Friday, January 3, 2014

An Evening Walk

Sometimes it is only the quiet stillness that draws me to the woods.  Yes, I enjoy hunting, but not so much the "kill" anymore.  It is the chance to sit quietly and listen to the light breeze rustling dried oak leaves that leads me across the pasture and over the creek.  Barking squirrels signal my approach -- warning that danger may lurk in my presence.

It is gratifying when after only a short time the small birds accept me as harmless and flit from branch to branch in the trees over my head.  The occasional armadillo or other small animal of the woods edge often wander by, oblivious to my presence -- or at least, unalarmed. 

Suddenly an arrow crosses the sky.  It is a small flight of Canvasback ducks headed toward the shallow pond across the meadow.  The silhouette of their passage is barely marked across the fading light of the setting sun.  The whistle of their wings the only sound they make as they head to night's refuge.

In the distance a pack of coyotes signals approval that the light of day is fading and it is safe to come out for the nightly run in search of rodents and road kill.  Their yipping chorus sharply breaks the near silence of the evening.  Soon they are answered from the hill to the north.  Calls answered and replied speak volumes that only they understand.

I sigh and begin my walk back to the barn.  The gathering darkness signals time to return for supper.  Maybe tomorrow I will wander back into the woods where time stands still if only for a few moments.

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