Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Evening Light,Morning Light and Snowlight

I could not have asked for a lovelier day for hunting on day#1 than Monday.I didn't even need my gloves.It was a pleasant enough day,but I saw nothing.

I stressed over crunching twigs and leaves that I walked upon en route to the stand, but here below is Ed ....en route to his stand , and I heard nothing of his footsteps.This color orange will be caught by your peripheral vision in a split second.I only wish the DOT (Dept of Transportation) in Pennsylvania would exert such wisdom with road workers.
    Years ago, their colors changed from orange to flourescent green. The trouble with that is, it blends into the background greenery of the woods, especially in the spring when the sun shines on trees and shrubs.I have to deliberately search and search for road workers, and usually it is the stop sign I see first.They are well blended into the shadows , camoflaged into the woods background.Many of these road workers & sign holder have been killed by oncoming traffic of drivers who never saw them until it was too late.

On Day #2 I was up before dawn and into the woods by 6:30 AM. I made sure all animals were locked up or tied and then I took off .I had almost arrived at the tree stand when I heard "Meow"  behind me. 'OH NUTS'!!!  It was my jet black cat, Midnight,trotting behind me. She wanted to be carried.She must have gotten out through a hole in the garage.A soft snow was falling and dusted the ground. I crunched through the snow but the crackling of dried leaves and  twigs was at a minimum.Good! The cat wanted my attention but I figured I could lose her once I climbed up into the stand. She would have trouble climbing an aluminum ladder.And so it was.....for about 15 minutes she played then all became quiet down below.I assumed Midnight had trotted back to the garage.

Snow fell softly and light Trees would periodically shed snow from limbs with spoon like snowy boughs. The snowfall formed a glittery curtain . Little chickadees and titmice  played together hopping from branch to branch,periodically shaking jackets of snow from their feathers. In the distance I heard familiar farm sounds and visualized them in my mind . My turkeys were stretching their wings , clucking and belting out 'Kee Kee' calls to one another.The toms gobbled occasionally and I knew they were strutting  with fanned out tail feathers.A small bandy rooster exercised his new found crow in an adolescent hoarse rasp that cracked half way through his morning greeting for other chickens to wake up and get their breakfast. A well seasoned adult rooster let him know WHO was boss and stole his thunder .Somewhere nearby a woodpecker was hammering his beak into a tree, then another and another.I saw movement in the distance and hoped it was a deer stirring in the brush....nope.....a squirrel.Today the woods was livelier despite the snow. I sighed as I listened to the ever present crows.However, today they were not interested in exposing my presence.

Then I felt a rumble behind me.Midnight had climbed , actually clawed her way ,up the tree stand pole.She was dangling in mid air, 12 feet up,hanging on for dear life onto the platform. All I could see was her 2 paws and head, meowing. Her legs were swaying and kicking in mid air beneath her."Come up here, dummy" I said. She began circling me , meowing, purring and begging to be pet. I pet her for awhile but I had other things to attend to. She was becoming a distracting pain in the neck.Finally I got her to nap on my lap ,purring all the while.Of course, as Murphy's Law would dictate, the deer would come now.First I saw a small head behind brush. I didn't know what it was, but hoped it was a deer.Then a second behind that one confirmed  them as deer. They walked a leisurely pace along a well traveled deer path.They were doe, but where doe are, bucks may tag along.I got in position and dropped the cat off my lap to the floor.I got the doe in the crosshair sighting , as practice, and waited for the buck that I hoped would come.I don't shoot doe. I think Midnight must be trying out for a Disney role because she decided at that moment I needed a back and  neck rub.She angled herself behind me and began kneading my neck and upper back, the same stuff they do at night to your head when you're trying to sleep. The first doe stopped and stared in our direction, flicking her right ear back and forth.The other doe seemed oblivious.Apparently , a cat standing on her hind legs in a tree stand was unremarkable to them both.I sat still as an ice sculpture.The deer continued searching the underbrush beneath  and strolled away at a relaxed pace. No buck ever showed himself.  I ignored the cat after that and soon she soundlessly disappeared.She was suddenly just gone.  After hours of no more activity, I determined it was time to go home for a nap and return later in the day.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hunter's Eve

