red Fox giveaway at Herbal Roots zine. Enter the drawing by Sunday, Nov. 11!