Random thoughts, like arrows, fly through my mind.
What to do
With thoughts darting towards
Targets I cannot see?

A bit of poetry to start a rambling post. The archery imagery springs from the fact that Sunday I got a traditional bow at Cabela’s. It is a Sparrowhawk, a 52″ youth bow, a recurve, with a 15 lb. draw. I needed such a light pull because of my various disabilities. Here is a photo of it, courtesy of the Cabela’s online site:


A very knowledgeable fellow SCA member, a prize-winning archer named Aelfric, who hails from Toronto, says this bow is more of a deflex longbow than a true recurve. So there you have it: I actually do not know what that means! 😉 (You may remember Aelfric from my post about Red Dragon 2016. In it, he wins the King’s Archery Challenge!)

Monday was President’s Day, a national holiday here, and Count Cellach had the day off from his mundane job, so he sponsored a day of archery practice at his acreage in the countryside. It was a gorgeous day to be out shooting! Here I am doing so:



As you can see in the photo at the top, not too many of my arrows hit the target, usually just one in each round of 5 or 6 arrows. But that day’s shooting actually went better than the next day, when I went to shoot with my friend Janet VanMeter. I was incredibly sore from the previous day’s two hours worth of shooting! Muscles in my hands, arms, shoulders and back that i didn’t even know existed complained when I picked up the bow again on Tuesday.

Janet and her husband David have been members of the SCA for as long as I’ve known them (25 years or so), although we didn’t meet through the SCA, but rather through the Cavaliers, a group here in the US that used to do reenactments of English Civil War life and times, as seen through the eyes of the Royalists. Janet, who is a top-notch seamstress, helped me sew my period Cavalier dress. Janet is an award-winning archer in the SCA, as well as a warranted Marshal for archery ranges held at our events.

I hugged a tree in their backyard, and this is why: many years ago David and Janet collected acorns on a visit to Sherwood Forest in England and then planted them on their return in their backyard in Midwest America. Voila! Years later, they had oaks that spring from England’s Own Merrie Woods growing in their Ohio soil. By the way, David and Janet are very big Robin Hood fans–BIG! One of their cars’ license plates reads ‘R HOOD’.

So here’s me, with an oak whose mother lives in Sherwood Forest:


And here is Janet with her very long longbow:


I like the target Janet made, with the rabbit painted on burlap. That is one dead bunny! Happily, it didn’t suffer at all from my arrows, though. 🙂 Her English longbow was made by a company called Pacific Yew, which is run by the St. Charles family. She made her own arrows and her lovely quiver, which I didn’t get a good shot of. No photos of me flinging arrows at this target, though, because my form was simply wretched!

You may remember Janet from my post about Rose Tourney, which we went to together. It is here: Rose Tournament 2016   In that post, there is a lovely photo of her in her garb, complete with foxskin purse, at that tournament, with her friend Kim Knapp beside her:

Janet VanMeter and Kim Knapp, Rose Tourney 10/16

She also attended Middle Marches Baronial Twelfth Night, where I taught a class on Women in the Viking Age: Middle Marches Twelfth Night. Here she is, waiting for the class to start:

Janet VanMeter aka Errill

Well, those are enough random thoughts for now. Are any of you out there in the blogosphere budding or accomplished archers?