Checklist has been  completed. Warm fleece pants which will be worn beneath hunter orange snow pants,jacket, rabbit fur lined hat,alpaca wool socks,tree stand vest .All clothing was washed in a special laundry soap.......SCENT-A-WAY PLUS a FRESH EARTH COVER SCENT.I will be irresistable to my hunting buddy husband.I will have to fight him off  in our 2 man tree stand fort at 5 AM .There we will sit...Peppy LePeu and his lovely Leetle Wild Flower......What ees that fascinating scent you are wearing today ?You smell like a tree stump with rotting leaves,mushrooms and peat moss ! Hmmmm~  my washing machine smells like tree mold.Anyway, boots,rifle,bullets,walkie talkies.....should I wear the vial of deer urine around my ankle that eeks out a few drops on the ground as I walk along? Coffee thermos and turkey sandwiches on toast,flashlight, freshly sharpened knife ..... should I bring a book? Maybe just a small one.The ladder has been secured to the tree against the tree stand. We actually have two~ the fort and another one man seat way up high.That one is located in the best location.......along the deer runway leading to the creek.Hence, the deerstand vest. Just in case I decide to flip a backward tumblesault while shooting. You never know what a day will bring. Guns have been cleaned and sighted in. All over the mountain you can hear guys sighting guns.My neighbor tested his this evening before dark.It made me jump 6 feet.I think he has one of those big blasters that not only kills your deer but turns it into chili with a single shot.
 In the dark of the morning we'll cross the stream and enter our woods.I should blend right in with the woods' scent.Here's what I expect will happen ~ the cats will try to follow us. Later that afternoon ,when we return to the woods after lunch , the turkeys will follow us.I have rarely walked in the woods alone. Always, ALWAYS some animal or farm bird can't stand the curiosity and just HAS to follow me.One time I was sighting in a gobbler strutting next to an enormous deadfall .My cat snuck up behind me under my elbow, purred & wanted to be pet.Imagine my surprise!  Imagine the gobbler's surprise when he realized I was not Lilly Langtree turkey madam!!
So, tell me....WHAT did I forget? There's always something.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Nov 2012

This year's Thanksgiving has brought out the gratitude in a good many of us. Gratitude for heat and electricity, gas for transportation and an intact house. There are a good many of us, especially those in Staten Island, who are still floundering for the basics. I just watched the news tonight where homeless Staten Island residents were evicted from hotels to make room for FEMA employees.(SIGH).........I learned from the Bible, from Abraham, to stay away from cities.....(Genesis ~hence, genes, or beginnings...gives you early warnings about basic human behaviours.  
         While we grow most of our own food,and most on that table is our own, we are still dependent upon the resources of others. We still need to work full time.We are not able to be 100% homesteaders. We might be able to successfully do it if we were vegetarian and had ZERO animals on the farm. No pets.....no chickens.....no poultry....no horses....no sheep...no cats or dogs......in other words, NOT the life I want to be a part of. And so, we keep our jobs. I have a great many things to be thankful for this past year. i have NO DOUBTS WHATSOEVER that the REAL GOD REALLY EXISTS !   HAH!!  He has His hand TIGHT upon my wrist. I smile when I think of this. There are coincidences in life, I know. But the relationship of the Lord Jesus Christ in my life is so remarkable.I just sit back and watch! The still small voice is what I watch for...not the whirlwind or the loud earthquake.It's the parking space near the entrance when I'm sick.It's being able to leave from work at 8:30 PM and another nurse can take my place, so I can drive 3.5 hours away to see my grandchild born.It's the multitude of 'COINCIDENCES' that come together at JUST THE RIGHT TIME when we need it most....never an hour too early  (hah   haha)    that God peeks from behind the curtain and says ..."I see youuuuu ! ".     "Draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto you" said James in the Bible.    Just grasp the hem of His garment and say," Lord....teach me something about YOU "        (:>

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I like November. I was born in November. I cost my parents $250  to bring me into the world ...in the days when insurance was not the issue.My mom spent 10 days in the Maragaret Hague maternity ward post partum. In those days , they made SURE the moms would rest and recuperate. I was brought home on Thanksgiving  and my Nana Lawler had just gotten a new dining room suit that thrilled her.Therefore, November and I slap a high fiver ~~  Indian summer days, leafy camo and a shotgun in Bradford County, Pa   The best of a turkey hunt was out smarting thee gobbler.They are no fools. There you sit at the tree line of the woods in full camo garb .You pull the slate turkey call out of your pocket,making tiny soundless moves.The handle is a corncob on a sawed off arrow.You scratch small loops across the slate circle ....hen calls.The gobbler WAYYYYYYYY   across the field stops and gobbles to you....but he's playing with you.He sent his harem of hens to circle around and sneak up behind you to see what you are!!!  This was was my fetish for 10 years...UNTIL !!!!!    I discovered the FARM!!!!!  

Now I raise my own turkeys and have NO TIME for anything else.(:

They belly up to the bar ,crowd your legs as you try to pass through,peck at your jewelry or anyting else that sparkles and pinch the back of your dungarees with their beaks.They LOVE fresh sparkling water .If you play with them with turkey calls....they will suddenly freeze stock still and listen....they can tell a voice, athe diffenence in a turkey voice, the same as you can identify a human voice. Is it my mother or Calvin Coolidge?? Just think of the number of different human voices you can differentiate between....Obama, Johnny Carson,your spouse, your child......Bruce Willis, Bill O'Reilly,Julia Child...a no brainer for us~ a no brainer for turkeys.You're a newbie and a threat.Sooooo.....they freeze and listen and watch for normal turkey behavior. If they respond and you don't show yourself (as a hot hen would do) you are suspicious.
This gobbler weighed out as 26.5 lbs. The other gobbler was 25.5 lbs.   The hens weighed 17.5-19 lbs   Don't ask what my grain $$$$ bill  was. It was horrendous. (Supermarket turkeys at Thanksgiving are promotional prices to get you into their store to grocery shop for the week. 69 cents/lb is LAUGHABLE!!! NO WAY  !!)  I don't know why I do this year after year.I think next year I will turn my garden into a turkey amusement park. GO HELP YOURSELF!! Cabbages....tomatoes....corn....etc!!