Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Articles written by dr barbara gray

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The White Birch tree & crafts to make from it

The birch bark most commonly used and recognized in our area is called Paper Birch, White Birch, or Canoe Birch. Its scientific name is Befula...

 

How our winter flowers, the wintering birds, survive our frigid winters

During these cold below freezing days here in Akwesasne, I wonder how those little birds at my feeder manage to survive. I can barely stand the biting...

 

Ray Fadden’s Needles & Porcupines

When I decided to start off the New Year writing about the Porcupine, immediately Ray Fadden and Needles, a baby Porcupine he rescued, came to mind. R...

 

Have a Mother Earth friendly, green Christmas

It’s the holiday season, and while everything is brighter and shinier, unfortunately it can be a bit trashier. The Environmental Protection Agency states that Americans throw away 25 per cent more...

 

Christmas trees Environmental debate: artificial trees vs. real

The first Christmas trees recorded in America, in the year 1747, were not actual trees, but wooden pyramids covered with evergreen branches. These wer...

 

Mouse in the house & Mouse/snake tracks

Depending on their needs, animals will either remain in the same habitat during winter or move short or long distances to meet their needs....

 

Water, water, everywhere but not a drop to drink

The rhyme of the ancient mariner - “Water, water, everywhere but not a drop to drink,” refers to the men aboard a ship on a long journey. They...

 

Whitetail deer and Seneca ghost deer

The male whitetail deer, the buck, can weigh from about 130 pounds to 220 pounds. Sometimes they can weigh as much as 350 pounds. A record buck...

 

Plastics: the what, how, and why to recycle from plastic clothes to fun crafts

Plastics are made from petroleum. Petroleum is a limited non-renewable resource. It is believed that by the year 2040, the Earth’s usable petroleum...

 

Some insect facts that may bug you

Did you know that for every person on Earth, there are at least two hundred million insects? There are so many insects that one square mile of rural...

 

Witches’ Wart Pumpkins & Jack-O’-Lanterns

It’s Halloween time, and pumpkins, some decorated or carved, are showing up all over Akwesasne. I have to tell you about the carved pumpkin I saw...

 

Centipedes and millipedes

Centipedes and millipedes are not insects because they have more than six legs. They are arthropods and are distant relatives of shrimp, lobster, and...

 

Taking a gander at the Canada Goose

In the fall when we look up into the sky and see Canada Geese flying in a V formation, we know it is time for a season change. The Canada Goose is...

 

Nature’s pottery, out of your gourd

The gourd family consists of a large family of vined plants. They range from the edible ones like pumpkins, squash, and cucumbers to the inedible...

 

Dabbling ducks, bottoms up

The other day I came across a shallow pond in Akwesasne, and I was utterly amused at the ducks I observed there. They seemed to be bottoms up more...

 

Autumn’s rainbow of colors

The leaves on deciduous trees are made up of cells filled with water. As autumn approaches and daylight time decreases, a layer at the base of the...

 

Pine cones provide food, fashion & fun

The term ‘pine cone’ is used to describe any cone from a conifer. Conifers are evergreen trees that bear cones. There are many types of trees...

 

Rope, nets, and toys made from plants

Native people have always had a vast knowledge of cordage. The basics for making cordage and rope have not changed for thousands of years. Cordage is...

 

Hurricanes “Invisible forces at work”

Every year an average of 45 hurricanes are reported.  Fortunately, most of them fade to tropical storms before they reach land.  Hurricane season is usually from June 1st thru October. The worst...

 

Snapping turtles & two heads are not always better than one

The common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is the largest of the freshwater turtles in North America. They have a dull rough carapace (upper...

 

Natural dyes & Bugs in your ham & jam?

The use of colorful dyes goes way back for Native people. While the Pilgrims are always depicted as wearing dark gloomy colors, the Native Indians are...

 

Fuligo septica, dog vomit fungus

Several days ago I was taking the back roads to Massena hoping to find some yard sales.  About half way to Massena I finally spotted a sale. As I...

 

Bug in your ear? Earwigs

With the rains we have had lately there is one scary looking bug found crawling outside our homes and sometimes inside our homes. It’s the “earwig.” They are an elongated, flattened insect with...

 

Sweetgrass for the Generations Yet Born

The smell of sweetgrass always brought a smile to my grandmother’s face. It also triggered in her mind many narratives. As a child, I sat at the...

 

Two of my favorite summer wildflowers

This time of year one of my favorite wildflowers is the beautiful blue Chicory.  Chicory today grows wild throughout North America, but it is not a...

 

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