~ Make, Forage Photography ~

Welcome to my ‘Make’ album. Foraging for me is more than just gathering wild food and making good use of it, it’s a way of life that sees bounty and beauty everywhere, that follows a trail of bread crumbs or seeds back into a deeper understanding of why we are here.
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I’m really leaning into what Forage Photography means to me, and wanting to tell the story about how @Forage.followthetrail came to be. Somehow, somewhere we lost the trail, pulled away from our intimate relationship to the land, how we make food, make beauty, make meaning.
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All, around me I see makers who are repairing this and I am so inspired! What happens when human hands gather, tend, create in a reciprocal, loving relationship with the earth? This! These are more than just local hand crafts, or wild crafts, they are stories that weave belonging, responsibility, wisdom into the objects, foods, ceremonies that we need to survive and thrive on a planet that is calling loudly for us to change they we consume. Stay tuned for more images. Come visit me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/forage.followthetrail/ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/applestarphoto
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Deep gratitude to the many beautiful souls who are tending the earth, and sharing the gifts of their making hands; to the wisdom traditions and teachers who are passing on these vital crafts; to all our relations who continue to give of their bodies so that we can make clothing, food, shelter, art, ceremony; to all those who are gathering around the children these days to take them outdoors to make connections and fall in love with the land again; and with deepest thanks, humble gratitude to the unceded, ancestral Coast Salish peoples who have tended these lands for as long as anyone can remember so that I can live, work and play here.

~ the river below the river ~

At Blackwater Pond the tossed waters have settled
after a night of rain.
I dip my cupped hands. I drink
a long time. It tastes
like stone, leaves, fire. It falls cold
into my body, waking the bones. I hear them
deep inside me, whispering
oh what is that beautiful thing
that just happened?

Mary Oliver, Blackwater Pond

I’ve been thinking about the Waters lately, how grateful I am for their flow, their kissing leaves, drumming on roofs and tarmac to get our attention, caressing the grooves in bark, running down trunks, into gullies, a million drops uniting to flow down deep into the loamy earth, quenching deep roots, carrying all that is nutritious and vital with them to feed underground streams and aquifers, following their original instructions to join the river of life. As we, in the Northern Hemisphere, enter the dark, fallow season, how can we tap into the teachings of the precious waters ~ the river below the river, ‘rio abacho rio’, as Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls it, this subterranean knowing?

“I feel like the earth, astonished at fragrance borne in the air, made pregnant with mystery from a drop of rain.” Rumi

“Be wild; that is how to clear the river. The river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we have to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing. That is creative life. It is made up of divine paradox. To create one must be willing to be stone stupid, to sit upon a throne on top of a jackass and spill rubies from one’s mouth. Then the river will flow, then we can stand in the stream of it raining down.”

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

“Each [human] has potential access to Rio Abajo Rio, this river beneath the river. [They arrive] there through deep meditation, dance, writing, painting, prayermaking, singing, drumming, active imagination.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes

“From ‘the river beneath the river, ‘ I learnt to leap and keep going, to catch the verve of shout places, and if escape be needed, to make myself fine as mist. I learnt from rivers, that going to the edges will lead to Plato’s cave, that slots filled with debris often hold the oldest grandfather trouts, and that the middle of the river like the middle of so much in life, is often not the deepest.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes, The Soul is a River, The River is a Soul

“Silent friend of many distances, feel
how your breath enlarges all of space.
Let your presence ring out like a bell
into the night. What feeds upon your face

grows mighty from the nourishment thus offered.
Move through transformation, out and in.
What is the deepest loss that you have suffered?
If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine.

In this immeasurable darkness, be the power
that rounds your senses in their magic ring,
the sense of their mysterious encounter.

