the headwaters


Jacob’s Well

Jacob’s Well is one of the most significant natural geologic treasures in the Texas Hill Country. It is one of the longest underwater caves in Texas and an artesian spring. Jacob’s Well surges up thousands of gallons of water per minute and acts as headwaters to the Cypress Creek that flows through Wimberley, sustaining Blue Hole and the Blanco River, recharging the Edwards Aquifer, and finally replenishing estuaries in the Gulf of Mexico.


Himalaya headwaters of the Ganges River — believed to be a holy waterway by many, but facing severe “industrial and religious pollution” as one Hindu leader puts it. I’ll be speaking about this 1500-mile lifeline and other fresh water/ river challenges in Nebraska and Ohio in the next few weeks for #natgeolive

Vassals of Vassal Houses

It’s bothered me for a while that there is no centralized resource for all of the Houses sworn not to paramount Houses, but to the Houses themselves sworn to paramount Houses. So, I figured it was time to remedy that, with much help from @racefortheironthrone​.


  • House Ryswell: The Appendices for both AFFC and ADWD list Roger, Rickard, and Roose Ryswell as Lord Rodrik’s “quarrelsome cousins and bannermen” (though Theon in ADWD notes that Roger, Rickard, and Roose are Rodrik’s sons)
  • House Manderly: Wyman Manderly tells Davos in ADWD that his “bannermen include a dozen petty lords and a hundred landed knights”
    • Ramsgate and the Sheepshead Hills are definitely sworn to White Harbor, according to the app, but it’s unknown which families control them (though the Woolfields controlling one is a strong possibility, given the name of the family and the fact that a Woolfield is married to the current Manderly heir).
    • It’s possible that the Lockes of Oldcastle and the Flints of Widow’s Watch are sworn to the Manderlys, as Wyman alleges he can deliver “all the lands east of the White Knife, from Widow’s Watch and Ramsgate to the Sheepshead Hills and the headwaters of the Broken Branch”.  However, in all relevant appendices the Lockes and this branch of House Flint are listed as primary bannermen of Winterfell, rather than bannermen of the Manderlys; Wyman’s words may only be suggesting his ability to influence his lordly neighbors, rather than a true liege-vassal relationship. 
  • House Reed: 
    • House Blackmyre (“Reek II”, ADWD)
    • House Boggs (“Reek II”, ADWD)
    • House Cray (“Reek II”, ADWD)
    • House Fenn (“Reek II”, ADWD)
    • House Greengood (“Reek II”, ADWD)
    • House Peat (“Reek II”, ADWD)
    • House Quagg (“Reek II”, ADWD)
  • House Glover: 
    • House Bole (“The King’s Prize”, ADWD)
    • House Branch (“The King’s Prize”, ADWD)
    • House Forrester (“The King’s Prize”, ADWD)
    • House Woods (“The King’s Prize”, ADWD)


  • House Royce: 
    • House Coldwater (AFFC Appendix)
    • House Tollett (AFFC Appendix)
    • House Shett of Gulltower (AFFC Appendix)
  • House Corbray: in “Alayne II”, AFFC, Sansa thinks that “Corbray’s vassals” would be attending the wedding of Lord Lyonel and his Gulltown bride
  • House Waynwood: 
    • House Hardyng (“Alayne II”, AFFC)
  • House Sunderland: 
    • House Borrell (AFFC Appendix)
    • House Longthorpe (AFFC Appendix)
    • House Torrent (AFFC Appendix)


  • House Vance of Wayfarer’s Rest: 
    • House Smallwood (“Arya IV”, ASOS)
  • House Frey
    • House Erenford (“Jaime VI”, AFFC)
    • House Haigh (“Jaime VI”, AFFC)
    • House Charlton (“Jaime VI”, AFFC)
  • Harrenhal (presumably applicable for the duration of Harrenhal’s feudal holding)
    • House Wode (“Jaime III”, AFFC)
    • House Whent (formerly) (“The Riverlands: House Tully”, TWOIAF)


