Stags & Tankards
After a long, humid, dawn-into-morning sit I came inside with my gun slung over my shoulder, past the sheep grazing the last of the grass these Days of Grace will offer them. The weather went from cold and snowy Saturday to oddly warm. It was 48 degrees or so as I trampled through the woods home to my fireside. As I past the dairy goat pen, the scuttling chickens, the pigs in their slumber nest and watched the sheep eat I wondered if the reason I had not taken a deer was simple natural law? Hunting is the act of acquiring food. I am surrounded by such a wealth of food it is staggering. Why should I, of all people, be given the gift of venison when I am surrounded by chicken, lamb, pork, milk and eggs? I shrugged. I thought of the pickups and men in camp waiting in line at the McDonald's Drive-Thrus for their McEggwiches with a ten-pointer in the bed. Few of us modern hunters have that primal need to just eat what we stalk. Perhaps it's just a matter of luck and chance. As the author S.M. Stirling says*, The dice have no memory.
So I will keep trying for a deer until Sunset on Sunday. That's the end of rifle season here and I do not have any weapons or permissions to hunt beyond that time. Honestly, part of me welcomes it. When the clock runs out I can finally hang up my hunting kilt, put the bullets away, and tuck into a hot cup (or wassail) of coffee on mornings like this. I've lived 30 years so far without shooting a deer. I can make it another.
In other news, I am finally getting some sides put up on the horse's barn this week. Brett is coming to help out so it'll be done right. I can milk a goat and turn her harvest into soap, cheese, and milkshakes but hand me a hammer and nails and you have yourself an emergency room visit. I am not gifted in the realm of making wooden things out of larger/other wooden things. I envy folks with any sort of building/carpentry skills. Very much so. It's good to finally get them into some 4-season shelter. We've been lucky that so far only rain and sprinkles of snow under a 1/4 inch has hit the farm. As a thanks for his hard work I plan on cooking Brett and any helpers who show up to aid in the barn work a dinner to remember!
Somewhat related news: I should be heading over to Tink's to get my repaired cart. Someone asked me how I broke it and I'm not sure I wrote about this, but back in the early fall I took my friend Ajay and I for a ride through the mountain trails here and the old 1940's bike spokes couldn't take our combined weight over their rust. So think is repairing the rust with some welding and I am no longer taking passengers older than 12 on my cart! I hope to get a larger, more practical cart in the future like a meadow brook or a fore cart but right now it isn't in the budget. Someday!
You folks enjoy this rainy Tuesday. If it's not raining where you live, just click here. (That site is simple but might be the best thing on the internet.) And if you see any deer, point northeast and send them that way. I'll take a drifter!
*Then again, he would also say aphorisms are worth their weight in gold.