The Wilderness and Wellness Podcast

Ron Waline

This podcast explores outdoor skills and the healing power of the natural world through the eyes of individuals who interact with it, including bushcrafters, naturalists, wildlife trackers, hunters and fishermen, homesteaders, bird enthusiasts, herbalists, indigenous people, academic researchers and more. This podcast is for anyone who has an appreciation for the outdoors, the skills necessary to live and travel in it comfortably and safely, and the ways that the natural world can benefit people who are looking to reconnect with nature, community, and themselves.

Dr. Doug Tallamy: Nature’s Best Hope – A Grassroots Revolution to Create a Homegrown National Park, One Lawn at a Time
Mar 2 2021
Dr. Doug Tallamy: Nature’s Best Hope – A Grassroots Revolution to Create a Homegrown National Park, One Lawn at a Time
Join me for a discussion with Dr. Doug Tallamy about a simple yet revolutionary way that we can save nature while building a relationship with it and gaining the health benefits of such an activity at the same time. With his extensive research background on the interactions of the plant and insect world, Dr. Tallamy skillfully teaches us:·      The ecology of native vs. non-native plants and why maintaining native plants matters to the insect population.·      how the health of the insect population is foundational for the health of the ecosystem, especially birds. ·      Why it is important not just to protect places where people aren’t inhabiting, such as national parks and preserves, but to also maintain suitable habitat in the places people do inhabit. ·      How we can cut our lawns in half to create a “Homegrown National Park” and shatter the almost universally accepted myth that humans and nature cannot coexist in the same areas. ·      How to approach prohibitive homeowners’ associations to advocate for the planting of more native species.·      The three historical missteps that modern western humans have made that have disconnected us from nature and helped to create the ecological crisis we now face.·      Ideas for getting started creating your own “Homegrown National Park”.Connect with Dr. Tallamy and “Homegrown National Park”:Homegrown National Park WebsiteDr. Tallamy’s Presentation to The National Wildlife FederationBook Recommendations:Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard, by: Douglas TallamyBringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded, by: Douglas TallamyThe Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees , by: Douglas Tallamy (Available March 30, 2021)Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change, by: Larry Weaner & Thomas ChristopherEssential Native Trees and Shrubs for the Eastern United States: The Guide to Creating a Sustainable Landscape, by: Tony Dove & Ginger Woolridge
Tracking Series 06 – Filip Tkaczyk: Bird Language and Animism
Dec 7 2020
Tracking Series 06 – Filip Tkaczyk: Bird Language and Animism
In this sixth episode of my tracking series I had the privilege to sit down and talk about bird language and animism with tracking author, instructor, and podcaster Filip Tkaczyk. Fil teaches us the intricacies of bird language, sharing foundational principles, stories, and examples of how we can tap into, and become a part of the communications of nature. The following topics, and more, are discussed:-The art of bird language, what it is, how it works, and how we can learn the secrets of the landscape using it.-The specifics of bird vocalizations and what they mean.-How bird language fits into the art of tracking.-A few stories from Fil and I about our experiences with bird language and interpreting the mechanics of what birds are saying with their vocalizations and behavior within those stories.-Animism as it relates to communications in the natural world.-The practice of interspecies honoring (species giving space to one another) and how we can practice honoring with other animals as a part of being in relationship with nature.-The concept of reciprocity with the land as all species give and take and how this relates to humanity’s current state of relationship with the land.-How to begin learning bird language and building reciprocity-based relationships with the natural world.Connect with Fil:Pathwithaheart@hotmail.comAnimism: Listening to the Land Podcast on AppleAnimism: Listening to the Land Podcast Facebook PageAnimism: Listening to the Land Podcast Instagram PageBook Recommendations:Track and Sign of Reptiles and Amphibians of North America by: Filip TkaczykWhat the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World, by: Jon YoungBecoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology, by: David AbramsBraiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, by: Robin Wall KimmererMedia Recommendations:Merlin Bird ID App
