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Mark Lopiccola (The Wandering Serf)
Works at Transforce Inc.
Attended Michigan Technological University
Lives in Michigan
108 followers|843,936 views
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Mark Lopiccola (The Wandering Serf)

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Larry, another interesting "class".  I look forward to the next lesson.

Geography is a wondrous thing. The flora and fauna can be so different, and yet familiar.  You and I both see now, why being familiar with an area can be crucial in any survival/woodcraft situation.

I have a two year Forestry degree, so rocks, I am not familiar with.  In the Western Upper Peninsula, you would see quartz - large chunks of it - in the forest.  Is this true of Minnesota forests as well?  Sometimes with the quartz, you will also find "float" copper.  This is raw, pure copper just sitting on the surface of the earth,  The largest chunk of float copper I personally came across was about 50lbs.!  Took 2 guys to carry it out because it was so smooth and slippery.  There is a large piece on the campus of Michigan Technological University (where I got my degree) that is well over 100lbs.

Flint, Michigan is the northern limit for Sycamore in the state.  It's also the southern cut off for Paper Birch.  There is some River (Yellow) Birch ornamentals, but both grow better further north.

Some weird range anomaly is American Beech not growing west of Marquette, Michigan.  It has to do with the iron content of the soil.  You don't see too much Hemlock or Black Spruce south of Grayling, Michigan.  Again, both grow like crazy in the Upper Peninsula (UP). 

Oak trees...  The further South in the US you go, the more species run into.  They look familiar, but they don't.  The acorns in fall are always the giveaway.

The lower peninsula of Michigan has a rattler called the Mississauga.
https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12145_12201-32995--,00.html
Do you have them in MN?  Every now and again, someone messes with one and gets bit.

Again, great post.  Thanks,
Mark
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+Mark Lopiccola We have very small quartz rocks, the biggest I've found is just bigger than soft ball size. I just found a piece of chert today on a dirt road about a quarter size. I'm not sure about the paper birch, all I know is it is common by me, chaga is more common north of me. You are for sure right about the oaks. The warmer the climate the more diverse the species of animals and plants thats for sure.
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Mark Lopiccola (The Wandering Serf)

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I wish I could get my nephews out in the woods to show them this kind of thing.
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+Mark Lopiccola Maybe they will come around some day. They might look back and realize what they missed.
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Mark Lopiccola (The Wandering Serf)

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I ended up getting mine on the second run.  They sold out fast, even on the Schrade site.  I feel like I should have held out for the SCHF42, which also sold out fast.

Thanks Chris, I really enjoy your reviews.
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Mark Lopiccola (The Wandering Serf)

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Native American cooking.  I loved the Pemmican series. 

Also more on wild edibles.  I picked some Dandelion this week and would like to know what to do with it.  I sauteed in butter and mixed in some eggs, but there must be more that can be done with Dandelion.
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+Kiddalee Stinging nettles sting bare skin. Touch with the back of your hand. If it stings, you got it. The sting is usually more annoying than painful unless you get stung a lot. Jewel weed (Impatiens capensis or Impatiens pallida) will take away the sting and also works on poison ivy and other rashes.
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Mark Lopiccola (The Wandering Serf)

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This is a great and useful series of videos.  Thanks
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Mark Lopiccola (The Wandering Serf)

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Tapping trees in the spring is the best, naturally filtered water. It might be worth carrying a maple tap and hanging a nalgene bottle to connect.
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Yeah that's the size pilot hole we use on my Wife's family's  taps for their sugar bush. I use the slit/twig method when I'm just out woods loafing in the early spring.
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Mark Lopiccola (The Wandering Serf)

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While I have not eaten the wild variety, I like the domestic sliced into discs, sauteed in butter and mixed with scrambled eggs.  YUMMY!
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+Mark Lopiccola I'm definitely going to try that.
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Mark Lopiccola (The Wandering Serf)

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This is a great setup.

Thoughts to make this easier.  Nothing critical.  After you peg the two front corners together, first run the cordage line to the tree, then plant the pole inside and make the ground peg adjustments.   What this accomplishes is less "fighting" with the pole. 

Just a suggestion.

PS.  White Trash neighbors are a great motivator to go into the wilderness.  ;-)
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+Mark Lopiccola I'll try that, thanks!
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Mark Lopiccola (The Wandering Serf)

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My last camping trip I brought sardines in olive oil, smoked oysters in olive oil, beef jerky, Kind bars (low sugar flavors) and EPIC buffalo bars.  EPIC bars are outstanding.  The closest thing you'll find to traditional, Native American, pemmican.
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+Mark Lopiccola - Interesting! I've wanted to find traditional pemmican for years. I'll look up those EPIC bars.
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Mark Lopiccola (The Wandering Serf)

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Joe, you might want to include the web site in the notes section...
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+Mark Lopiccola I will, thanks.
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Mark Lopiccola (The Wandering Serf)

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I picked up a package (free sample) of the chilli.  It was tasty, but the beans had an undesirable effect later that day.  :(

I have switched to a fat/protein diet (Paleo) and finding freeze dried food in that profile is difficult. 

Again, great video, and I learned something new.
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+Mark Lopiccola Man, thats a bummer. Neither me nor my wife suffered any ill effects. I guess beans don't agree with everyone.
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Mark Lopiccola (The Wandering Serf)

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M last weekends walk (April 18, 2015) in SE Michigan, I spotted dandelion, leek, and crocus flowers.  The raspberries are starting to bud (leaves) and the maples are in flower.
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+Mark Lopiccola We are quite aways behind you seems like.
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Education
  • Michigan Technological University
    Biology/Ecology, 1989 - 1994
    Chemistry, Plant Biology, Animal Biology, Human Anatomy.
  • Michigan Technological University
    Forestry Technology, 1984 - 1986
    Measuring forests to estimate lumber yield. Harvesting and Re-Planting trees. Managing forest growth to maximize product yield. Recreational use of forest lands. Identifying tree species. Safe use of tree harvesting equipment.
  • Troy Athens High School
    General, 1979 - 1983
    General education, but I took a lot of industrial arts classes including photography and graphic arts. At this time I had no intentions on college.
  • Baker Middle School
    General, 1976 - 1978
    General education.
  • Wilde Elementary School
    1970 - 1975
    "Reading, Riting, and Rithmatic!" The three R's before Common Core was invented.
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Single
Story
Tagline
Photographer, Trucker, Lover of Life...
Introduction
A truck driver during the week, I take "mini-retirements" on the weekends.  I enjoy visiting local parks, feeding my neighborhood birds, and photographing both them and other critters that wonder into view. I changed my diet/life style radically in the fall of 2013, and have dropped 50 pounds without a problem.  The only down side to this lifestyle is having to cook for myself.  I used to rely on Stouffer for that...  LOL! You can follow me here on Google+.  I am keeping a Blogger web log, but I think it's become redundant with Google+ now.
Bragging rights
Living the American Dream of "Just getting by."
Work
Occupation
Truck Driver
Skills
Load securement, Class A operators licens
Employment
  • Transforce Inc.
    Truck Driver, 2010 - present
    January, 2010 - April, 2010 / Penske/ACC account: Automotive freight, Canada and USA. April, 2010 - August, 2014 / Midwest Logistics Systems account: Line haul of automotive parts to and from Canada and the United States. August, 2014 - present / Triple Crown account: General freight throughout the Great Lakes area.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Michigan
Previously
Ferndale, MI - Chassel, MI - Houghton, MI - Warren, MI - Troy, MI