  • House Reyne: TWOIAF notes that “Lord Reyne reportedly laughed when his maester read him Ser Tywin’s edicts and counseled his friends and vassals to do nothing”.
  • House Tarbeck: TWOIAF notes that “[t]he Lannister host descended so quickly that Lord Walderan’s vassals and supporters had no time to gather”.
  • House Farman
    • House Clifton (“Jaime VIII”, AFFC)


  • House Rowan
    • House Osgrey (“The Sworn Sword”)
    • House Webber (“The Sworn Sword”)
  • House Tarly
    • House Hunt (AFFC Appendix)
  • House Hightower
    • House Beesbury (AFFC Appendix)
    • House Mullendore (AFFC Appendix)
    • House Costayne (AFFC Appendix)
    • House Bulwer (AFFC Appendix)
    • House Cuy (AFFC Appendix)
  • House Redwyne
    • House Rhysling: speculative. “Rhysling” sounds not unlike “riesling”, which might be a clue that the Rhyslings are in the winemaking business - and the only spot for real winemaking in the Reach is the Arbor.
    • House Cupps: speculative. Again, the name suggests a connection to the wine-drinking Arbor, and House Cupps being a vassal of the wealthy and powerful Redwynes might explain why the very powerful Leyton Hightower would allow his daughter Leyla to wed Ser Jon Cupps (especially as Leyla’s sister Denyse wed Ser Desmond Redwyne)


  • House Yronwood
    • House Drinkwater: possibly if not probably. The app says that Gerris Drinkwater is a “knight sworn to Yronwood”, though this porbably only refers to Gerris being a household knight at Yronwood, as Gerris does not seem to be the head of House Drinkwater (since his twin sisters are called daughters, rather than sisters, of a landed knight). The House is not formally noted as a vassal of Yronwood in any Appendix, and only designated as a landed knightly House in the text, but in “The Spurned Suitor” Quentyn Martell thinks that he wants to “go back to Yronwood and kiss both of [Gerris Drinkwater’s] sisters”. This may suggest that the Drinkwater twins live on or near the Yronwood holdings, which would be sensible for daughters of an Yronwood bannerman.  
    • House Jordayne (formerly) (“Ancient History: Ten Thousand Ships”, TWOIAF)
    • House Wyl (formerly) (“Ancient History: Ten Thousand Ships”, TWOIAF)
    • It’s possible that the Blackmonts and Qorgyles were also at one time Yronwood bannermen; Yandel writes that Nymeria and Mors Martell “struggled against Yronwood and his bannermen (the Jordaynes of the Tor, the Wyls of the Stone Way, together with the Blackmonts, the Qorgyles, and many more)”.
  • House Dayne of Starfall
    • House Dayne of High Hermitage (AFFC Appendix)

Iron Islands

  • House Harlaw
    • House Volmark (AFFC Appendix)
    • House Myre (AFFC Appendix)
    • House Stonetree (AFFC Appendix)
    • House Kenning of Harlaw (AFFC Appendix)
    • House Harlaw of the Tower of Glimmering (“The Kraken’s Daughter”, AFFC)
    • House Harlaw of Grey Garden (“The Kraken’s Daughter”, AFFC)
    • House Harlaw of Harlaw Hall (“The Kraken’s Daughter”, AFFC)
    • House Harlaw of Harridan Hall (“The Kraken’s Daughter”, AFFC)


  • House Hayford
    • House Hogg (“Jaime III”, AFFC)
The Forms of Spirits Defined

Is the shape of a nature spirit given form over time by a culture and its linguistic perception of that spirit or is it formed in a more immediate way through the prism of cultural perception in the individual having the experience, defined by that culture’s language?

When we look at the cultures of the world, both classic and contemporary, we see a spectrum of belief in “spirits” that is prevalent in all cultures continuously throughout history. In some form or another the concept of spirits is as wide ranging as language itself. An instrumental part of the development of all socities, the nature of these spirits takes on a wide variety of roles depending on the culture in which they have blossomed.

