The forest produces a ceaseless cascade of dead wood as branches, limbs and whole trees fall to its floor. People, including particularly the first people of these hills, have (for a variety of interesting reasons) always gathered and burned this wood. Our program is to build many bonfires and set them off in the twilight, creating spectacles of fire. And also eat a lot, play games and assist our resident gardener Angie "Pam Finch" Moore.
The largest and most tentpole-esque event of the Chthonic Calendar, the Heptagames are a collection of games that have been played on the property with a healthy sense of competition. Clan-like affiliations, the greatest bonfire of the year, and shamanic subterfuge are all staples of the Heptagames.
With inspiration from the work of British artist Andy Goldsworthy, this is the most stimulating event of the chthonic calendar. Every natural element and material of the land (stone, stream, seeds, flowers) becomes a potential medium for the interplay of order and chaos. At last year’s Goldsworthy, a child-like spirit of zeal and experimentation seemed to seize each participant. And there will be lots to eat and games to play.
Last year we brought in a great bounty of corn relish, cauliflower pickles, wild apple fruit leather, Pesto sauce, tomato sauce, Dilly beans, lemon cucumber pickles, Mixed hot chiles, and more. Great meals were cooked in the outdoor stove and fine foliage was observed.
Hunting with Roy
Roy has hunted and trapped our hills for over 50 years. At last year’s event, its participants were privileged to be shown in great detail how he practices these crafts and we saw and smelled things that were quite astounding. At dusk, we sat in great stillness and deafening silence for an hour, waiting for deer to show themselves. Although none were seen and no shots fired, this was an intense and unusual experience for everyone. (A deer was taken the next morning with just one of us in Roy’s company). We ate bigos (Polish hunter’s stew).