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Hi everyone,

my blog has moved, please click here to visit it:
http://jonyoung.org/category/blog-posting/

Also, I am really excited to let you know about the new Mentoring, Community & Resilience web series that the team here at OWLink Media has just released. We designed this series to complement the new 2nd edition of Coyote’s Guide to Connecting With Nature.

The four part web series gets into the how’s and why’s of creating deep, meaningful ties with nature, and in the series I have a chance to explore some topics about mentoring that have never been published anywhere yet. All in all there is about two hours of material. We’ve included the latest scientific research into the presentation about WHY nature connection is vital to our health and HOW to achieve a deep state of connection.

The first part of the series is available now for free at:
http://NatureMentoring.com

Just put your email in the box there and you’ll be taken to the free video page.

We’re even giving away a FREE copy of Coyote’s Guide to anyone who buys the web series by March 15th. The response we’ve been getting so far has been inspiring. People have been saying things like “this is the kind of information I’ve been searching for!” I hope you enjoy the free video and find the information to be timely and useful, and please spread word to your friends and family to check it out.

Back in 2000 or so, a number of us gathered at Gary Riekes’ forest retreat. We called this place “The Riekes Field Station”. We holed up there for about 6 weeks and worked on a book concept teaching bird language. Back then, we thought it should be divided between story/narrative and field guide/technique. It was a struggle.

Coyote’s Guide 2nd edition is off to the presses here in the next couple of days. With any luck there will an “E-version” of Coyote’s Guide, and soon. I want you all to see how beautiful this second edition is. Deb Winters led the charge (and continues to) with a very competent team. Despite many setbacks, it’s on its way. You know, that book is now almost 600 pages. That’s amazing.

The first try at bird language was nearly 700 pages too. That was in Word, and on 8.5 x 11 paper. So, I cannot imagine what we would have had if we finished that project then.

Almost two years ago, I was speaking in Fairfax. Mia Andler set up a talk for the local Permaculture group, Sustainable Fairfax. Someone in the neighborhood stopped in, and heard me speak. Bonnie approached me that night and asked who my agent was for publishing and speaking. Well, there was no agent.

So, the rest is hard work, many drafts and history. Now, there’s a short video on this project, and I hope you can go watch the video and let me know what you think! What the Robin Knows is the name of the book project and the short video this time, and it promises to be all narrative non-fiction, though instructional at it’s core. It’s really about a journey. I am working with a great team, including some of the folks from back in 2000. Dan Gardoqui is doing the science research with me, and Mike Bryan has helped bring the writing forward to this point. It’s coming along!

Looking for Wet Weasels

Here’s a short entry, more later…

It all begins with a nice walk from the parking lot to Abbott’s Lagoon at Point Reyes National Seashore. At what point do we want to start tracking? That’s a big challenge at Native Eyes. What if everywhere you look, there’s something to track, something to watch? That is the case here for sure. The bird language was constant and really engaging the entire day long for me. The ground was littered with track and sign. The local landscapes were breathtaking up close and into the distance. So much to see. Here are a few photos.


I am walking backwards here for a moment so the picture can be taken. Nature connection starts early for Finchy. He’s about 7  months old here. This was last Wednesday.

Finch is so content just exploring, touching, listening, watching, feeling wind through his fingers. He’s utterly instinctive in his core routines of nature connection–as all my children have been since this age. In fact, I have yet to meet a baby who ISN’T totally ready to connect. It’s about our culture’s response to this… That’s what we have to make up for isn’t it?

Wish I didn’t get my finger in the way. Here’s an almost 3 and an older girl doing what comes naturally. They bond, they play, they talk out loud to “each other” but pay no attention to matching the monologues. These are parallel worlds of imagination sharing a common field and instinct to just be, to play, to connect with the sand. The edge of the sea is one of the very best places to let children just be. And the adults too!

There is something for everyone here.

These sparrows were with us through the day. Their presence was really somehow very comforting. Maybe it’s because their cousins back east were always by my sit spot in winter when it otherwise felt quiet and lonely. The landscape is a tapestry of their calls, and those of wrentits, towhees, and by the water, the wren and song sparrow.


Sketching the marks of a wet weasel with a big appetite.


This is the place where the otters like to come up out of the water, leave their sign, roll and read the bulletin board. You can see the place in the vegetation where there is negative space. This is part of a watery run that the otters use between the fresh water lake and the brackish lagoon. The sand is wet where they recently came from the water to mark and roll. The sand showed us the lines caused by their fur in their body prints.

Happy Veteran’s Day

Hi. For some reason, something didn’t work and my post for today is down below the scat article. Please scroll down and enjoy your day. Think of those who have given their sacrifice to look after those who cannot look after themselves. J

Happy Veteran’s Day

Ooops. For some reason my post from this morning is down below two articles…

The Badger-Hintern Update

Quick gratitude to Hans-Joerg for ‘editing’ our title. Suggesting and upgrade in the translation.

Today at Native Eyes this is what I heard,

A group of folks were up on the east ridge above the farm. When they came upon skunk tracks entering into what appeared to some as a badger burrow. Some discussion emerged as to whether or not there were badgers here. Well just literally a moment later…

“Hey (from Andreas) this earth is really fresh.” while looking at a freshly dug throw mound from a burrow in the West Marin County hills of Point Reyes National Seashore (see Google Earth–It’s BAD).

Robin stopped and came back, looked into the burrow and said,

“Whoa, the earth is MOVING. Do you see that?”

Then the fellers at Native Eyes looked into the hole and saw a badger’s butt. Andreas tried to take pictures, but there was a shadow. “Hey! Who’s making this f…. shadow.”

So that’s the report! They saw a FRESH badger dig today. The funny thing about that is that it was actually Andreas’s shadow. This is according to an anonymous Native Eyes instructor who witnessed the whole event!!!
Oh, and there seems to be lots of disagreement as to whose shadow it was. The heat of the moment and all that.

That’s so great. Priceless really. Now. Matt Berry led the gang today in the making of pitch sticks for sealing bark containers that hold water. They made the sticks on green stems of willow with poo (goat and rabbit) and pitch from stone and gray pines. Cool. Love Matt. Really LOVE Native Eyes. Now onto cooking Brattwurst on open fires…

Tonight the group at RDNA affirmed its commitment to a core process around a) finding our center to access our best creativity (and awareness) and helping each other to do the same; b) communicating from the place describe in “a)” especially when a topic is charged, bringing feedback directly to folks who need to hear it; and c) working towards consensus as much as possible (even agreeing to disagree–working for the good of the group).

We looked at culture as a container to store and pass on learnings from regions between generations–and to build connections. Great day really.

This is a Fun Mystery

You know that I was raised from the age of 10 as a tracker, right? Well, okay, then can you pardon me ONE scat mystery? We always get around to this kind of thing as trackers eventually. Jennifer from Native Eyes (she has a great blog by the way), brought this to me and asked some questions that got my attention. There is chewed up tiny grass bits (it’s mostly made up of that), then there are two whole rabbit scat pellets, and then there is some rabbit hair.

Can you make a guess? What’s going on with this? This was found at Gazos Creek State Beach.