And if the earthly no longer knows your name,
whisper to the silent earth: I’m flowing.
To the flashing water say: I am.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, Silent friend of many distances, feel

All images are copyright taken by myself as part of a wild being project except for the one of myself gathering bones by the bog, taken by Chantal Solomon, who I am deeply grateful for… it was a big step for me to embody my journey at the waters’ edge in this way, gathering bones form the wild. I am so grateful as well to all those protrayed in the images for their courageous commitment to their own wild paths, inner tacking, restoring relations to the earth through their gifts. Thank you! I thank also the rains, rivers, marsh, ponds, lakes and seas of the unceeded ancestral territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, where I work, live and play. #waterislife Last of all, how can I forget the poets and storytellers who share their #songlines with us so that we may find our ways home. With deep, humble love and gratitude, I thank Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Mary Oliver, Rainer Maria Rilke, Rumi and others whose words have not yet reached my ears.

with wild love, Belinda White

Forage ~ follow the trail….

“And the speck of my heart in my shed of flesh and bone, began to sing out, the way the sun would sing if the sun could sing, if light had a mouth and a tongue, if the sky had a throat, if god wasn’t just and idea but shoulders and a spine, gathered from everywhere, even the most distant planets, blazing up. Where am I? Even the rough words come to me, quick as thistles. Who made your tyrant’s body, your thirst, your delving, your gladness? Oh tiger, oh bone-breaker, oh tree on fire! Get away from me. Come closer.” Mary Oliver
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I’m in love with Mary Oliver, and a courtship with the land! With deep gratitude to the writers, the giants, whose shoulders we stand on, to my dear friend, Qristine, who does love a great questing, to the plant and tree beings ~ today, Oregon Grape, who offer medicine gifts at every turn, and, to the unceded ancestral lands of the Coast Salish Peoples, Cowichan, Tsawwassen, Tsawout, Malahat and Tseycum where this magical moment was captured by Apple Star Photo. For more #wildcrafted #inspirations, visit me on Instagram @Forage.followthetrail
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#leaf #fall #heart #landbody #originalinstructions #maryoliver #forage #foragefollowthetrail #treeonfire #tsawout #oregongrape #courtship #poetry #comecloser

~ Roots ~

Trisha Spire

A spur of the moment wild photo session

into the woods,

down to the stream,

connecting with roots…..

Visit us on Facebook and Instagram @TrishaSpire @AppleStarPhoto @wild_being_project on Instagram.

#trishaspire #trishspiremusic #Saltspringartisits #westcoastmusicians #roots #intothewild #wildbeingproject #applestarphoto #creativeportraits #saltspringisland #rewildphotography #portraitsofmusicians #natureconnected

Gifts

wild being project

At all times, if we listen and look deeply, our natural mother offers gifts, fallen wings, a feather, bone, seed, a storm, or bright star, symbols beckoning us closer to ourselves… closer to our place in the great story of life…

I felt so grateful and honoured to spend time with Wendy ~ mama, woman, artist, holding herself with such tender love and respect, sharing this witness, embodied play, and exploration with her two daughters.

“Ohhh bless so many so many sweet moments with you tonight!
So grateful.
Working with Belinda was like opening a portal.
An adventure in unfolding.
Like a therapy session in photos.
I’m so grateful for tonight thank you so much.
Indeed it was an amazing thing for my daughters to witness.
Thank you so much.”

@wendywaddellwisewomanarts

Who are you as a wild being?

When you begin to follow the tracks into your inner wilds ~

Listen to small and large shifts in the natural world around you ~

Fully embody both your grief as parts fall away, and your gratitude as new gifts are offered?

I am deeply mystified by the fires and smoke, by the moths up here in the North West Coast, both come to devour the trees. I am humbled by a call to lean into this time of release and transformation, to peer over the edge of the chasm, and breath in deeply what is being asked of me, of us.

As we reconnect with with our own bodies, and begin to write a new story that cherishes our precious existence, our very unique gift to the world, we weave threads of interdependence with all beings. As we carefully tend the coal of our inner compass, our senses awaken to a larger knowing, we begin to orient towards a larger vision: our place in the fabric of life.

Deep within all of us is a child whose birthright of connection, magical mind, and wild, joyful movement was perhaps quelled, in tiny ways, or devastating ones. Rewilding, re entering the woods, meadow, stream and exploring with playful trust, can help draw her out. Can you hear her calling you?

