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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wild Rice Harvest Report

This year we focused our efforts on the area East of Eagle River, Wisconsin The areas we harvested, for the most part have more water than land and the area has distinct weather patterns compared to places just fifty miles in any direction. Harvest times vary, but can start as early as the first week in August and can run as late as the first week of September or so. Generally, mid to late August there will be some rice, but the window for harvest in any one area is about a week to ten days.

We had quite a few conflicts with schedules and only got one serious day in, but we got a reasonable amount of rice. Everyone who participated was happy with the results. We would like to thank the staff and students at Teaching Drum Outdoor School, especially Tamarack song for the loan of a couple paddles because we forgot ours on the way up.

The wildlife we saw was amazing, not just because we got so close to so many species, but the numbers and variety was just amazing considering the short time we were in the Northwoods. Before we even crossed Highway 64, we saw a fairly large bear, then we saw cranes, swan, bald eagle, blue jay, hummingbird, toads, loons, woodpeckers, near our campsite, scurrying around the forest floor we saw red, black and ground squirrels and we heard very close to our site, both turkey and owl as we were leaving our camp, we saw a doe and her fawn, very close to the road. All of this withing just over 24 hours!

We got about thirty pounds in about four hours, it was not back breaking work, but you did feel like you had gotten a good work out afterward. Next fall, if you would like to attend the rice harvest encampment, let me know ASAP as I would like to plan ahead and figure out how many campsites to plan to utilize. If we know how many people are coming, we can be sure to have enough canoes, paddles, push poles and knocking sticks and flotation devices for our guests.

Blessed Be and may you find many ways to harmonize with the rhythm of Mother Earth.

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