Tracking Series 04 - George Leoniak: Inner Tracking, the Art of Tracking the Self
Sep 29 2020
Tracking Series 04 - George Leoniak: Inner Tracking, the Art of Tracking the Self
In this fourth episode of my tracking series I sit down with tracking practitioner, educator and CyberTracker evaluator, George Leoniak, to explore the concept and practice of “inner tracking”. Through his 20+ years of tracking, and mentoring with some of the world’s most skilled trackers, George has gained an in-depth understanding of tracking both the outer, and inner landscape. George guides us through the shady and sunny parts of our inner landscape, and along the trails of our souls, unfolding the concepts of how a tracker follows oneself using the same principles they may use to follow a trail, allowing the maker of the trail to reveal him or herself instead of forcing a preconceived idea or projection. George discusses the practice of inner tracking in relation to other traditions of self-inquiry, pointing to inner tracking as a method that utilizes the land and the natural world as a conduit through which to explore the self. We reflect on how tracking, deep nature connection, and inner tracking can facilitate a powerful healing journey as one identifies baggage and begins unloading it to move on through the world in a lighter way. George also explains the process of openness, spaciousness, and that where we put our attention and love, our energy flows out and is reciprocated by the world and the people around us. All this and much more.Connect with GeorgeMindful Tracker WebsiteMindful Tracker Facebook PageInner Tracking Facebook Group PageKnew Spirituality Facebook PageKnew Spirituality Instagram PageLeoniakTracking YouTube Channelgeorge@mindfultracker.comBook Recommendations“Tracking and the Art of Seeing” and “The Wild Within”, by: Paul RezendesAdditional Recommended Links/Resources8 Shields Institute – Mentoring, Tracking, and Naturalist Training ProgramsThink Radio Interview – George Leoniak: Tracking Animals to Find OneselfThe Mindful Trackers Youtube Playlist – Videos of George and Paul Rezendes exploring tracking and self-awareness ideas and principlesTracking Related Education/EventsNortheast Wildlife Trackers 2020 ConferenceTracker Mentoring Online courses from Kersey Lawrence and Lee Gutteridge
Tracking Series 03 – Kersey Lawrence: Joys of Wildlife Tracking – Overview of the CyberTracker System of Evaluation and Education
Aug 11 2020
Tracking Series 03 – Kersey Lawrence: Joys of Wildlife Tracking – Overview of the CyberTracker System of Evaluation and Education
In this episode of my tracking series I am privileged to speak with Kersey Lawrence, who is currently the only female in the world that holds the certified highest level of skill with the title of “Senior Tracker” through the CyberTracker system. Kersey and I talk about her journey into a deep connection with the natural world and her foray into the world of tracking. Kersey discusses how the very practical, African style of tracking really resonated with her learning style and drew her to move to and seek mentorship through trackers from Africa. Kersey describes her journey towards becoming the highest certified female tracker in the world and the humbling responsibility that comes with that title and the naturalist knowledge that she has garnered over the years. Kersey describes the capabilities of a skilled tracker and how tracking and immersion in the natural world can instill within people a desire to protect and preserve the earth and its living creatures. Kersey shares more information about the programs offered by her company, Original Wisdom. Finally, Kersey offers an in-depth look at the CyberTracker system, expounding on its genesis, methods of evaluation to determine the expertise of trackers through its “track and sign” and “trailing” evaluations, and the ways that an evaluation is just as much a tracking workshop as it is a test of skill. Kersey teaches us what characteristics and skills are looked for in a good tracker by CyberTracker evaluators, and offers some advice on beginning to learn the art and skill of tracking.Connect with Kersey and her company “Original Wisdom”:Original Wisdom WebsiteOriginal Wisdom Facebook Page Original Wisdom Instagram Page Book Recommendations: A Sand County AlmanacBraiding SweetgrassThe Art of Tracking: The Origin of ScienceMammal Tracks and SignTracks and Sign of Insects and other InvertebratesBird Feathers: A Guide to North American SpeciesPractical Tracking: A Guide to Following Footprints and Finding AnimalsBooks by Lee Gutteridge
