Friday, May 9, 2008

FINDING THE CIRCLES


The spring run off has begun, whitewater cascades down the swollen creek with a roar which reverberates off the mountainside. My horse is soaked clear up to his neck from the crossing and shakes the water loose from his body. Green grass is now covering the mountainside , interspersed with snowdrifts, some three feet deep still. The wildflowers are starting to bloom on the southern slopes, their magnificent colors brighten the mountain and the intoxicating scent of the blooms sweetens the air. I dismount and release the horse near a long meadow. I do not worry about him wandering off, we have learned to understand each other through the years and he knows to stay close to where I am as I wander over the slopes searching for elk shed antlers. I sit upon the nearest ridge and through my binoculars scan the surrounding hills. About a half mile away a group of elk feed at the timbers edge their winter coats are ragged as they begin shedding their winter hair. Along the northern slope a golden eagle glides through the air on silent wings searching for prey to feed his mate who is probably sitting on a nest of eggs somewhere. Behind me a red squirrel scolds me for being on his mountain.. Across the valley another squirrel begins to chatter and I focus my glasses on the timber there, I have learned that this particular call from the squirrel usually announces that a predator has invaded it’s space. The squirrel chatters louder as a black bear emerges from the trees and quickly disappears among the foliage again. I scan the open slopes where the snow would have been absent during the winter and spy a large elk shed lying at the base of a sage brush.. The distance is only about a quarter of a mile to the antler but the climb is very steep, I enjoy the feel of my body working as I traverse the slope. As I pick up the six point antler I say a prayer to the creator for this find and silently thank the elk for dropping this treasure where I could find it. I turn to leave and see the other antler from the majestic bull lying fifty feet away from the one I just picked up. With both treasures I begin the trek back toward where I left my horse, suddenly he appears on the ridge in front of me and calls to me in horse talk. I am amazed at this animals ability to seek me out in these mountains, he must be half blood hound. After tying the antlers across my back with a small rope, I clumsily remount and begin the trip home. I look back toward the mountains and see a bull elk standing at the ridge top, his new growth of antlers just beginning to show, the cycle has been completed once again for the old bull and he begins another year with the dawning of these spring days. These circles of life are true gifts we should all take the time to notice no matter where we encounter them …. Hawk

6 comments:

Me & my puppies said...

Hawk ~ Your posts make me miss my horse. I haven't ridden in years. NJ just doesn't have much open area for riding anymore. He was such a love. He, too, would follow me around. I often referred to him a very big dog.

Very nice find, I didn't know elk shed their antlers. hummmm what kind of biologist am I?

TSannie said...

beautiful words you have written

Mental P Mama said...

Absolutely beautiful. Getting my mountain fix from Stacey and you.

Sandy said...

Another journey taken through your eyes and words. Thank you.

fishing guy said...

Hawk: What a wonderfully written post, the only thing missing is the picture of the find. Maybe it will be on Staceys' when I visit there. If not I wish you had taken a camera.

Stacey Huston said...

Great story Mike. There are so many circles in nature! If we could just all go with the flow of these circles with in circles life for us would flow alot smoother for all.. thanks for sharing your stories....