Flora & Fauna Awareness
Animals & Insects
As Druids we respect all beings with whom we share this planet; that being said, some of our non-human neighbors are more difficult to get along with than others. Stay mindful of the following:
Massachusetts is home to the usual assortments of creepy crawlies, but please be especially aware of the potential illnesses carried by both mosquitos and deer ticks . We strongly recommend some sort of repellant be worn.
There aren’t too many venomous critters, but both copperheads and timber rattlesnakes can be found in more mountainous and wooded areas (for more on snakes in MA, click here). Happily, no one has died from a snakebite in Massachusetts in over 200 years. Likewise, the black widow spider is also present in the state, but a quick shaking out of shoes and clothes should take care of any hitchhikers. While painful, their bite is not fatal.
Additionally, the woods around Camp Middlesex are home to bears, coyotes, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, corvids, and other opportunistic diners. Please keep all food picked up and put away, to keep both them and ourselves safe.
Plants & Fungi
The main plant to keep an eye out for is the ever-present guardian of the woodline, poison ivy. Just remember the old adage, “leaflets three, let them be!” For a more nuanced discussion of poison ivy and the role she can play in Druid practice, check out this excellent post.
Depending on how much rain we get, BAM may fall right in the middle of the largest fungi bloom of the year. The site is home to many gorgeous varieties of mushroom, but some can be downright deadly. Figuring out what mushrooms are safe is a lifelong art, so it’s best to just admire them from afar.
Likewise, there are several tempting berry varieties onsite, and many of them are also deadly. Again, don’t go nibbling on things if you don’t know what they are, and even if you think you do…check with a friend or six.
And of course, all children need to be supervised to prevent potential gustatory experimentation with unfriendly vegetation.
Caring for the Land
One of BAM’s core values is to not only improve ourselves, but our environment as well.
Please clean up after yourself. Make sure all trash and recycling makes it into the appropriate containers.
If you feel moved to make offerings, please be sure that they will leave no trace. Biodegradable is always best.
Consider carrying a spare plastic grocery bag to gather up any litter you might find in your travels. We’ll have a group walking of the land at the beginning and end of the event to deal with detritus as well. Many hands make for light work.