I think that's a whole lot of goofing around for a computer illiterate guy like me. The office depot is 60 miles away and the nearest print shop is 20 miles away. Nevertheless, I will extract myself from my country environment some day and visit the print shop and see what happens.
It was a marvelously foggy morning this morning and I hurried to clean the house (Ethel's away for two weeks) cause I wanted to get to work early, I have SO MUCH work to do. My son and I have been expanding our tree removal business and we're just-a-hopppin. I was praying that he (my son) would want to let up a bit cause I have a painting job on the go that I wanted to finish up before it starts freezing at night here again. Fortunately for me, he decided he wanted to go deer hunting late this afternoon with his bow, so I was giving thanks and jumped at that painting job. When I got home he casually and nonchalantly saunters out to the truck and I knew: "You got your deer didn't you, I can tell." He grinned from ear to ear and asked if I'd come down the bush with him to help carry it out. I sensed he wanted to bond and share the moment, so I agreed. He fired up the 47 Ford tractor, hooked up a wagon, I went and got Spirit, and away we went.
There's a few huge poplars not too far down the trail where the pileated woodpeckers nested this year and I was wondering if I'd be able to catch a glimpse of them in the fading light. As we drove under the poplars, eyes fixed on a hole about 2/3 of the way up one of them, I noticed a beak poke out, then a head, she took a quick look and then made a quick retreat back into the hole. I knew she wasn't nesting anymore, so I assumed that was where she was going to spend the night. I gave a little thanks for that little glimpse, I am so fortunately blessed in so many ways. Bird lovers get all excited when they catch a glimpse of this particular woodpecker, which isn't all that often, and I had them nesting just a few hundred yards down the trail. Lucky me!
I hadn't been down the trails for quite some time and it was nice to be back. I grew up in these woods and knew every crook and every cranny of every acre back then - all 110. Dad sold some of it off before he died, and my mom gave the remaining 67 acres to my nephew (grrrr). But my place butts up against the 67 acres so I'm in the woods as soon as I cross my property line. In fact, just prior to joining the Fam, I had been sitting on a log just north of the north swamp where I caught that great blue heron that I mentioned over on Lolo's board a long time ago, listening to the partridge drum out his territorial beat when one of those huge woodpeckers alighted on an old dead tree just 4-5 yards from me. I sat quiet and watched him literally tear that tree apart. He's about the size of a crow and can chisel huge, 3 foot oblong holes in a decaying tree in minutes flat.
I used to have to find the cows down here when I was a boy and bring them in for milking. I got pretty good at guessing where they might be, usually at the north west end of the 110 acres where the pasture was best and where there was a bit of wind to keep the mosquitoes from driving them nuts. We quit the cows when I joined the Fam and that little bit of pasture has grown in with patches of willows and thistles, goldenrods, etc,,, and has become a Paradise for deer. It butts up against an oat field and deer love oats. It also butts up against a creek and deer drink from creeks. It butts up against a corner of poplars where the buck can make his rubs to mark his territory and scrape his scrapes. Did you know that after scraping out a patch of dirt on one of his trails, a doe in heat will come and take a leak in it, letting him know that shes hot? He'll frequently check his scrapes for any sign of nooky and fiercely defend them too. If you grew up learning these things, you could find his scrapes, get down wind of them a bit, and if you got behind a few little bushes and rattled a few antlers together, he'd very often charge out to do battle with you, and you can win if you're a good shot. The pasture also butts up against a sown levy of alfalfa and deer love alfalfa. It was this former pasture where we were headed to now.
John had erected a tree stand, had cut a few shooting lanes for his arrows, and had taken deer here every year for the past 5 years. This has been a very wholesome and healthy hobby for him. He SO acted up our coming out of the Fam that he damn near drove me nuts for 2 or 3 years trying to keep him on the straight and narrow. Two days after giving up and turning him over to the Lord he changed. I threw my arms up in despair, said, "I can't do it, Lord. You do it. I'll work on me and what I know you want me to do. You work on him." Two days later John walks out of the room he had been sleeping in and I knew. His countenance had changed, I sensed it in him. He didn't say anything. He just walked by and I knew. I nursed him back to health, he took up archery, and comes home now with the most amazing, lived, wildlife adventure and experience tales. He's a good writer when he writes and I know, like my farm upbringing was to me, that his post cog, outback upbringing will be a bank of wonderful, fall, color filled woods and sunset stories over ripening fields of grain from which to draw from. My God, just walking through the open, airy aspen grove as the soft evening back light streamed over head alighting leaves aglow was enough to make me exclaim. Geeze, I'm taking up archery and am gojng to come down here with you John and partake of this heaven a little bit more often." He fully agreed.
Spirit layed down in a pond of water that had collected in the woods from recent rains just off to where John and I were dressing out the deer. He had been running trails, as he aways loves to do, and came back, tongue hanging to the ground. We're thinking to change his name to Stinky. You'd think the water would clean him up a bit, but it's just the oppisite. Unless there's some detergent miced with the water, when he dries up, he STINKS. Poor Spirit. He's banned to the porch at night and banned to the back of the truck when travelling. And you just can't bath him everyday. He's such a nature boy that he'll find something dead to rol in in a minute.
I'll work a few more days and finish up a few more jobs, and then I think I'll head on out into the forest for one last fishing trip before it gets too cold. It has been calling to me for awhile now, you know, where you know you just gotta go, where the sun sparkles silver white through the paddle's drops of water on their return journey to the black of night pond and the swirl of yet another stroke hoping, perhaps, for another lift, and another slide, and another chance to refract their light, and another chance to catch another glimpse of the master paddler's appreciation and delight. On the way in from dressing the deer I was thinking, "Things will be frozen solid up here in another 8 weeks. I better get going. Ethel phoned just the other day and said, "You know, I was telling my sister that you're always inviting me to go here and go there, do this and do that, and here I am, thousands of miles away, doing those very things with her. I'm going to start taking weekends off and leaving Monday's open for Charlie."
"Earth to Ethel - so good to know that you're going to be touching down!"