Wednesday, June 3, 2009

3 June 2009

Sometimes nothing goes right. I didn't want to get out of bed this morning, and knew rain was coming. I check the radar on the internet but it offers no excuse to go back to bed. Rain will not arrive until 10 am--plenty of time. But with the extra activity, I'm now 15-minutes late out the door--yet another excuse to stay home: it'll be light by the time I reach the woods. Now I'm grumpy, but manage to make myself breakfast for the usual on-the-go. Who wants to get up earlier than 4 am just to sit down for breakfast?
I go out the door and realize the temperature is much colder than I expected. So, back in the house. Where are my long johns? It probably sounds ridiculous to wear layers in June, but sitting still in the damp morning air for hours upon end gets cold very quickly. I stuff peanut butter toast into my mouth, and drive to the park. 
The ranger on duty is obviously bored, and drags out our morning conversation. Again, making me later and later. At this point, does it really matter. By now, I'm thoroughly grumpy and no song will cheer me up so the radio gets switched off. 
Skunks everywhere.
I park and put on my extra layer then dig my camo out of the plastic bag in the back. It's still inside-out from being in the dryer--yet something else to consume my time. I really don't know why I'm even bothering at this point. I gather all my gear: tripod, camera, chair, blind and situpon and hike into the morning light. I have a spot in mind.
I'm carrying more than usual as I don't usually take a blind. I get angry because it keeps slipping off my shoulder and when it does, it makes noise.
I finally arrive to my desired post, and change my mind. I've been eying up another new spot just a short distance away and decide to try that instead. Here, the blind is useless. The tangle of Bramble berry makes settling in impossible without a ruckus. It finds all the hooks on my tripod's legs and holds fast. I think I've just announced to the entire county where I am, but sit and wait anyway. 
At 6 am, a thankful break in silence: a Fire Station siren wails off in the distance. About 2/3rds of the way through the siren, a coyote gives his location away. He cannot be more than 400 yards. His voice sounds like he's been singing too much lately--probably overuse from the kids always wanting to know where he is. He sounds horse. I debate wether to answer his call or not. I know that these coyotes are smarter than that...most of the time.
I wait again.
I am situated so that my field of view is directly down the trail. Coyotes are lazy--they like to use the easiest route possible and so naturally use our hiking trails. But this morning, it's coyote's hiking trail. Finally, something breaks onto the trail from the brush in the distance. It's movement gives it away: not bobbing like a turkey, nor hesitant like a deer. The coyote languidly moves along with half-purpose on his mind. He stops, looks around, then continues towards me. I'm concealed from the chin down--so he actually makes it about 20 feet from me before he realizes something is out of place. I'm sure my slight movement of the camera gives me away, and he disappears.
My adrenaline is so high that I can feel my heart beating in my palms. I can barely sit still now.
All of this morning's misfortune, bad luck, and temptation to turn back is Coyote. I hear him loud and clear.

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