From the ancient jinn of the east, to the nagas of Asia, the fae and sidhe of the Celts, the ancestor spirits of Africa and her diaspora in the new world, the German goblins, Norse trolls, the Vodoun lwa, the saints and demons of Judeo-Christian pantheons, the world over is full of the belief in beings whose form is transitory yet whose power is recorded as often enormous in scale. Who exist at the edge of temporality and are supplicated with offerings, orisons and rituals.

Yet while the concept of spirits is one that is universal, little contemporary thought has been given to the nature of these beings and their origins on a practical level. Relying heavily on pre enlightenment ideas of corporeality the contemporary magician is often working under conditions that have proven to be obscure at best, fraudulent at worst.

What then is the nature of these beings with whom all magicians the world over interact? How are we to express in terms scientific and yet openminded, those entities with whom our craft is indebted? Where are we to find the headwaters of these beliefs and their origins in human culture?

To say that nature is the source of all life is axiomatic, for nature is itself all life, the very mathematic formula that drives evolution on all its scales. While the boundaries of what makes up life may be little understood its form, as we perceive it, tends toward that which is measurably obvious to the viewer. As mankind has developed intellectually over the past few centuries our understanding of the complexities and subtleties of living beings has grown immeasurably. From the first understanding of the nature of germs to CRISPR gene editing in under two centuries mankind is just now beginning to scientifically understand the fields of energy that surround us that have long been overlooked.

The electromagnetic fields of all living things stretch far beyond the boundaries of their physical masses. The electromagnetic field of the earth itself functioning like an engine driving our planetary variables, steering tectonic plates, controlling weather systems. The interplay of these electromagnetic forces, coupled with energies we are barely able to understand that exist in quantum interactions and dimensional concepts too complex for a blog post, are just now being looked at, let alone fully grasped at this stage in our intellectual enlightenment.

It is in this realm, of complex energies, vibratory frequencies, and misunderstood quantum mechanics, that we find the root of those beings who can be grouped into the categories of “spirits”. From Grecian daemons to Galician mouros, lwa to kitsune, wight to ghost, the patterns of energy that make up these beings are all drawn from that stream of energies which is invisible to mankind, though slowly being revealed under the lens of contemporary technology.

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” ― Nikola Tesla

While this river of energies may be just now coming into focus through accepted scientific practice the craft finds its very roots at the base of this tree of knowledge. The varieties of dealing with these spirits are as complex as the cultures that bore them. The negotiations of these relationships across the world playing similar tunes, yet varied in their composition to reflect the variables and practicalities at hand.

Yet we must wonder at the nature of these manifestations against the cultures in which they are perceived. What causes such a diverse narrative and a motley assortment of creatures that have long interacted with mankind? How are we to know wight from lwa? What defines the differences and commonalities of these beings? How can a river of energies so universal manifest so differently among disparate cultures, while retaining distinct core similarities in their nature?

I propose that these manifestations are given form via the specific language a practitioners understands and communicates in. That the culture whose folk narrative has given form to these spirits is manifesting the boundaries of said beings through the use of language itself.

We are linguistic beings by nature. Our entire world perception is defined through the language we speak, and not all words in all languages easily translate across linguistic boundaries. We may speak in one language of emotions and concepts that are entirely alien to the thoughts of a native speaker in another language. The sounds of one culture’s joy may be the sound of aggression in another culture and its linguistic palette.

Thus as a culture has become defined throughout time, like the polishing of the facets of a jewel, mankind’s perception of these entities that exist at the boundaries of our perception have come to reflect the inherent peculiarities of a given culture. Our fears as a people, our inhibitions and immoralities, our taboos and desires projected onto these entities we encounter in the natural world.

Thus the differences that have grown between cultures are the differences in mankind’s pantheon of spirits the world over. Some are to be feared, as that culture is one of fearfulness, others to be befriended, as that culture is one of openness and sharing.

Though as much as there are differences, more striking still are the commonalities between cultural perceptions of nature spirits. That their roles remain often identical in light of their polarized appearances, that they are more common among the untouched places of the natural world, that they can be bound, threatened, supplicated, bribed.