Kimberly Beck: Ecotherapy and Rewilding – Healing the Harms of Divorcement from Nature
Jul 13 2020
Kimberly Beck: Ecotherapy and Rewilding – Healing the Harms of Divorcement from Nature
Join me for a discussion with ecotherapist, rewildling coach, and outdoor skills practictioner Kimberly Beck as we explore ways to reverse the ill effects of our divorcement from the natural world due to human domestication. Kimberly shares her nature connected background as well as healing experiences and epiphanies she had which led her down the path of learning the principles of therapy and how to facilitate a relational reconnection between people and the natural world. Kimberly expounds specifically on rewilding and how it fits into the ecotherapy conversation of reunifying people with nature. We talk about ways that people project onto the the natural world, and others, and what one can learn by properly observing and asking questions about one’s projections. Kimberly offers stories of experiences with clients, exemplifying ways that nature connecting events can become an anchor for those struggling with mental illness. We also discuss the natural ability of the awareness skills, such as tracking, bird language, and naturalist knowledge, to facilitate ecotherapeutic self-exploration. We explore the importance of play and its role in helping people become fully realized human beings, as well as other nature reconnective activities that can be incorporated into one’s life.Connect With Kimberly:Relational Rewilding Nature Coaching WebsiteE-mail: wild@relationalrewilding.comKimberly’s Instagram PageBook Recommendations:How to Raise a Wild Child, by: Scott D. SampsonDeep Nature Play: A Guide to Wholeness, Aliveness, Creativity, and Inspired Learning, by: Joseph CornellNature and Therapy: Understanding Counselling and Psychotherapy in Outdoor Spaces, by: Martin JordanA New Path: To Transcend the Great Forgetting Through Incorporating Ancestral Practices into Contemporary Living, by: Arthur HainesThe Power of Now, by: Eckhart TolleOther Links:John Stokes and “The Tracking Project”Jon Young, “8 Shields Institute”Wilderness Awareness SchoolShelley Torgove, “Artemisia and Rue: Earth Centered Healing Traditions”
Tracking Series 01 – Introduction to Tracking, Basic Concepts and How to Get Started
Jun 29 2020
Tracking Series 01 – Introduction to Tracking, Basic Concepts and How to Get Started
In this introductory episode for a series specifically about tracking, I introduce the concept of tracking by discussing what tracking is, why we as humans are all equipped to be trackers, why our history as trackers contributes to our capability to read words on paper, among other things, and the possibilities and feats of skilled trackers. I also discuss some basic terminology, talk about the meta-level questions of Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How, which outlines the various arts of tracking including identification, interpretation, aging, trailing, ecology, and intuition respectively. Next I discuss some techniques for learning how to track including the prerequisite of curiosity, the importance of dirt time, how to study tracks, utilizing animal forms (moving like the animal), the importance of the sit spot, and the benefits of tracking with a buddy. I also give a short primer on the concept of inner tracking, discuss some resources for getting started, and give a brief overview of what to expect in the coming series.Videos:The Great Dance: A Hunter’s StoryWeb Resources:Jonah Evans’ Website and Tracking Schools Directory – A great place to find a school near you that teaches trackingPrinceton University’s “Guide to Animal Tracking” – A great basic primer on the practical aspects of trackingKim Cabrera’s Bear Tracker Materials – Database of accurate track drawings, videos, links to resources such as the “Animals Don’t Cover Their Tracks” Facebook PageThe Art of Tracking Radio – A free podcast that goes in depth on many tracking topics with many leaders and big names in the tracking world“The Magic of Reading” Blogpost – A blog article describing Bill Hill’s research into the way human’s read and why our millions of years of tracking as a species contributes to our ability to read and imagine images and stories while doing soBook Recommendations:Animal Tracking Basics – by: Jon Young, Tiffany MorganTracker’s Field Guide – by: James LoweryMammal Tracks and Sign: A Guide to North American Species – by: Mark Elbroch & Casey McFarlandBlood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West – by: Hampton Sides
