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Black Ash Tree Harvest

Today, we started our first day of basket-making led by April Stone, an expert indigenous basket weaver. We started by visiting the forest where we found a beautiful black ash tree that we chose to harvest. Before cutting down the tree, the group shared appreciation for all that it would soon provide us with. Simon started us off with a few axe hits to the tree, and then the group all got a turn to make more progress. When the tree finally fell, and there were many “oohs” and “ahhs” as the tree crashed to the forest floor. We proceeded to axe the tree until we split it into small logs. From there, we once again took turns to carry the log out of the forest and to a station where we would continue working on the the baskets. We placed the log down and began to peel back the bark of the trunk to uncover its cambium layer. Throughout the whole process, April demonstrated how to treat the tree with respect and compassion. We returned to camp to a lunch full of sandwiches, chips, and hummus! After eating and having a little down time, we went to a gorgeous waterfall that leads into the Bad River. We hung out there for around two hours, swimming and many of us making friendship bracelets. After an eventful day, we returned home, hung out some more, and had a delicious dinner of home-made burritos.