When in the course of the practice of the craft a magician of any ilk encounters a spirit, through accident or intention, it’s best to be aware of the shape that they manifest in relation to our perceptions and expectations. That their form is one that easily fills the container of our language and its inherent biases and preconceptions about the nature of reality. We give to these spirits as much of their form and power as they themselves, much the way we give to our rulers the power over us that we must yield in order for them to rule.

While much research in this field has yet to be done the current of this form of spirit anthropology is just now awakening. Considerable historic documentation exists to outline the ever evolving relationship between mankind and that other. Yet a fuller look at the extent of human participation in spirit interaction may be a decade or more in the making. 

It would do well for the practitioner to keep in mind that the nature of the spirit catalogues of antiquity are that of slow evolution, where names shift over time via generations of misspelling and misappropriation. Recent research has been done in tracking these changes, yet the full scope of how the spirit is given specific form by the language, and thus the perception of reality that the practitioner holds, has yet to be done.

To they whom traffic in the boundaries of the landscape, know that your expectations place you in a precarious position. Those beings with whom you court and barter, supplicate and invoke, are more than your perception of them. They are merely being given form by your expectation of their presence. When the magician commands the demon to appear in a “comely form” it is to oneself the words are spoken. For the eyes only deceive us in our dealings with that world, no truth can be had in the illusion that is sight. The lies our eyes tell us have names made of the words we have been raised with, a set of linguistic boundaries on which perception is given form by that great deceiver that is culture.


At the mouth of the Torrentine, House Dayne raised its castle on an island where that roaring, tumultuous river broadens to meet the sea. Legend says the first Dayne was led to the site when he followed the track of a falling star and there found a stone of magical powers. His descendants ruled over the western mountains for centuries thereafter as Kings of the Torrentine and Lords of Starfall.

North and east, beyond a great gap in the mountains that provided the shortest and easiest passage from Dorne to the Reach, House Fowler carved its own seat into the stony slopes overlooking the pass. Skyreach, that seat became known, for its lofty perch and soaring stone towers. At the time, the pass it brooded over was commonly known as the Wide Way (today we name it the Prince’s Pass), so the Fowlers took for themselves the grandiose titles of Lords of Skyreach, Lords of the Wide Way, and Kings of Stone and Sky.

In a similar vein, far to the east where the mountains ran down to the Sea of Dorne, House Yronwood established itself in the high valleys and green foothills below the peaks and seized control of the Stone Way, the second of the two great passes into Dorne (one far steeper, narrower, and more treacherous than the Wide Way of the west). Well protected and comparably fertile, their lands were also well timbered and possessed of valuable deposits of iron, tin, and silver as well, making the Yronwoods the richest and most powerful of the Dornish kings. Styling themselves the Bloodroyals, Lords of the Stone Way, Masters of the Green Hills, and High Kings of Dorne, the lords of House Yronwood in time ruled northern Dorne, from the mountain domains of House Wyl to the headwaters of the Greenblood … though their efforts to bend the other Dornish kings to their will were seldom successful.

The World of Ice and Fire. Dorne. Kingdoms of the First Men.

Houses of Dorne (1/5)



As much as many of us want to curl up by a fireplace, eat and ultimately hibernate during winter, the work still must go on; and if you can’t beat winter, we recommend you join it… figuratively that is. Check out these amazing winter photos captured by Salmon Field Office Staff Lacey Whitehouse near Geertson Creek.

Geertson Lake sits nestled beneath Center Mountain, which rises over 10,000 feet along the Continental Divide. The BLM Salmon Field Office manages a cabin at the headwaters of Geertson Creek, located within a ¼ mile of this high mountain lake. While the road to access the cabin is impassible during winter months, Salmon Forestry Tech Whitehouse, and forest service counterpart, braved the elements, skiing just over five miles on their weekend to check on the shelter and complete some winter maintenance.

Permission is needed to cross private property to get to the cabin so if you do decide to brave the weather, call the Salmon Field Office at 208-756-5400, before heading out. 

