Sunday, December 11, 2016

Incredible Fun Imprinting Faces in the Snow!!! You have to try it!!

Why hasn't someone made a video like this yet? It is so much fun! Wait until the next snow fall and go outside and stick your face in the snow. Then, take a photo of it. What you get is something that looks like a 3d face sculpture made out of snow. This is a great idea for the whole family. Check out my video. All these faces are mine, except for the one at the end. I must have done a hundred of these by now lol. Please let me know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!!

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Friction fire 101 - A very gratifying way to connect with nature!!

Here is an older video I made covering firebow (bowdrill) basics. It should tell you everything you need to know in order to make a friction fire. This is a skill that was practiced by many of our ancestors for thousands of years. It takes some practice, and I myself, have even thrown my kit across the lawn, when I was first learning the skill. Don't get angry at yourself like I did. Everybody gets frustrated while learning this technique. However, practice and determination quickly pay off, leaving you with a new sense of achievement and perhaps even a greater level of self appreciation. It is very rewarding and it helps build confidence in oneself and your ability to learn and persevere through difficult situations. I know we can easily build a fire using matches or a lighter, but those things don't work when wet, nor do they have the sense of gratification that a friction fire provides. Please feel free to write to me ( for any questions or tips. I could easily spend a whole weekend teaching fire skills and tips, and I even offer classes on these skills at a price that is hard to beat. I hope you enjoy the video!!
          Here is a link to my YouTube channel that focuses on these kinds of skills and knowledge
          Earth Skills Handbook© Survival, Preparedness and Bushcraft Training with Chris Egnoto

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Approaching Autumn

Change is coming. 
 I can smell it in the warm air of the sky above and I can feel it in the rich thick grass beneath my feet. This is just about my favorite time of the year. Fall is coming. It moves in like a determined fog bank rolling off the sea. This is a time where my heart races in anticipation of the upcoming weeks. All the trees have soaked up their share of the summers sun and have invested it into their nuts and fruit. The animals have had their share of summers bounty and are now preparing for the coming winter. My favorite part of fall is the hour before and after sun has set.  As the sun sets in the saturated blue sky that autumn is famous for, I find myself compelled to wander the landscape. The sky grows dark early at this time of year. The stars awaken by the thousands and grace us with their silent beauty. The evening sky now partners up with the magnificent chorus of the singing insects. Oh, the insects! It is their time. And they rule it well. People in Japan have been known to build “Autumn houses” in the mountains, just so they could hear the crickets sing at night. Their music is intended to claim territory and to woo the feminine persuasion of their kind. Even they find fall to be so romantic. This song for me is falls true harbinger, and I find it quite alluring. Even before dusk, I hear the bush crickets and trigs bring on their fragile treble of chirps, chimes and trills. Then the katydids begin a serenade which sounds like chopsticks being smacked together. Next, the conehead katydids sound more like the teeth of a comb as you run your thumbnail along the edge. Some of them sound like the buzz of a hair trimmer. The large black field crickets join the concert with their storybook chirp, glueing the whole symphony together into wondrous volume while bathed in the bright blue light of a September moon. I once heard a large coyote walking just outside the light from my fire, not by the sound of its feet but from the pocket of silence moving through the chorus of insects as it skirted my campsite. This is truly what beckons me to get my hammock, pack my mess kit and jacket, and hit the wilds for one last camping trip before years end. So cozy is it to smell the sweet tannin as it departs the leaves causing them to fade to a deep yellow, then orange, to red and finally brown. The trees do this to conserve moisture in the later months. This mid atlantic palate is considered one of the greatest natural spectacles on Earth. It has been known to draw astronauts to their windows on board the space station! The leaves rattle in their trees only to be plucked from their branches by the crisp breeze and waltzed about in pockets of wind throughout their journey to the forest floor. The days are still warm as I lay about in puddles of sunlight. The refreshing nights are cool enough to allow me to wear a jacket and perhaps warm my body in the soft glow of fires gaze. So much is going on in this season that I don’t want to miss a thing. All of the animals know it. Some, like the marbled salamander in all its glory, come out en mass to mate on dark and rainy nights. Away from prying eyes and never known by us humans that these migrations even exist.  While most salamanders mate in early spring, the large black and white marbled salamanders prefer the fall season for their courting. They like the dark nights because owls, coyotes and foxes all like to hunt at night and in the fall, no night is complete without hearing the surreal voice of each of these predators. The fox, I find particularly cute and charming, though I bet the mice beg to differ. 
                 The days are equally busy. Squirrels rush about building their nests, not among the treetops as they so in the earlier part of the year, but in trees, logs and even attics. These nests are basically composed of leaves and debris and vary in size.  They might build several of these for convenience and as fail safes. In some years these nests may be somewhat large, and that often foretells a harsh winter. Nests aren’t all  the squirrels are thinking about. They must also collect and forage for nuts and mushrooms to dry and store for the winter. This is fun to watch. The squirrels will burry all sorts of nuts in all sorts of locations. If a squirrel notices another squirrel watching it (or even certain birds), they will “false” bury it or even dig it up after the onlooker has left in order to put it in a more secure location. They then sprinkle debris over the site in order to camouflage it. Birds, especially the corvid family, will do this too.  Of course, many of these nuts are lost or forgotten in the winter and may germinate and grow into a new tree - thanks squirrels! Many animals will fatten up for the winter. Like the bear, they need to eat enough food to get them through hibernation. This all reminds me of the supermarket before a winter storm hits and all the customers run about frantically. Fun stuff to watch. The ducks and geese visit the local bodies of water and often arrive in droves. It is especially fascinating to watch the geese. To hear them off the horizon and finally glimpse the dark cloud of geese as it approaches. Then to see them circle above a lake in the thousands and slowly spiral down to the waters surface sending ahead squads of a dozen or two at first to “test” the waters is really cool. Have you ever heard a flock of several thousand geese? It sounds like a stadium before the concert - deafening! 