This Autumn Equinox, let us ponder the delicate balance of life, let us slow right down, breath deeply despite our fears, and reconnect one thread at a time with what is precious. Let us hold each other, and hold space for each other. We each have a unique journey, unique challenges, fears, gifts, expressions. We are all needed. Each of our colourful threads is essential, so too are every one of the more-than-human beings, the elements and unseen forces! Let us look to the book of nature as our revered grand mother and teacher, let us listen closely to indigenous elders and wisdom as they still carry what many of us have lost. Let us hold up what we know and love in our hearts, raise our voices and prayers to ALL our relations, and begin creating the world we’d like to see for our children’s children’s children.

With deep gratitude to the unceeded Coast Salish Territories and the Peoples who have tended them with love –Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, I acknowledge as settler, descendant of colonizers that I continue to privilege from stolen lands, and that if I do not participate in reeducating, protesting, shifting consumption, I continue to propagate the theft of land and resources and the ongoing destruction of the mother who sustains us.

Follow me on Instagram at @wild_being_project and @Applestarphoto and on Facebook at Apple Star Photo

What will you do with your one wild and precious life?
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A glimpse into my latest #WildBeingProject session with Charlotte Watson.

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family

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Look at these cuties!!

A sneak peek: I have had the pleasure of photographing this family several times over the past few years and absolutely love watching them grow as a family, even if just in glimpses!

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#vancouverfamilyphotographer #summerportraits #photoplaysessions #familyportraits #kidfreindlyphotographers #naturallycandid #shiningfromtheinsideout

wisdom of the earth

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nine-month immersion program

Beautiful parting words from Wisdom of the Earth 9 Month Immersion participant Adeline Lefebvre ~

“The greatest gift I received from this nine month journey is experiencing grieving with others, being deeply listened to and welcomed in my emotions. From this, a deep feeling of being supported arose. I’ve learnt a new thing that makes me feel instantly better when I’m feeling a bit disconnected: giving thanks (doing the Thanksgiving address at my sit spot). I think being with the group and sharing deep things helped me to broaden my perspectives, understand better the others and also understand how connected we are, how much so often we share the same wounds of connection. I feel way more connected to Nature and this created in myself an even bigger commitment to protect her… because I really realized what is really important for me, what I would die for and this is for Love, people, nature, animals: all living things. Et voilà!”

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Merci Adeline pour ces mots si beaux! It was pleasure to meet you and be able to record some of the profound transformation of your 8Shields – Art of Mentoring journey with Wisdom of the Earth. Belinda White, Apple Star Photo and Living Stream Media

With profound thanks to Ingrid Bauer Jean-claude Catry and Arnaud Gagné

WISDOM OF THE EARTH IMMERSION is a transformative Deep Nature Connection Immersion program, based on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada Wisdom of the Earth in the lineage of the 8 Shields Mentoring and Nature Connection.

CONNECTION – CREATIVITY – VISION – COMMUNITY – TRANSFORMATION

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To find out if you are called to this journey, visit http://www.wisdomoftheearth.ca/immersion/

All photos copyright by Apple Star Photo and Wisdom of the Earth
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#8shields #wisdomoftheearth #8shieldsadultimmersion #rewild #deepnatureconnection #regenerativeculture #wildernessawarenessschool #hidetanning #belonging #handwork #primitiveskills #saltspringisland .

forage ~ iris leaves

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Forage ~ Iris Leaves
 
These beauties may be over-looked beside the resplendence of their flowers, and yet they are wonders in and off themselves, filling the edges around Trout Lake in the early Summer with a sea of green blades! Young children love to secretly tunnel among their tall passages as if in a jungle. Once you begin to ‘break the wall of green’, how can you ever go back? Shapes of leaves jump out at you everywhere speaking of signs, edges, food or beauty!
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Forage is a way of using what you’ve got, it’s a kind of deep noticing, of gathering, of gratitude for nature’s bounty.
 