Considering that indigenous lands hold 80% of global biodiversity, it is no surprise that extractive industries want their resources. If left to the industries, the Amazon’s Sacred Headwaters would become one big oil field, and the watersheds of the Brazilian Amazon would be destroyed by agribusiness and mega-dams.

The path to preserving the Amazon for future generations is through protecting the rights and lands of its indigenous stewards

Amazon Watch & I are working together to protect indigenous lands and rights across the Amazon Basin. Consider helping out: 

Watch on

The water flowing over these chunks for granite will eventually make it out the entrance of Yosemite in the Merced River. 

We were on a short vacation this weekend in Alamosa, Colorado. Our motel was near the headwaters of the Rio Grande river, and I walked down there at sunset to take some pics. I was surprised to see a cat also out for a walk along the riverside. He stopped to stare at us tourists and I took his pic.

Naas shagi yeil s'aaxw (Raven at the Headwaters of Nass hat) from the Tlingit people of the Pacific Northwest.  Carved from maple; decorated with paint, shells, hair, and baleen.  Artist unknown; ca. 1810.  Now in the Seattle Art Museum.  Photo credit: Joe Mabel.


Join #mypubliclandsroadtrip Today at Headwaters Forest Reserve in California

Spectacular in its beauty, the Headwaters Forest Reserve is also a vital ally in conservation efforts to protect the most iconic forest species in the Pacific Northwest. Located 6 miles southeast of Eureka, California, these 7,542 acres of public lands feature magnificent stands of old-growth redwood trees that provide nesting habitat for the marbled murrelet (a small Pacific seabird) and the northern spotted owl. Both species are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, as are the coho salmon, chinook salmon, and steelhead trout that have important habitat in the reserve’s stream systems.

Joining forces, the federal government and the State of California acquired the land for the reserve in 1999 to protect these important resources. The historic value of a once busy mill town named Falk is also commemorated in interpretive signs along the Elk River Trail, which follows an old logging road to the now vanished community. The BLM partners with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to manage the Headwaters Forest Reserve as part of the National Conservation Lands.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

anonymous asked:

I have two questions here that I hope you can help with. What gem would a fusion between a Bloodstone and Benitoite be, and what would a corrupted Benitoite and Bloodstone look like?


Corrupt Form:
The gem would be small. The gem would be covered in triangle shaped scales or spots and very tiny and short spikes. The corrupted form would glow in the dark. The gem would be found near sources of water.

“Therefore, gemstones of Benitoite are almost always very small, rarely exceeding two carats. Benitoite gemstones are strongly fluorescent, and give off a bright light blue color in shortwave ultraviolet light.”

“Fibrous amphibole and pyroxene, crystals, two phase inclusions, fractures, fingerprints, needles.”

“In well-formed, tabular crystals that are triangular in shape, often with slightly flattened points or sub-triangular points… The only significant locality for Benitoite is the Diablo Range, near the headwaters of the San Benito River, in the Southern tip of San Benito Co., California. Virtually all collectors specimens for this mineral are from this area.”


Corrupt Form:
Since Bloodstone is a type of Quartz, they would look like the corrupt Jaspers we saw in the show.
“The mineral aggregate heliotrope (from Greek ἥλιος, hḗlios “Sun”, τρέπειν, trépein “to turn”), also known as bloodstone, is a variety of jasper or chalcedony (which is a cryptocrystalline mixture of quartz). The “classic” bloodstone is green jasper (chalcedony) with red inclusions of hematite.”

For their fusion, I would recommend Purple Ammolite.


Greywater Watch, also known as Greywater, is the seat of House Reed in the North. It is roughly located in an eastern headwater of the Green Fork in the swamps of the Neck, southwest of Moat Cailin. It is a castle built upon a crannog, one of the man-made floating islands of the swamps, and it does not stay in the same place, making it impossible for ravens or enemies to find. According to Meera Reed, there is no maester there, nor any knights or masters-at-arms. Ironborn and Andal warriors, including Freys, have attempted to conquer Greywater, but none have been able to find it. Many of the invaders rode into bogs and sank because of their armor.

Fancasting Meme | 7 Locations That Have Yet to Be Shown (4/7)