Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Arrows Risen!

This weekend was the autumnal event Arrows Rising! Ladies from Canada and New Jersey traveled to learn the basics of traditional archery, and by the end of the weekend were shooting a timed round through the woods (three forest targets over 200 combined yards of varied terrain in under 30seconds!) and one even chose to mount up on Merlin and shoot horseback! We covered the basics of stance, safety, instinctive shooting, and mixed up the practice time in the field with small contests, timed rounds, and such. Basically: it is a weekend where a beginner lives, breathes, and sings archery for two days. You get sore, you get frustrated, but you go home knowing your bow well. You can string and unstring it at a moments notice. You have a bit of lanolin or beeswax in your pocket now, to care for the wood and tension. You understand distance, direction, and your own body better. For two days this is all we did, and it was wonderful.

Come Saturday night I invited everyone back (it was a smaller group) for dinner at the farmhouse and a Game Night. Oh my goodness, what a great decision that was! We ate slow-cooked pork that spent ten hours in a bath of hard cider, honey, and barbecue sauce over rice. We drank cider (tis the season!) and played two games of Forbidden Island. We even won the first game, and since FI is a co-op game (we all play as a team to win, not against each other) I bet it even made our shooting as a group better! One of the folks who came was a fellow falconer and I got to meet her new jack Merlin, which was a treat. I am so used to Italics and his big feet and fierce ways, that the little falcon was like someone shrunk a monster. Pokemon made so much more sense after that.

The weekend flew by for me, and I hope it did for the attendees as well. Sunday afternoon we stopped by the Bedlam Farm Open House at Jon Katz's farm. It was great to see him and meet some of the readers who also check in with me from time to time. By 4PM on Sunday everyone was packing up. Two days on our feet in the woods, out in the weather, and shooting hundreds of arrows - all of us were due for a good rest. Sara, one of the guests, was staying in the area an extra evening and decide to stick around after the workshop to help with chores, and I think she may have regretted that choice. I'll come back and explain why after I get back from picking up a load of hay, but let's just say this as a teaser:

It doesn't matter how tired you are when the sheep AND a goat decide to escape!


Blogger Kelsey Ward said...

Sounds so exciting! You are just the most inspiring :)

October 14, 2014 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

I didn't regret staying at all, Jenna! It was great fun chasing sheep and goats around with you and Gibby!

Thank you so much for a great weekend of archery, and saving me from a very long and tired ride back home. I learned so much and experienced so many firsts! First time shooting arrows in the woods, first time stringing a bow with nothing but body weight, first time chasing goats, first time coercing sheep back into their pen, and first time falling off the back of a fell pony! (I've never been more happy to have built-in extra padding. No worse for wear, and next time I'll get on!)

October 14, 2014 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

thanks kelsey!

October 14, 2014 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Sara! You did amazing! and for anyone worried, she didn't "fall" she kinda slid off as merlin sauntered off. But she will be getting on him this weekend!

October 14, 2014 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

LOL Jenna's right - I missed the back of the saddle and sat on Merlin's butt instead...only to slip off. I've never been known to fall elegantly :P

October 15, 2014 at 6:44 PM  

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