It's nothing at all for Don to focus his attention on a research project and fill up his packs with all kinds of items to test a location and keep track of any changes over time.
He doesn't just go out into the wilderness and holler and knock and hope to run into the feral people; Don approaches them for what they are, very shy. He studies their places without threat because foremost in this outdoorsman's mind is that there is plenty of room in the Northwest for all of us.
There have been times he has felt he was being watched in a cave and he would make a show of removing his guns, setting them down and showing that he was no longer armed, while he worked. Then he would thank the space, take his things, and leave.
I asked him once if his decades of living off the land and going out into the wilderness, not needing the company of humans might have made him a great ombudsman for the shy folk. He had never thought of it that way, but he certainly is as curious about them as they are about us.
Recently, he went out on the cave circuit. He chose to go back to a cave he named after me, ShRed Cave. It is in volcanic rock about 40 x 60 x 12 feet high. He found that there were piles of sagebrush and leaves from distant areas. He pondered what this was about so much that he came back to the cave many weeks later.
He realized that the leaves he had encountered the last time that were green but wilted, were raspberry leaves and likely only a few hours old. In this plains area, there were no trees or raspberry brambles for quite some distance. So, someone or something took those leaves all that distance and left them in the cave opening. Upon considering the obvious marker, it was decided that it signified "the berries are ripe" or "I've gone picking," as a kind of note for others of their kind. The other possibility is that someone sat there and ate what they had gathered up and brought into the cave, but the area at the entrance was rather vulnerable to sit and eat, so that consideration was lower on the list as we reviewed the possibilities.
This recent time Don went back, he found the piles sagebrush that were like beds were in a new location deep into the cavern. He had seen this bedding there the last time, so this change was notable.
There were two "beds" in one area together and two "beds" in another area together. They looked well used. These materials would have had to be picked and brought into the cave and set up and moved around. That is a bedding that is most unusually sized and maneuvered for just some scrambling critter.
Noting that the walls of the cave appeared to have a high iron content, we pondered the idea of putting some refrigerator magnets up high to see if they would move them around or even possibly take them to one of the other caves in the circuit.
As of now, Don has found about 9 caves, but he suspected at least four more he needed to investigate.
Don brought a perfume with him that he sprayed on some rocks. He wanted them to become used to his "scent" to know it's him. He would come back in a few weeks to leave a blanket with the scent and some matches, burning some to see if they would figure them out, as well as burning a piece of wood and using the charcoal tip to draw on the wall, leaving the stick behind for them to possibly draw.
He gathered a bunch of mardi gras coins and decided the next trek there, he would leave them in certain places and see where the coins ended up. They were big and shiny and possibly tempting trinkets.
It was in another cave not far from there, that Don realized something. As he sat on a rock that was smooth and made a perfect seat not far from the entrance, he noticed bird bones scattered around his feet, lots of them. He pondered someone sitting there and eating. It would be an ideal location. One could study the opening.
As Don sat there, someone accompanying him came into the entrance and in the blinding back light, the man couldn't adjust his eyes or see a thing in the dark cave, but Don saw him quite well and had plenty of time to get away to the many niches and hiding spots within. It was the ideal location to have the upper hand.
Subtle things the feral ones do amaze Don. They have truly adapted to surviving at all costs and being one step ahead of us. If brain capacity has anything to do with intelligence, these tall ones could easily be closer to 1800-2400 cc brain capacity versus our 1300 cc. Intelligence and technology aren't necessarily tied. Intelligence and ingenuity, however, are.
On Don's last trek to the cave circuit with a couple of researchers, one of them fell into a hole in the ground in the cave and hurt his leg. This time when Don went back several weeks later, the hole was filled in with rocks.
One of the caves is associated with ghostly occurrences including seeing the same apparition in two photos five years apart. The last time into that cave, the photos were on the cell phones of the men and they were going to get them and send them out when the photos went missing from the phones. Weeks later, Don noted the photos were on his phone again but in in the wrong order.
The photo above showed a strange dark figure on it that looks almost Bigfoot or dogman-like. When looking at it more closely, there are layers to it as if it is coming toward them. The odd thing is that it showed up on no other photos of that spot, just this one moment in time.
As he continues his ongoing research of these caves and studying the back and forth of these feral people, Don begins to understand why they do what they do and how they go about it. This circuit of caves offers many different things in different feeding areas, including some caves that are ideal for the very brutal winters in the Northwest plains.
In a strange quirk of fate, Don left the cave with the bedding in it and hiked out but when he looked back, there as a rainbow right over the cave.
This will be an ongoing series with updates as they happen. Don has also been studying horse hair mane braiding on the moon cycles for decades. He went out during the solar eclipse to find the manes were braided. A curious find.
Note: As I do more research into the potential ancestors of the Tall Ones, I have been studying Mongolian and Siberian culture and customs, as I believe they had the longest exposure to the ancestors and the influences or their influences might have rubbed off on the ancestors of the Tall Ones.
Mares milk is made into an alcoholic beverage of a similar alcohol content to hard cider. It is placed in a cow hide bag and beaten and aged for a year. Just something to ponder as far as the marking of mares' braids.