Morse Ranch Park

moss-covered trees at Morse Ranch ParkI thought I’d share a few photos I took over the weekend at one of my favorite wild haunts here in Eugene: Morse Ranch Park, which as the name indicates was once a family farm.  Now a protected historical site, it includes the original farmhouse, an off-leash dog park, an open meadow, a wooded area, and the Willamette Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (one of the local wildlife sites where I may look into volunteering in the future). 

We decided to go for a walk in the woods on Thursday morning, to commune with the wights and for me to gather moss and bark from fallen logs for a craft project.  The park initially became a favorite of ours because it’s close to our house, readily accessible, and the woods have an otherwordly, remote feeling to them.  They aren’t actually isolated, you can even see the farmhouse from almost any part of them, but when you’ve walked into them a little way it feels as though you’re cut off from the outside world.  There’s a stream (probably a branch of the ubiquitous Amazon Creek) that’s barely noticable during the summer but is quite active this time of year, during our wet season; some children stopped to play on the bridge (under which lives a troll) while we were there, but when I had taken only a few steps into the nearby forest I could no longer hear them.  The landwights are very active in these woods, so of course I made sure to pay (with bone meal) for each piece of lichen or bark I gathered.  We also burned some incense for the spirits, carefully.  In my own experience and UPG, land spirits often take corporeal form as birds that watch over and guard certain areas, and there were a couple of little spots–sacred in the sense of the Anglo-Saxon term weoh, set aside and not to be touched–that we were warned away from by them.

I’ve created a Flickr set for the photographs I took (and will take in the future) of this very special wooded area; you can see a slideshow of the photos  here.