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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring Birds of Mountain Village

Not long ago it was 20 below and everywhere you look it was white and frosted. Now it is brown with patches of white. The river has pools of meltwater and gaping holes in some places. Much better than it sounds, this weather is perfect for travel. As long as your snowgo is fan cooled you can ride for miles over the tundra and enjoy the 30 degree temperatures. 
I was able to make time to go bird hunting a few times this last weekend, a welcome reprieve, to say the least. Riding out early in the morning a friend and I spotted a pond with a nearby overturned stump. Identifying the the proximity to the pond and the wood as an ideal blind, we set up camp. Decoys were deployed and we eventually built a half moon shaped igloo out of snow and ice. 

If I hadn't caught a single bird I doubt I would have been dissapointed. The day was absolutely perfect: chilly in the morning and warm by the time the mid day sun was overhead. Breezy and cloudless, I caught myself daydreaming on more than one occasion. Waking up to the familiar glak-glak-glak of speckled bellies I would shake the cob webs and hunker down with the hood of my cammo coat over my head. Peeking out and moving ever so gently, I would wait patiently for the right moment to swing up gun in hand and unload a few BBs into the sky.

It's funny how such a seemingly slow day could feel so good, so rewarding. It was that, though, and more. The highlight of the week and one of the many days I have been anticipating all winter, this was a good day. God's creation should be be smelled, touched, consumed... not watched on TV or read about in books. I enjoy Frozen Planet and reading, make o mistake, but this is something totally different. This is almost religious.