That’s why they call them sticks – duh! You stick them places….well, that’s what I say to remind me not to repeat some errors of days long gone. When we first began going out into the wilderness, we were carefree. Some of us (whose name will remain secret) put our hands into holes, reached into the mud, sat down anywhere, grabbed tree limbs, and generally ruled the land! Life was good.

Snake On Tree

Stick you hand here....NO!

I grew up near the woods. We camped and hiked. We spent some time on rivers and oceans, boats and in tents. I had a pretty good life in creeks and woods. I know some things that keep you from losing a finger. It doesn’t hurt that I am the eldest of three girls. Of all the dads in all the lands, my dad needed sons. He fished, cursed, smoked and drank and was a fun-loving guy who peed outside and spits.

He was also a painter, musician, singer and lover of all things science and anything that lived. He taught me how to fish before I learned to ride a bike. He taught me how to fight and how to stand up for myself. He also taught me the names of trees and flowers. He taught me how to solve problems and fix things. He taught me about magnets, atoms, and pyramid power….most importantly in this case – he taught me about snakes.

My dad showed me all kinds of snakes. I got sent to the principal’s office in kindergarten for taking a ring-necked snake to school in a baby food jar. So, it only stands to reason that dad also taught about how to avoid them, where they hide, how they behave, what ones were nasty little poison bearers.

Imagine my surprise when waltzing through the woods with someone who puts their hands everywhere!!! She reached into places I might not even put a good stick! I was shocked. This had to stop. I took it upon myself to find a tool….it just so happened that the office had a couple of cases of yard sticks. They had been purchased as marketing items long ago and were never used….they were slightly inaccurate. We began using them in the field to poke places.

This began the era of the field sticks. The era that would define us, cost us many arguments, make us tape their handles and mourn their losses….this is their story really.