                   Anything is fair game in autumn, providing us with all kinds of weather to behold. It’s where summer and winter collide. We can have anything from heat waves and thunderstorms with roaring winds, to cold still nights that leave frost on the grass. The warm days create warm fronts that often mix with cold fronts from the north. When the two combine, we get a good show. High wind gusts and frequent lightning are not uncommon. I love these storms and I always hope to catch one after sunset so as to properly appreciate the spectacle. Every couple of years or so, we also get the tail end of a hurricane. While the damage these storms can cause is most unfortunate, I must say that standing on the dock overlooking the lake while it is going on is a true adventure. Of course, I don’t recommend others to do as I do. But when conditions are safe enough, it is an experience I feel any nature lover can truly appreciate. The wind screaming, rain pounding, the spray racing off the crests of the waves like phantoms is just wild, pure energy. Then all becomes calm in it’s wake and I rush to the woods to survey the damage and to collect wild apples and nuts that were brought to the ground. There is nothing quite like hitting the woods after these storms with a thermos of pumpkin soup and a side of hot applesauce mixed with rose hips. Sipping warm pine needle tea and listening to those crickets singing along to the crackle of my camp fire and adoring the copper sky as the sun sets once again. Fall is here, but not to stay. Be sure to catch it while the summer and winter play tug of war on my most cherished season.

                  - ©ChrisEgnoto September 2015

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My story about a large flock of Canadian Geese

Hello. So the other day I was down at the lake watching the snow blanket the lake. It was really nice to get out while the snow was still coming down. While I was there, it reminded me of the time I got to watch a fairly large flock of Canadian Geese come in for a landing. It was a really awesome experience. I made a video telling the story, when all of the sudden, a big flock of geese came in for a landing. Pretty neat. Check the video out here. I hope you enjoy.