Of Moose and Marten

These days remain so glorious and full what with running and back forth to moose camp, doing the laundry, cooking, packing the cooler, and starting all over again-- and I had two obituaries to write this week in between trips, there's an assembly meeting next Tuesday, tonight is the KHNS annual meeting (5:30 at the brewery) plus a commerce committee meeting at 5:30 too- (I'm not on it, but may stop in as they are discussing employee housing, signs, and permitted commercial tours including the Glacier Point canoe tour that someone died on this summer),  and then there's that book (which I've got to get done.) My oldest turned 35 and my dad 85 this week, too. 

How lucky are we?

 Especially when I think of the losses: the tourist from Nevada who was only 50, the obituaries, one for a man my age with chronic health problems who struggled with alcohol, and his mother-in-law  who was much older, but had been bed bound for 8 1/2 years yet remained good humored, wise, and gracious all that time. That's heroic, isn't it? 

The moose hunt continues. I think there have been ten taken so far, we have not had any luck, but camp is so nice, and the hunt itself such a luxury, what with being away from the world, and the peace and perspective the outdoor days and tenting nights give us, it's already a success.

What I love about moose hunting:

The cold on my face poking out of the sleeping bag.

The crackle and whoosh of Chip lighting the stove in the dark.

Hot coffee.

The quiet-quiet walk to the tree stand, so full of promise and excitement and a little scary because it's still kind of dark and there are bear tracks and moose  are somewhere near, and we are definitely not clapping and shouting "hey bear!"

When the sunrise hits the frosted grasses from up in the tree stand it looks as if jewels have been tossed across it, acres of them, and not only diamonds, but rubies, saphires,  and emeralds.  Bright yellow and orange gems flash too.The sparkle won't come through on my camera. I suppose a filter is to blame, or maybe it's a special prize that you have to be there in person to collect.

Then there was the marten, a big fat weasel. I am pre-disposed to hate weasels as one murdered a whole flock of my chickens a few years back in cold blood. He didn't even eat them. It was gruesome. Still, sitting in the tree stand, hearing the shuffle in the grass late in the day, and hoping it was a moose was a thrill.  Looking. Listening. Whispering. What is it? Where is it? Holding so still.  Holding my breath.Then a little head pops up, with those ears and weasel face. It's a funny sight. But the color of this marten, a Cape Cod gray back with a white belly and face, honestly, he took my breath away. I still don't like weasels, but this one was beautiful, and where he belonged, doing what weasels do.

We head out again tomorrow, and it looks like the weather may change on Sunday. Some rain is forecast, which might make hunting quieter, anyway. Crunchy leaves are really hard to walk quietly on.



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