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Showing posts from December, 2018

In the Forest

A gray shadow emerges from the mist of early morning. The figure moves fluidly through dense foliage and trees on the forest floor. Working it's way to the valley below, the shadow pauses to look and to listen. To be still is to be invisible, and there is no distinction between the trees and what is standing there among them. The forest is dark and deep and without sound except for water droplets falling through broad leaves. This ghost moves on, scanning the woodland, searching out its quarry. Into big timber, over the ridge and down to the valley lush with green ivy and thick brush. The shadow walks toward a clearing in the massive white oaks, but stops abruptly when there is movement in the opening in the trees. A great stag feeds on fallen acorns, it's head down, unaware. The gray figure becomes the shadow of an oak tree. The buck feeds up into plain view, it's wide set of tines raking the grasses and weeds as it grazes.The shadow raises his bow, and draws back the str…

The Bowman

In the stillness of early morning, the bowman steps into the woods. It is still quite dark, so he eases along with what little moonlight is left shining through the open hardwoods. The morning is cold, and deathly silent. Rainfall from the day before has dampened the forest floor, which made for quiet going, as long as he doesn't make a misstep and break a dead branch, or crumble a rotting log under foot.There is no need to hurry, just take a few steps, then wait a few minutes. Watching the dimly lit woods, listening for any sound that would mean something stirring in the dark brush beyond his sight.As the first hint of daybreak outlined the ridge above him, the bowman hears the slight shuffling on the far side of the spring- fed branch to his left. He scans the trees, trying to get his eyes somewhat adjusted, looking for any horizontal line that would indicate the back of a whitetail deer, standing motionless in the thicket.The bowman stands like a statue for what seems like an h…

Apprentice

Charlie offered his hand to the boy, hefting him onto a boulder from which they could peer down into a deep pool, where trout were likely to hold on overcast days like this one. He held up a tiny fly, with stiff gray hairs whorled around the hook’s shank and two sharp green feathers like wings laying down its back. The boy had his mouth open slightly, his big brown eyes trained on the bug his grandad had crafted from bits of animal and bird. Charlie carefully and deliberately dropped the fly right where he wanted it, making only a slight ripple on the surface of the dark pool. The fly drifted down, disappearing into the shadow of a rhododendron.
The line turned and straightened and Charlie lowered his rod tip, following it until he felt a twinge, then with his other hand he gathered free line and pulled it tight as he lifted the rod tip in one quick movement. The boy squealed and laughed, saying, "You got him, Papa!"
Charlie told the boy to hold out his hands, and in them he p…