Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Jan 12 - Finally back to the Woods
I got out on Sunday for as long as I could stand it and it was satisfying. I had the 980 with me. It performed as always and made me happy, again, that I rescued it from the used rack in the awful chain store. This time of year the shots seem to get longer though and it's now clear to me that late season requires a scope and maybe a rimfire magnum... scope for sure. I can see them further off and once they get shot at, they see me too.
The wind was cold even with the sun. There was ice in it. I loved it just the same though. You couldn't have pried me out early. I covered about a mile or so in the big trees, came across a couple of greys playing on the ground, missed both shots, made coffee...
I had questioned the value of doing this but it turns out a hot brew and a quick snack can make a lot of cold bearable. All that crap I carry did some good... I am especially enjoying my new stove. Takes down to the size of an index card and handles the alcohol burner like a champ.
Even with the sun out it was a gray day though I am not complaining. I like to hunt in the winter because it is stark and cold and the weaker among us don't do it. The quiet is tomb-like and the wind is hypnotic in the absence of chattery leaves; flight of birds becomes and event in this silence. It is the polar opposite of the very alive and humming character of the wood I know in September. I love them both which is handy.
And of course, I renew my love of evergreens this time of year. They are the life in the silence, watching silently and growing on.
I know that in January, when I have spent a day out shielding from the wind and waiting
for the shots of the day, the car is more welcome and the heater to be a longer than I like lost friend. The drive home through the early sundown is filled with anticipation of a hot shower and a little foggy on the details I was getting away from for a while and somewhere in my head I pray for hot soup. After I am warm and clean and changed and the sun has gone down, I hold hands with my wife a while and head of to bed because the cold always drains me down a bit more. When I close my eyes if I am lucky I dream of wind and trees and things that live there, among the birds and cedars and those dreams are always good.