Everyday Laurali Star

Life As a Solitary Green Witch!

How to Be a Hunter and Gatherer and Forage For Things

An Orange Toy Halloween Spider and Red Berries Forest Foliage
These are my tips on how to be a hunter and gatherer and forage for things!  Finding treasures in nature has become one of my favorite hobbies.  It's something I like to do because you never know what cool stuff you may find.  I started foraging when years ago, I found a stuffed animal zebra sitting on the ground, just waiting for me to take her home and give her a bath.  After that, every nature walk became my playground!

You would think that the deeper into the woods I go, the less I would find, but that has not been the case with me.  I never walk away empty-handed.  Sometimes as I head out into nature, I have a few things listed in my mind I'd like to find.  Other times, I don't really have a plan.  I'm always just happy and grateful to find a gift in nature, no matter how small it may seem.

When I first arrive in the forest or park, I always ask the fairies to please send me something.  Sometimes I ask for something specific, sometimes not.  They always respond and I'm always grateful!  I show that gratitude by either leaving a little something behind for them or the next treasure hunter or by picking up some litter.

Personally, it always makes me sad (and mad) that people think they have the right to throw trash on the ground in the first place, but I'm not just going to leave it there.  If you ever feel that prompting on a nature adventure, be sure to listen to that little voice telling you to pick up the trash.  That little voice is the fairies and they are most definitely watching and testing you!
How to Hunt, Gather, and Forage For Herbal Medicines

Hunting and Gathering and Foraging: How It Works

When I'm preparing to go on a hiking adventure, I always take my backpack and a big container of water with a rose quartz crystal and a freshly squeezed lemon in it with additional lemon slices.  The backpack is for collecting things and putting out painted rocks, erasers, secret love notes, and plastic holiday toys of my own for future treasure hunters.  The water is of course, for hydration.  The rose quartz is for calm, emotional healing and the lemon is for energy.  It's like drinking liquid sunshine!

I also bring my camera with me wherever I go!  I usually carry it like a purse with the strap, because hanging it around my neck makes it move all over the place and it drives me bonkers.  I always find new things to take a photograph of.  For picture taking, I really like snapping shots of mushrooms or doing an impromptu plant art flat lay, like in this post.  It's so much fun and nature really gets my creative juices going!

I'm also learning to dress in light layers.  This is a new and foreign concept to me since moving from Florida, but I'm getting better at it!  I'm used to walking out the door to go hiking in a spring dress and a camera with flip flops on.  You definitely can't do that in the rough terrain of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I plan on doing a sweater weather wardrobe makeover post soon.  Since I moved so suddenly, it turns out I need everything!  That includes a very good pair of vegan hiking boots.  I saw some on Pinterest that I fell in love with that had flowers on them.  Crossing my fingers for good luck that I can somehow get my hands on them!

Just to clarify, when I say hunting, I don't mean hunting and killing animals.  That's no bueno in my book.  No, I mean mushroom hunting and hunting for unique nature finds.  One of the things I'd really like to find is a naturally shed pair of deer antlers for my cabin.  I like to hunt for cool finds, snap lots of pictures of them, and consider it my hunting trophy.  All without harming any animals in the process.
Woodland Themed Forest Finds + Scavenger Hunt Gathering

Things to Hunt and Gather

I've created a list of things that I have a tendency to find and treasures I purposely go out of my way to look for.  The purpose of finding bits and pieces of nature is to transform them into a work of art.  I like making flat lay with nature art, plant art, and flower art for fun.  It's just something I really enjoy doing for myself.  Hopefully, my readers and viewers enjoy them too.  For more info, please check out my photography posts.  I have a lot of great tips on outdoor photography, nature photography, and soon enough, on string light photography.  That's a future goal I have become obsessed with!

