Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A winter's scene

It was like a vision...

I was sitting in the stand, in the middle of nowhere, miles of low mountain woods on either side of me. Vision was high because the leaves were on the ground, and the sun was dying. The air was crisp enough that I breathed smoke without effort, and the cold left that acute ping on my tongue when my mouth opened too wide. I was huddled in camoflauge from head to toe, many layers deep.

Stillness reigned in all directs, except for a couple of squirrel's playing in the dry wood, and the slow trickle of a stream running over overlapping limestone rocks, creating hundreds of tiny waterfalls, as if God has left a tiny fawcet barely running. The water seemed cleaner in the cold.

The smell is remarkable. Unlike the summer, where every piece of flora and fauna from spiders to moss is exporting millions of scents, winter is austere; there are only the smells of evergreens, bark, fallen oak leaves, and dried hickory nuts blowing on the wind; well, and the musk of wild animals when they come near.

I sat there in the tree with bow in hand. The leaves were crunching under the ponderous movements from light hooves. Deer were coming. Out they came into the clearing. A small herd emerged from the mountain trail in orderly fashion. One of the larger does gave out a sharp bleet, warning the others about something.

There was no sound. Only the constance of the stream, and some inexplicable smoke rising in the trees.


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