I use my camera’s eye to gather signs, gifts, fruits and seeds, birds and bees, mostly the wonderful, sometimes startling, always deeply inspiring creative gestures of nature.
 
These images can stand alone, or they can document an adventure, tell a story of place, or belonging, of food or medicine.
 
Even more so, though for me, they can become an inner tracking.
 
After a photo forage wonder, I look carefully in my ‘basket of images’. What treasures or signs are hidden there? What song have I caught of the deep impulse of my wander? Can I use the symbols in these images that speak to me to create an intentional gesture of meaning and purpose?
 
Like reading the stars, listening to birds, or tracking a wild creature, my intuitive deeply creative impulse has a story for me.
 
What is it?
 
If you’d like to know more, go on a photo forage wander with me, or participate in Forage Photography Workshop, please contact me here at Apple Star Photo, or email at applestarlearning@gmail.com
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#forage
#foragephotography
#applestarphoto
#trackthewildswithin #irises #irisleaves #green #breakthewallofgreen #makebeautymedicine
#bounty
#gratitude
#healingphotography
#therapeuticphotography
#theartofnoticing
#artplayfroadults
#copleycommunityorchard.

Clay Portraits

 

Taken at Firemaker 2019 during The Elemental Spa

“Firemaker is a bridge between worlds, a thread that connects present and past, that weaves us back to our ancestors. It is a place where we scrape away the layers of machine made paint society coats us in, dip our hands into warm clay and paint ourselves in the flesh of Mother Earth. As our wild selves we gather, painted in her skin, One with all living things; we are kin.” Jade Cobain, Herbalist

 

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“Elemental spa is a great way to feel physically connected to nature and the elements around you.  Free from shoes and clothes we instead cover our bodies with the Earth.  A layer of warm detoxifying clay, some splatters of charcoal and mud, wrappings of ferns and a sprinkle of pine needles we blend into the land (except when parading throughout the Firemaker property wolf-calling with instruments sounding off).  After arriving at the river for a cold plunge to wash off the clay we gather around a warm fire heating a pot of fresh seaweed and massage stones.  The warm fresh water bursts the cells of the seaweed producing a nourishing gel.  We wrap ourselves and others in the warm fronds and soak up the benefits of our coastal seaweed.  A hot stone and oil massage, songs and more dips in the river continue to raise the bliss.  It’s an experience not to be missed at Firemaker.” Taylor Mar, Primitive Skills mentor and co-owner of Ragnarok Studios

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“A long time ago, when kayaking the coast, I shipwrecked on Wolf Island. Badly injured, and my whereabouts completely unknown, I utilized the only things I had available to heal my bashed up body: fire, sun, seaweed, rocks and clay. It worked, applying the warmed up seaweed and sloshy clay to my body, then the hot rocks, I healed my wounds well enough to fix my boat and journey home. Thus the Elemental Spa was born.
I have brought the Elemental Spa to Firemaker to help bring out the Wild Thang in each of us, and modified it to incorporate primal chanting, wild adornment and river re-birth. I can’t imagine doing Firemaker without bringing the Spa there every year now.
The Elements provide deep healing and nourishment for body, mind and soul. 🔥🌲💦💨. Breathe deeply and conjoin these powers into the marrow of your being. Aho.” Dante Chicano, Rewilding Mentor at the Elemental Academy and Member of The Shire at The Elemental Collective

Thank you to Dante and Tom for offering The Elemental Spa at Firemaker Traditional Skills Gathering.  I am ever grateful for your generous, playful, beautiful offerings.  I am grateful as well to the community we weave together and the safety of the container we all hold as a village.  Thanks, finally to the land, The Brown River, and the glorious Salish Sea, the unceded territories of the K’omocks, Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Kwakwaka’wakw peoples. 

wildly,

Belinda White

To learn more, please visit http://www.firemaker.org, http://www.facebook.com/applestarphoto, https://www.facebook.com/ragnarockstudios/, https://www.facebook.com/SoulFireFamily/

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