  • Leaves - I prefer crisp fall leaves, but its best to work through the tree foliage seasonally.  I have even found some emerald green heart-shaped leaves in nature.
  • Sticks and Twigs - Try to find different sizes, use ones with berries, or even cooler, a stick with an insect crawling on it.  A good example would be a caterpillar!
  • Mushrooms - It's no secret I'm a little mushroom obsessed and now I'm getting into hunting for edible mushrooms.  You can read more about mushrooms in this post.  
  • Plants - I love all living things, but I have a sweet spot for plants.  I keep them as pets.  You can read more about my pet plants here.  Ferns make really great supermodels in my woodland photography.  You can see an example in my fern trail post.  
  • Tree Foliage - Besides sticks, twigs, and leaves, there are acorns, pine cones, tree sap, and more to come from a tree!  It's home to many woodland creatures, as well as the tree elves and gnomes, which are the guardians of the forest.
  • Painted Rocks - Painted rocks seem to be more of a Florida thing, but I have found a few in North Carolina too.  I think maybe too, it's because I head into uninhabited places where people fear to tread.  
  • Berries - I've found blueberries, golden berries, and elderberries, just to name a few.  I never eat them unless I know they are safe and non-toxic to consume.
  • Flowers - I tend to pick yarrow, dandelions, and some weeds that I think are pretty.  I sometimes pick wildflowers too, if I feel like I can keep them alive long enough to get them back to the cabin.
  • Gemstones - Believe it or not, I have found a few crystals on the trail.  It doesn't happen often, but I always feel so blessed and lucky to receive such a sparkly gift!
  • Toys - There's an orange plastic spider I found the other day in a local park.  It was the perfect Halloween toy!
  • Shells - I found a shell that was painted into candy corn the other day for a Halloween sweet treat.  He had a face and everything.  Most of the time, the shells I find either have glitter or paint.
  • Stuffed Animals - Again, doesn't happen often, but I have found a stuffed animal a time or two.  I only keep it if it's in good condition and can be thrown in the washer.  
  • Erasers - I've only found erasers when I lived in Florida.  They were aways brand-new and in the shape of dessert or french fries so I would save them for my daughter Chloe.  
  • Secret Notes - Okay, I've never found these, but I sometimes put them out for people to find.  I like to decorate a greeting note with stickers and a message with a holistic healing recipe from the fairies.  I went back later to look and they were gone.  That made me smile, of course.
Nature Art Flat Lay Materials With Botanicals

What to Do With Your Treasures

Once you get your nature finds a home, dump them out on your nature table.  I plan on writing a more detailed post on this soon, but this post has tips on the concept of using a nature table for flat lay artwork.  It's really helpful to determine what you have and how you want to arrange it.  It will look a bit like organized chaos in the beginning and that's perfectly okay.  Right now, you just need a safe haven to dump all your treasures, like dumping out your candy on Halloween when you were a kid.  

If you like, you can separate them into boxes like I do.  I just use dollar store gift boxes to organize finds that I'm going to keep and reuse.  Some things will start to wilt fast and you won't be able to put them away in your decorative boxes.  Things like plants and flowers have a limited shelf life.  If they look like they have a fighting chance, use jars with water + hydrogen peroxide to keep them in or dry them out on a hanging rack or by hanging in groups upside down to expedite the process.  You can also do this with herbs too.  

Sticks, dead leaves, pine cones, rocks, and toys, can all have their own private little boxes saved back for a future photoshoot.  The fey are big on resourcefulness, as am I!  I try never to waste things.  One day I found yarrow, a magical flower for healing and finding love, and I accidentally let them die.  I felt so bad because they died for nothing.  Whenever these little mishaps happen, try to find a way to do better next time.  I know I learned my lesson.

Now that you've found a home for everything, use your nature table or various flat surfaces to create flat lays and snap pictures.  Try to create different angles and scenarios.  Play with lighting!  Snap individual pictures if you're big on keeping a nature journal and plant identification.  See?  Being a hunter and gatherer is fun.  Foraging for things in the wildness of nature is a bonus!
Hi, I'm Laurali! I write about moon magic and seasonal shifts and all things faery. about me


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