Monday, March 12, 2012

Perceptions

Pine duff along the forest floor lends silence to my footsteps while late evening sunlight filters through the high canopy of spruce and pine directly above me. Tracks of a bull elk are faint but easily followed along this high mountain trail. I have been following this old warrior since early dawn, twice I have closed the distance to mere yards, but his absolute pursuit of receptive cows has kept him moving deeper into the heavy timber. A squirrel sends out a rapid chatter of alarm from somewhere to my right, his crescendo of annoyed reverberations is answered by another squirrel farther down the mountain. As the evening shadows creep closer to one another a raven caws from overhead and the soft calling of cow elk can be heard throughout the forest. Nature is singing an ancient song that never stops, a voice of perfect harmony as elk, squirrel, raven and every other forest sound blend with my heartbeat as I close the distance on the old bull. At thirty yards he turns broadside last out a growling bugle and begins the final chuckle of a perfect elk call. Suddenly the forest goes deathly quiet , elk stand looking fearfully and alert, the squirrels instantly cease their chatter and the once noisy raven is lost in the foliage. I begin looking around the dense forest searching the shadows for the obvious, only one thing silences the forest so quickly, a predator...... I scan my surroundings certain that a large grizzly or cougar is stalking nearby. Elk begin a rapid retreat to safer places, leaving me searching the darkening forest with renewed vigor, I feel fear of the unknown beginning to engulf me as a small brown creature sticks its head around a nearby lodge pole and raises the alarm cry only three feet away. I feel the grin crossing my face as the fear leaves me like a early morning fog dissipating with the new sun. Yes there is a fierce predator lurking in these woods, and the occupants of this pristine place made short work of making my presence known to all through a language only they really truly understand. I shoulder my bow and begin the long walk back to camp humbled by my newfound place at the top of the food chain. I guess sometimes even we predators get noticed even when we try our best not to be... Hawk...

1 comment:

sarina said...

Hey Hawk.... I love your stories. My children love to sit around and listen to me read them. It is, and will always be a great family memory of ours. We have been doing this for over 2 years now. We smile when we see a new Blog from you. Thank You for all that you do.

Sarina