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Floyd Fest16 Naturefun

June 22, 2015

FloydFest16 Natural Intelligence Designs Nature Activities


(Workshop Descriptions Below. All events are rain or shine.)

Thursday, July 28rd
9:00am-11:00 am–Understanding Bird Language (OA)
Friday, July 29
10:30- 12:30–Art & Science of Tracking (OA)
Saturday, July 30

2:00-4:00 Family Nature Adventures (OA)

Sunday, July 26
11:30 -1:30–Nature Based Mindfulness?Forest Bathing (OA)

Event Descriptions

All events are participatory, experiential, playful and adventuresome!
Thursday, July 28rd
9:00am-11:00 am–Understanding Bird Language (OA): The birds are the eyes and the ears of the forest. I will teach you a simple system to learn the bird tracks in snowstory written on the wind: what the birds are saying, what’s going on in their lives, what predators are moving around, where the nearest people are.  Over time, understanding that the birds are telling stories about us, and about the land, will change your life forever.


Friday, July 29
10:30-12:30 Art & Science of tracking (OA)

“This alphabet of “natural objects” (soils and rivers, birds and beasts) spells out a story..” Aldo Leopold

An introduction to tracking, the activity that gave rise to human intelligence. We’ll roam the landscape looking for stories written on the earth, discovering evidence with our all senses, asking: Who made this track? When did it happen? Where on the landscape is the animal? Why was it here? How was it moving?

sneaking kids tcf 2008


Saturday, July 25
2:00- 4:00–Family Nature Connection Adventures
Designed for parents and with younger children, Destiny Leahy kid rain 2I will share outdoor practices to foster peace, curiosity, intelligence, health and connection within families gleaned from 17 years of parenthood and nature-based teaching and learning, and supported by brain science and psychology.

11:30 pm-1:30-Nature Based Mindfulness/Forest Bathing

cropped-autumn-spider2.jpgA beautiful, nature-based shivasna to wrap up an awesome weekend! We will share the core routines of mindful connection in nature, to nature and to others. Take “being here now” to a new understanding of what is really “here.” If you have a meditation practice this will be a beautiful complement to it, and expand the zone and depth of your practice. If you’re new or unfamiliar with mindfulness, these techniques will be easy to integrate into your life and help create patterns of peacefulness, curiosity, playfulness and connection within it.

About Michael Blackwell:

I have been studying tracking since 1998 and teaching it since 2000. I have studied with some very skilled trackers, including Tom Brown, Jon Young, and Rob Speiden. I designed and taught “The Art and Science of Tracking” for Virginia Tech’s Honors program from 2008-2012, have taught a variety of tracking and nature-based learning skills throughout the region for the past 10 yeas. In 2013, I presented a talk on the power of awareness and curiosity, and on tracking in the “real” world at TEDxVT: Forget What You Know.

You can see more of  my background here and recommendations from former students here.

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