Wild Thickets: December 🦔
Winter is coming...
Dearest wild ones,
This month, we have been moving slowly and sluggishly, at the pace of an aged Sleepytime bear. Starting one’s day in the encroaching dark might feel like trying to walk through thickening taffy, but oh gods, is it ever satisfying to arrive back to the nest after a wet bikeride in the rain, and put a pot of something steamy on to brew.
Here are some bits of jetsam & flotsam to keep your home fires burning in December…
Warm your paws and cool your jets with the 21st edition of New Forms Festival on Dec 8th-9th, curated by the wild things of Acceleration Radio x Fromlife: Experimental audio/visuals, late nite beats and next-wave deconstructions.
Krampusnacht is being celebrated on 9th Dec at Victory Square Park, a costumed parade of Krampuses with community art market (and afterparty, secret location) organised by SubLunar. Krampusnacht is the night where St. Nick's dark and hairy companion, the notorious Christmas Demon, comes out to play…
The Winter Solstice Lantern Festival is also unfurling its wings, with lantern-making workshops throughout December, lantern processions in Strathcona, Yaletown and Granville Island, and an outdoor labyrinth on December 21st.
Armenian visual artists are hosting their first community art show at Beaumont Studios on December 9th, with a community dance class and an afterparty. And Karin Bubaš: Garden of Shadows is at Audain Art Museum in Whistler, an exploration of nature-culture in the artist’s Studies of Women in Landscapes series.
Polygon Gallery is exhibiting “From Slander’s Brand” from Dec-Feb, “in response to pivotal moments of historical transformation and trauma”: the Iranian revolution of 1979, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beginners’ felting and crocheting workshops are on Dec 5th & 6th with Esthette Lifestyle Shop. Also, Zjeau suggests check out Trent in the basement at City Centre Artist Lodge, who heads up remote mountains with First Nations matriarch Cease Wyss to put hidden cameras in bear dens and such, and capture amazing close up photography of wild animals.
Find the best of the North Shore’s DIY holiday light displays via this crowd-sourced map from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove.
In the Northern Hemisphere, Winter Solstice happens December 21st. For those wishing to plan a sip of tea, toke or embrace in the Lower Mainland, the sun reaches its southernmost position at 7:26pm, with Sunrise at 8:05am and Sunset at 4:16pm. Time to start that auspicious new work you’ve been thinking about?
And a wild place: Near trail 7 that leads to the southern part of Wreck Beach, there are lots of winding trails adjacent to old Marine Drive which are gorgeous and quiet, for a forest bathing walk on a sunny fall (or winter!) day. Zjeau lost their sunglasses there off the trail, in a pile of leaves, and found them.
Get bogged down with this gentle biopic of the xʷməm̓qʷe:m/Camosun Bog - which is over 2000 years old - and the humans who gather to care for it.
Arriving like a joyful bat outta hell, Gentle Dismantlings is now available for free across DING and Branch magazines, featuring 7 articles which explore the next generation of posthuman feminisms from India to the Bahamas ~ and a bonus QR code zine, in DIY style, for printing, folding, and distributing across it all…
Despite making up about 95% of our universe, dark matter and dark energy can't be seen by the human eye - but luckily the Euclid space telescope is officially on the hunt, having set off on an epic 6-year mission to observe the shapes of billions of galaxies, and create the largest cosmic 3D map ever made. No pressure right?
Much of the ocean is also a bit like dark matter, with very little known (amongst humans, that is) about its actual topography. So of course our species is currently trying to map that too. Another colossal task, given this amounts to about 139.7 million square miles, or “eight more moons” of seafloor…
There’s something strangely wonderful about zooming in and out of earth view on the radio.garden platform, and seeing all the little green radio stations dotted across it, even in the remotest corners of the world. Dancing alone, yet together… here’s a favourite radio station for cooking with, from Algeria, Northern Sahara.
This exploration of language as medicine for Indigenous Peoples around the world argues for a conception of health as something more than simply the mechanics of the body, with “language itself [being that which] teaches us to have a healthy relationship with the world around us.”
When the daylight savings blues start to get you down, this track (and entire album, really) by “unflashy” trumpeter Matthew Halsall is a balm of fresh air.
Our official community call-and-response section, where we find compatriots to share intriguing rewildings with across the hive-mind. Have a call or response? Leave a note on this Google Form (name optional), and in time, we’ll connect those who seek…
Call: Any stargazers and night watchers with telescopes or naked-eye interest in venturing into cool, clear night sky? I have a telescope, but low motivation to venture out alone. Open to all levels of experience, but magnified personalities are a must. ~ Arman
Call: I need to test out that roaming Finnish Sauna when it’s next at Jericho Beach (for science). Any cold dippers out there brave enough to join? ~ Kit
Response: With regards to the anonymous call-out for local bats in town (Issue #1), Mark had a few words to share with the hive-mind:
“I regularly see bats in my neighbourhood or, more precisely, at ‘The Daily Pond’ near Jericho Beach, where 20 beavers (currently counted) and their wholesale rearrangement of the waterflows and nesting areas of the nearby marshes and ponds have successfully obliterated the fact that as recently as 1978 this area was … a golf course. A rewilding success, by any measure.
There are also now bee ‘apartments’ nearby, but nothing for bats. I guess they’ve got some natural accommodations sorted. In any case they are a regular feature at dusk in summer, and it’s a treat to see them flitting around. I have no idea where they nest. But when the Jericho Lands are developed, this area is going to see massive pressure. So far, I’ve seen little discussion around protection of this area when 20,000 people (and how many dogs?) see this as their backyard.
Then there's the Terra Nova lands at Richmond. Why do their bats get a standlaone structure that is a cross between Liz Magor’s “LightShed" installation, and something that might have been in a less-than-stellar episode of the original Batman TV series? It appears near a tiny demonstration plot of indigenous trees and shrubs that I suspect are a first step in introducing a lager rewilding project. It’s quite removed from the main trail, and the tall grasses obscure the signage that warns us not to approach the structure. If you invert an image of bats hanging upside down though, it looks like they are all goths hanging out at a nightclub. If you don’t believe me, search the intertubes. So perhaps this was conceived as a nightclub for bats.
In the 90s, I used to say that we should wish a return of most of Richmond to being active farmland. But now, I’m more inclined to imagine a full reclamation - a return, in greater measure, to what once was there before the biped. But what fun to imagine a city full of bat condos, and of bee apartments. But we’ll always be managing the earth in some measure from here on in and I’m sure this scenario would also mean there would need to be mosquito buffets at every corner. And who would sign up for that?”
If that’s not a rousing start to December in lotusland, we’re not sure what is. Thanks for digging into the dens with us. Please feel invited to send this issue of Wild Thickets to those whom you’d like to subscribe (and contribute!) - the hive-mind welcomes all who move with care. Here’s to future burrowings in between all our wildish terrains.
We’ll see you in the thickets…
✧*。DrKitKat avec Alex, Arman, Christina, GM, Mark, Sam & Zjeau
Also known as the ancestral and unceded (stolen) territories of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueum), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
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