Nikki van Schyndel: Becoming Wild, a Journey of Survival on a BC Island and on the Alone Show Season 6
Jun 15 2020
Nikki van Schyndel: Becoming Wild, a Journey of Survival on a BC Island and on the Alone Show Season 6
In this episode I reconnect with survivalist, wilderness guide, homesteader, instructor, and many more titles I don’t have time to name, Nikki van Schyndel. We talk about Nikki’s life, homesteading on a remote island in Echo Bay British Columbia, as well as how her story evolved from being a privileged city girl to roughing it while engaging in the world of wilderness living skills. We speak at length about her experience surviving with minimum modern tools on a wilderness island in B.C. with someone who was at first a complete stranger, but became a cherished friend. Nikki offers details about their experiences of starvation and plenty, failure and success, the changes that happen to the body and mind, and the life lessons on relationships, self-care, gratitude, and learning to work with the natural world instead of against it. We also talk about how her 1 ½ year survival journey prepared her for her time on the Alone Show and the overall themes of her Alone Show experience. We also delve into Nikki’s ability to communicate directly with beings in the natural world and her belief that all people have this ability to connect with the unseen world lying dormant within them. Nikki leaves us with a reflection on the importance of understanding how our thoughts and language shape our attitude and understanding of the world around us and how we attract things into our life.Connect with Nikki:Nikki’s Blog - The Chronicles of Daisy Crocket: The Magic, Mastery, and Madness of Wilderness LivingNikki's Becoming Wild Facebook PageNikki’s “Becoming Wild” YouTube ChannelNikki’s InstagramNikki’s Book:Becoming Wild: Living the Primitive Life on a West Coast IslandBecoming Wild TrailerBook Recommendations:The Secret Life of PlantsDo Fish Feel Pain?
A Flock of Birders: The Joy of Everyday Birding with the Pawson-Ryan Family
May 18 2020
A Flock of Birders: The Joy of Everyday Birding with the Pawson-Ryan Family
Join me for a discussion with the Pawson-Ryan family as they tell the story of their journey into the world of birds. We learn about David and how his friend Noel introduced him to birding which had a profound effect on him, causing him to do a complete about-face in his education track as a PhD candidate in engineering. We then learn about how David’s newfound obsession for birding slowly rubbed off on his partner Alison, and then quickly bled over to her parents and sister, giving them a new appreciation for this aspect of the natural world and bringing them all closer together through their newfound love of identifying and appreciating the feathered beings around us, especially during this time of social distancing with the coronavirus and the timely opportunity it has provided for delving into the natural world more fully. Enjoy this delightful story of an everyday family who got smitten by the birding bug and became closer to the natural world and each other in the process.Featuring the voices of: David Cuban, mechanical engineer, starting his PhD in Biology at the University of Washington studying birds, the group's gateway into birding; Noel Bond, naturalist, National Park Service Ranger, Peace Corps Volunteer, original birder of the group, and best friend to David; Alison Ryan, public health professional and partner to David; Blair Ryan and Peter Nerothin, sister and brother-in-law to Alison, and the newest bird enthusiasts in the family. Dean Ryan and Lynn Pawson, residents of Ventura, California, and parents to Alison and Blair. Dean's bird photos are available for viewing here:  Dean’s photography pageOther Pertinent Links:Hawk Mountain SanctuaryShaver’s Creek Environmental CenterThe Behavioral Ecophysics Lab websiteSan Diego Natural History MuseumJim Gilbert, WCCO radio's Nature NotesBook Recommendations:Desert SolitaireWhen Breath Becomes AirQuietFind a WayThe Feather ThiefEdge of the SeaSilent SpringA Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel" rel="nofollow">